What Is EdTech?

EdTech is the combination of hardware, such as interactive projection screens, and software, e.g., classroom management systems, aimed to improve both teaching and learning processes, and educational outcomes, respectfully. Although educational technology is relatively new – it originated in the early 40-ies and was represented by first flight simulators, it has already demonstrated excellent results and looks extremely promising both to end-users and investors. Many educational solutions are cloud-based and exploit various research data to create algorithms for enhancing learners’ results by making the process of acquiring knowledge more interactive, providing personalized content for people with different types of sensory perception, and learning pace, improving assessment methods, etc.

Technology-driven education also creates huge value for educational institutions by helping them to be more cost-efficient, organize, and handle student data on a new level. For instance, face recognition systems help monitor attendance.

Apparently, the labor market of the future will be different from what it is now – more competitive, dynamic, requiring a new set of skills – and edtech will shape the new generation of workforce. In this article, we overview the main trends in the industry.

Trends in educational technology

1. Distance learning

Distance learning is not a new trend, but due to the Coronavirus epidemic, the number of learners has skyrocketed. It has many advantages, such as greater flexibility, easy access, and, in many cases, affordability. Education is not a luxury anymore – it is a basic need. It is not for young people only, either. The huge popularity of massive open online courses (MOOCs) Skillshare, Udacity, MasterClass, Udemy, Futurelearn, Edx, Coursera, etc., highlight the need for life-long learning. You don’t have to get a loan to enter a university – just enroll for the course of your interest for a fraction of the cost. 

There are different formats of distance learning, and, respectively, tools and apps to support them.

Synchronous

1) videoconferencing – one-on-one or group

2) fixed-time online events with a defined virtual location, e.g. webinars

3) computer-based fixed-time lessons

Asynchronous

1) when students process the learning materials on their own and get tasks with deadlines;

2) open-schedule with no deadlines – perfect for learners who have an unpredictable workload

Hybrid – combining the elements of the…

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