What is EdTech?
Education Technology (EdTech) refers to the applications of technology to make teaching and learning more effective and inclusive, such as AI and data analytics, mobile technology, cloud computing, immersive technologies, blockchain, IoT and robotics. Technology can enable us to learn anytime, anywhere and with anyone. Using technology appropriately, we can make learning more enjoyable, personalised, inclusive, effective and affordable.
What’s EdTech? Source: Education Alliance Finland
EdTech is an enabler of but not the same as:
- E-learning: Delivery of learning through internet and electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones
- Online learning: Virtual and interactive teaching and learning
- Technology Education: Teaching and learning of technologies, including but not limited to information technology.
Whilst the education system will take years to evolve, technology can be a catalyst of change. EdTech can be an effective means to innovate teaching and learning. Effective EdTech applications will entail a different education philosophy (e.g. personalised learning, whole person development, learning anytime, anywhere and with any one) and pedagogy (e.g. blended, experiential, cross-disciplinary and project based learning). The end goal is to equip learners with 21st century skills (both digital and soft skills) and unleash the potential of every person with multiple pathways, and not having assessments and qualifications as the only and primary objective.
Importance of EdTech
EdTech is relevant to a whole spectrum of learning, from early childhood education to workforce development and lifelong learning. The application of technology in teaching and learning should be part and parcel of a 21st education strategy and an integral component of L&D strategy. There is increasing convergence between EdTech, FinTech, HealthTech and other technologies to innovate every sector and to ensure the competitiveness and sustainable development of every society.
According to HolonIQ, the total spending on EdTech will be over USD300B. As we transition into a post pandemic world, EdTech is shifting from a ‘short-term’ redress to a ‘long-term transformation’ agent to how we learn. The global education technology market size is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.6% from 2023 to 2030. Asia Pacific is anticipated to register the highest CAGR over the forecast period.
“The contraction of venture funding turns a spotlight to other forms of funding that fuel innovation. VC plays a critical role in funding high risk and high impact innovation (but) we need to support the EdTech ecosystem with more flexible government funding and foundation-led philanthropic investments to protect and diversify the supply of capital fuelling new ideas and bold visions to transform the way the world learns.”HolonIQ, June 2023
Personalized and adaptive learning are made possible by AI. Learners from different cultures and with different learning needs can overcome the learning barriers. Teachers can create smart content and leave mundane administrative tasks to AI.
Blockchain technology will enable users to store and secure the records of students and learners, thereby creating more authentic and reliable learning management systems that allows administrators and educators to analyse patterns and make data-driven decisions.
Forrester estimates that data-driven businesses are growing at an average of more than 30 percent annually. Data is critical to unlock the potential of edtech solutions. It can help educators identify areas where students need help. Data analytics can also be used to track student engagement and motivation.
Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term for augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), or the combination of related technology with the real environment to make learning immersive. With the decrease in costs of VR and AR hardware, enhancement of the visual learning process is made affordable. AR can introduce virtual elements to real-world scenarios to encourage student engagement and further connect educators with learners, while VR can take users into completely simulated and lifelike environments.
Integrating game-based solutions into the learning experience can increase engagement and result in positive learning outcomes, for young learners and adults alike.
There is a lot of hype about the metaverse and what it means for the future of learning. Essentially the metaverse can serve as an alternative learning space, leveraging the different technologies to make learning more engaging, fun and effective. It will open up new learning frontiers, transcending time and space in unprecedented ways.
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