Education technology, or EdTech as it’s been shortened and hash-tagged, is a rapidly growing area of interest for education innovators. Technology is being leveraged to better meet the high demands of our ever-developing education system. We accomplished this through the use of technology in form of tech products, applications, and tools that enhance learning and instruction. So where are we heading next in the evolution of EdTech? How will it be shaping the ways we educate and learn?
EdTech is Enhancing Education Not Replacing It
First let’s be really clear about the purpose of technology in education. Many educators believe that EdTech is a way to enhance the education experience by integrating technology into the classroom pedagogy. The use of technological resources such as the computers, mobile devices, social media platforms, software applications, and the Internet in classroom practices and school management are among the ways that we see technology integrating into education and enhancing the experience – not replacing it.
EdTech proves to be a positive enhancement when:
- Tools are supporting the education goals
- Part of a routine inside and outside of the classroom
- It’s accessible and available for use
- Uses of technology are transparent
- The technology is helping students, teachers and parents to connect
The Future: Mobilizing Education
A physical classroom is no longer a requirement for gaining valuable information or “proper education” today. The world is our classroom and we have mobilized education in such a way that one can learn through a computer, tablet or mobile phone no matter where he or she is located in the world. And the gap between the “geeks” who understand technology and the teachers who understand education is become narrower every day. Digital natives are quickly becoming the larger portion of the population, so the learning curve is not so steep.
Mobile technology offers a powerful way for students to achieve educational goals. An increasing number of institutions are using mobile devices for education because it allows for a more personalized experience for the learner. This is where so much of where we see the future of EdTech going – mobile, personalized and expanding outside of the classroom.
Among education professionals, 94% say that students “demonstrate improved learning, performance and/or achievement when technology is integrated into the curriculum.” This is especially important for global education initiatives. The main challenge is getting education to those in hard-to-reach areas of the globe where large universities and schools with the great tech tools are less accessible.
Put a mobile phone in the hands of a young person looking for information and education, and then the world opens up to him or her.
There is a clear shift in the way we learn today, and the innovations around mobile technology are a big piece of that conversation. We’ll be discussing this further with those participating in SXSW Edu, so stay tuned for more detailed updates in the coming weeks.
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