Living means learning. Technology in education makes learning more convenient, relevant to career skills, and fun for learners. It transforms one of the most important spheres of our lives into a meaningful and fun experience.
Learning has come of age, and its transformation into a technological industry is driven by four main stakeholders.
- Governments and municipalities launch educational programs and invest hugely in educational technologies as they recognize the role technology plays in providing relevant knowledge to their current and future workforces.
- Universities and online education platforms deliver learner-centered curriculums and courses to empower lifetime learners with knowledge that’s required and demanded among employers.
- Enterprises and global companies invest in continuous learning and development of their employees to help them flourish in their careers.
- Learners themselves want to learn and they want to do it in a way that differs from factory approach regardless of age, distance from the office, and location relative to the university campus.
Technology in education solves challenges that arise for each stakeholder on the way to a relevant and tailored learning experience. What’s most fascinating is that technology helps people learn… how to use other technology.
As more people encounter digital automation in all spheres of life, especially at work, educational platforms, online courses, and virtual classrooms help learners grasp technology to stay on track with industry-wide transformations. Today, a teacher does not teach students but plays the role of a mentor who guides learners on their path to acquiring knowledge and putting it into practice. So what is the future of technology in education all about?
- How education changes
- New approaches to learning
- Role of technology in education
- Benefits of technology for education
- Where technology comes from
Why sit through tedious lessons when you can just Google it?
The generations are changing, as is the approach to teaching them. At the same time, the importance of new knowledge at work and in everyday life is growing. Comprehensive training programs can lead to 218% higher revenue per employee. This gives a clear reason to establish training departments within organizations big and small.
It also motivates government organizations to prepare educational institutions with all the equipment needed to teach students relevant and high-demand skills. But what’s even more important is to provide tools and approaches offered by eLearning and EdTech providers to reach digital native learners in the way they want to acquire knowledge.
Millennials are already a major part of the workforce, and Gen Z is right behind them, knocking on the door.
Gen Z has not seen the world without technology
Let’s be honest, when we’re looking for answers, the first thing we reach for is Google, not a thick dictionary. But can a search engine always give us a comprehensive answer? To cope with specific queries, it’s better to consider searching internal knowledge management systems or electronic libraries.
Students and employees still prefer to learn by googling things. Why? Because it’s easier and more natural for them. Governments, employers, and universities need to adapt to this new reality and invest not only in education but in an innovative way to deliver it to learners. Forget about taking away smartphones and laptops from students during lessons. Blended learning has proclaimed a big farewell tour to the pencil and paper approach.
OECD countries devote as much as 11.3% of public spending to education, including spending for technology, and enterprises don’t lag far behind. Those who invest in employees’ learning experiences win big. When employers spend $1,500 per employee per year on training, they achieve improvements in profit margins of around 24%.
Companies that invest in employees’ learning experiences outperform those that don’t
Source: HBR.org – The employees experience advantage by Jacob Morgan
The learning habits of recent generations are drastically different from those of older generations, flipping the focus from teacher as guru in the middle of the class to learners as the main participants in the learning process and to the relevance of materials to their learning path. That’s the main idea behind the term flipped classrooms.
Learning habits of recent and upcoming generations at schools and workplaces:
- Short attention spans, ranging between 6 to 8 minutes
- Preference for bite-sized content instead of long reads
- Desire to access content in a personalized manner and at an individual pace
- Passion for enriched, engaging, and multimedia content
- Desire to learn on the go, anywhere, anytime
How important is technology in education?
Changes in learning habits require a new approach from organizations and schools. At the same time, as we’ve seen, self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic has boosted remote learning and technology use in education. A remote and distributed workforce requires much deeper engagement strategies based on technological approaches to improve their skills.
New generations are tech-savvy, independent, and already know everything. They want learning to be fun and engaging and they want to know why they need new knowledge and how it will be relevant for them. Technology plays a critical role in tailoring content to the audience. Let’s focus on technology in education pros and cons that can be applied to education to shape it as the experience learners are striving to go through.
Smart classes and virtual classrooms
As we’ve mentioned, flipped classrooms are a technology trend in education, and they go hand in hand with virtualization and digitalization strategies. Video conferencing plays a differentiating role by connecting students with lecturers and peers to create an interactive learning environment.
During a video conference, students can consume learning content and receive mentorship while researching the topic on the internet in another window at the same time. Video conferencing tools with easily accessible multimedia content increase engagement and allow students to acquire knowledge as if they were watching their favorite show on Netflix.
