The Rise of EdTech Industry: What Technology Innovations will make way for the Future of Education?
The EdTech Industry has been growing rapidly over the years and expected to reach a market size of USD $285.2 billion by 2027. Thus, there are numerous technological innovations and devices that are being developed by EdTech startups and established companies to improve and streamline the education system. Despite that, there are many who are still resisting to change their old traditional method of teaching and learning. Follow Trish, Marketing Executive, as we unravel the technology innovations that will make a great impact in the Education sector in the next 5 to 10 years and how it will soon be a norm in the Education sector.
''We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world,’’ David Warlick, Educator and US proponent of EdTech.
2020 has been an arduous year due to the unexpected pandemic that has caused
massive impact to the world, altering human behaviors and the way we live. Many businesses and industries have suffered economically, however, with every challenge faced, there are bound to be new opportunities for these businesses and industries to reinvent and reevaluate their strategies to surmount the hurdles. For instance, the pandemic has forced the Education sector to be receptive to the adoption of technology as a part of their education system. This has motivated thousands of entrepreneurs to come up with technology innovations that can benefit the Education sector which resulted in the rise of the EdTech industry. Some of these unicorns includes Duolingo, Quizlet, Course Hero and ApplyBoard.
With a huge influx of these companies in the EdTech industry with the mission to introduce new technologies to better streamline the education system, what technology innovations will make a great impact in the Education sector in the next 5 to 10 years?
Here are the top 4 technology innovations that ESCO foresee will be a norm in the Education sector in the next 5 years to 10 years:
1) Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are popular in the technology world. AR and VR differ in the way they function. AR uses the surrounding environment and overlays it with an animation or any information around it. As for VR, it gives a more immersive experience than AR as it uses computer technology to create a stimulated environment and often uses a head-mounted display.
As we are moving into an economy that focuses on the value of experiences, many EdTech companies are focusing on developing innovative software and devices that includes these realities to elevate the education experience. Research has shown that these realities provides a more immersive and engaging experience for the students which helps to boost learning retention. According to Egdar Dale, an American Educator that developed the Cone of Experience, all humans can only remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see and 90% of what they do as they performed. This means that the Education sector needs to include immersive and innovative digital tools like these realities to facilitate more experiential learning.
For example, an Australian-based startup, Jig, has created an AR application that enables users to create their own 3D virtual objects and to interact with them in real time environment – zoom, rotate, move. With the Jig Application, educators can explain more in details about a certain object such as molecular structure of DNA or even the anatomy of the human body. This enables the students to be immersed in the whole learning experience and it also gives the educator an additional tool for boosting students’ interest in lessons.
2) Artificial Intelligence Based Tutoring
Artificial Intelligence Based tutoring are slowly being introduced to the education system. Countries such as China is investing over billions of dollars in Artificial Intelligence (AI) as they predict that the AI adoption rate in education will burgeon in the next 5 years and is estimated to reach a global expenditure of USD$6B by 2025 (HolonIQ). Looking at the current economic situation, other countries such as US and Sweden are stepping into the EdTech industry by leveraging on the use of AI.
With the high influx of EdTech startups recently, most of them are competing against one another to develop unique AI education platforms that can give a more personalized learning approach for the students through data analytics. Just like AR and VR, these AI based education platforms help to create better engagement with the students as it analyzes students’ knowledge and interest and gives a more personalized recommendations and training programs for them. Also, these AI education platforms can often track students’ progress and give the opportunity for them to study in their free time without the need of a human tutor.
For example, Duolingo, a startup company that uses AI, created a Chatbot application for users to learn foreign language without the need of tutors. The app is designed to help foreign language learners to gain fluency in speaking different languages. The users can interact with the app though prompts using natural language. The chatbot can accept and react to thousands of responses. In addition, the company leverages on machine learning to create personalized lessons for the users such as suggesting practice documents based on the user’s progression, choosing which sentences that will help the user best to refine his or her weakest language and gauging the standard of translation in progress.
3) Digital Interactive Whiteboard
Say goodbye to traditional whiteboard! Long gone are the days where we would fumble on using whiteboards as a tool for teaching. With the technological advancements in this modern era, many startups and established companies are developing new advanced devices to enhance the learning experience of students in the modern classroom.
From tablets to digital whiteboards, these educational devices help to facilitate the application of senses, memory and cognition which is important in the learning process of students. Studies have shown that the more interactive a lesson is, the more engaged the students are and this is where these educational technology devices have a role to play. For instance, last year, Microsoft has launched the Microsoft Surface Hub 2S (MSH2S). It is an interactive whiteboard that allows educators to teach anywhere in any way as it comes with a mobile stand. The MSH2S is an all-in-one digital whiteboard, meeting platform and collaborative computing device that can easily be used in any classroom or lecture halls. Unlike traditional whiteboard, MSH2S allows students to actively collaborate and interact with one another since the touch points can withstand up to 100 touch.
4) Virtual Classrooms
With the current pandemic causing the Education Industry to alter its’ traditional teaching and learning method, many schools, private institutions and training centres are hopping on the bandwagon of holding virtual lessons and trainings in virtual classrooms. Thus, these Virtual Classrooms will soon be a norm eventually.
Virtual Classrooms are online environments that allows educators and learners to communicate synchronously through audio, interactive whiteboard, instant polling, video and other features. The most frequent tools used in virtual classrooms are specialized video conferencing apps, instant messaging tools and online whiteboard for real time collaboration such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and even WebEx.
Many schools and private institutions are slowly investing in these virtual classrooms because studies have shown that it has improved productivity and effectiveness for both educator and learner. For instance, a study conducted by National Health Systems Resource Center of in India have found that virtual classrooms are indeed effective in helping to improve knowledge and clinical skills of their nursing students. This also correlates with another study conducted by King Khalid University in which they have found that these virtual classrooms helps to enhance the learner’s communication skills. Furthermore, virtual classrooms enables the learner to access the coursework anywhere at any time, sharpened digital skills, have immediate feedback on tests and have asynchronous discussions with other fellow classmates.
For example, established companies such as Zoom offers video conferencing solutions that supports educational software such as Moodle, Canvas, Desire2Learn, Sakai and Blackboard. Also, Zoom helps to enhance and expand classes with powerful collaboration tools such as breakout rooms, multi-sharing, polling and group chats. With Zoom, learners can record classes and lessons which enable them to study at their own pace. Educators will no longer have to worry about their virtual classrooms security because Zoom has robust security settings for educators and admins to ensure disruption-free virtual classes.
In conclusion, adopting technology in education systems is of paramount importance in this modern era. Moreover, with the increased focus on the value of experiential learning, more new innovations and technologies developed by EdTech companies are bound to be introduced in the next few years. Even though these new technologies have reaped great benefits for both students and educators, there are many that are still resisting to change because they believed that technology is a distraction to students and teaching with just pen and paper is the most effective way. However, this is not the case. In the coming years, with the EdTech Industry expected to grow rapidly and reaching a market size of USD $285.2 billion by 2027 (Grand View Research Inc.), technologies like AR, VR, AI, digital whiteboard and virtual classrooms will soon be a norm in the education sector eventually.
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