Wikipedia says educational technology is the use of physical hardware, software and educational theoretic to facilitate learning and improve performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and results. But to most of us, educational technology is just some elaborate white people thing.
Basically, the aim of educational technology or EdTech is to help kids learn faster and better. Now, what’s on the minds of most people especially older people would be “but we learned without all these things, today’s kids are just so lazy!”.
Evolution of Education Technology
Education has evolved and the children for whom these educational materials are being developed do not understand its usefulness. I have a personal experience with that. Back when I was in secondary school, this educational technology thing was the new wave. So we had televisions and a CPU (that was connected to the television) installed in our classrooms.
The school had to take down the televisions and replaced them with projectors! The point is, we did not exactly see the need for educational technology because we had the traditional way and as far as we (student and teacher alike) were concerned, it was working perfectly and needed no change or modification.
But there’s so much that embracing educational technology can do for us. The truth is, whether we like it or not, technology in the world is going to keep evolving. And if students are going to survive in a world with so much technological evolution going on, they have to be properly equipped with the ability to learn using technology.
If your excuse for not taking an online class is “I prefer when I can see the teacher face to face”, then you probably are a 21st-century caveman. Technology has permeated every single part of our lives including education.
The best thing for us to do is to accept it and learn how to properly and effectively utilize it. As well as properly explain it to the students for whom so it is not abused.
Statistical Reports on Educational Technology
EdTech works! Countries like Kuwait, Taiwan, and Indonesia etc., have employed this approach, and their quality of education is great.
A 2019 report by Cambridge International shows that EdTech is growing, with 48% of students reporting that they use desktop computers in the classroom. While 33% of students use interactive whiteboards, 20% use tablets, and 42% use smartphones. This report was based on an online survey involving nearly 20,000 teachers and students from other countries
The report also states that gamification is enhancing the learning process and creating an environment that helps students to communicate. The EdTech market is currently projected to grow at 17% per annum to $252 billion by 2020. Ladies and gentlemen, EdTech did not come to play.
Benefits of EdTech
Educational technology exposes students to a multitude of helpful resources. It gives them access to information outside what is in the books they are given. It is no news that research has been made easier with the use of search engines like google.
Will a student be real quick to google the definition of a term? Definitely. Will a student be willing to spend the entire day in the library searching for research material? Err you’d probably have to attach a whole lot of marks to that exercise to make a student do it.
Educational technology brings so many educational materials to your fingertips – literally. There are online courses, websites with a lot of helpful stuff, applications and so much more that aid learning.
It also helps to quicken the learning process. Students who do not understand what was said in class can easily read it up online, instead of delaying the teacher who might have to explain the same thing about six different times to six different people because they do not understand it yet. With educational technology, curricula can be covered in due time with the students still learning effectively and at their own pace.
Also, the expanding EdTech market shows that it is an investment goldmine. We cannot simply ignore or refuse to accept EdTech because frankly, there are very few, almost non-existent reasons to do so. Educational technology is important, a big deal and should be adopted and used at every educational level.
Finally, technology has become part of our lifestyle. Students constantly engage with technology while they are outside the classroom. Almost everybody has phones now, and we spend a lot of time on our phones, as well as other gadgets. Instead of demonizing educational technology, it is better to help students to make some of the time spent on these devices count by introducing them to and encouraging them to find educational stuff that will help them in the long run.
Technology is a primary part of every industry now, and there is no way around it. Knowledge of technology has gone beyond basic computer skills, and the current trends in EdTech such as gamification, learning analytics, virtual reality (VR) in education, immersive learning, etc. show that EdTech is up to the task of helping students have a deep understanding of technology.
Also published on Medium.