Educational institutions say video increases
Source: EDU-TECH, “How Technology is Shaping the Future of Education”
eLearning platforms and tools
eLearning platforms can be focused on specific knowledge and skills or present a variety of courses accessible to a wide audience. One of the main benefits of eLearning platforms is the possibility for robust integration into organizational systems for widespread customization of content to specific requirements of the organization.
Companies can adapt a platform to the specific learning needs of employees to teach them how to use particular software or acquire the skills required for a new role. Some eLearning platforms are open-source tools like Moodle, which can be used to create your own courses and can be customized to the requirements of companies or colleges. Other eLearning platforms unite several technology solutions to deliver a custom experience to learners.
Learn how Intellias helped BrainStorm create an eLearning platform to drive change in organizations by teaching employees how to use and adopt software
Massive open online courses
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) provide a variety of content to help learners acquire any skills imaginable. MOOC providers like edX, Coursera, and Udacity are illustrative of the platformization of education.
Universities and organizations can save lots of time and effort on creating their own content by just enrolling students in the necessary courses. World-known universities and educational organizations are creating courses to share their best practices and the experiences of their lecturers with a wider audience.
You’ve probably seen all the ads on social media for MasterClass courses in which famous people share their experiences on topics from the art of creative thinking in horror movies by David Lynch to basketball skills by Stephen Curry. This approach of involving famous people to education plays out big, and technology has made it possible to share their experiences at a global scale.
Top five MOOC providers by registered users
Online entrance examinations with AR/VR
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tools occupy so much room in our imagination for their entertainment purposes. Now it’s time to apply this breakthrough technology to education. One use case is to assess learners’ measurable skill sets in industries like medicine, construction, and drilling.
Assessing the practical skills of doctors, chemists, and drillers has never been safer or more realistic than it is with AR/VR tools. For example, medical schools can replace cadavers for skills practice by using precise VR models to examine future healthcare workers.
What do educators think?
Source: EDU-TECH, “How Technology is Shaping the Future of Education”
Artificial intelligence, automation, and NLP
AI assists in personalizing learning. It provides fast and relevant feedback to learners, in the appropriate form, and encourages self-paced learning. AI smart assistants can accelerate the checking and marking of students’ work, eliminate manual errors, and even predict the best pathway for a learner to acquire knowledge based on behavioral patterns shown during the course.
By receiving rapid feedback, students tend to improve much faster. In addition, AI can automatically plan curriculum to meet learners needs and adapt to their pace.
Chatbots position themselves as the future of online education, establishing a strong bond between learners and course providers by supporting learners the whole time they interact with content.
Learn how Intellias created an AI-based solution for language learning that uses the power of NLP to provide rapid feedback on progress
The benefit of technology in education
Knowledge drives change. And technology brings knowledge closer to learners. From design tools for creating engaging content to AI-based content personalization, technology is shaping the future of how people choose and acquire the knowledge they need. Technology in education encourages a community of learners to collaborate and get the most out of educational material.
By digitalizing education, the role of teachers is growing from assessor and supervisor to that of a mentor and go-to expert for advice and leadership. Technology eliminates the frustration of sitting in front of a blank paper without the right answer. It enables learners to use more knowledge from every accessible source with the aim to solve real problems, enrich skills, and reach their full potential.
Notable benefits technology brings to education
- Wider reach – One in three educators recognize video and multimedia content tailored via eLearning platforms or online conferencing as future trends in education that will help teachers reach a greater number of students who cannot attend lessons in a classroom.
- Lifelong learning – Technology-based continual learning for students and employees, both at the workplace and in their spare time, is a natural fit for professional development and new career steps.
- Individual and collaborative learning – Technology provides tools for students to collaborate, while blended learning increases the importance of self-learning.
- Learning new technology – IT skills have become crucial for employment as the adoption of digital technologies has more than doubled in the last decade. Students and employees need digital skills if not yet to survive, then at least to land a dream job and succeed in life.
- Wider range of opportunities – To land jobs with high demand, students pursue career paths that require tech skills. The skills required for these positions are often based on the experience of the tech-savvy experts who prefer the most recent approaches to sharing information. Take TEDx videos, for instance, which are a sort of educational environment built on video streaming and platformization.
Where do all these educational technologies come from?
Technology is the future of education, but not every university or company has its own digital learning solution. Some are buying commercial products, trusting brands and functionalities they believe will satisfy their needs. Others are developing their own custom solutions or adapting open-source eLearning tools following technology trends in education. Often, users integrate educational platforms with their systems to collaborate and create their own content based on internal data and specific needs. The success of technology in the future of education always starts from an EdTech or eLearning company that applies its technical expertise, leverages its engineering partnerships, and unites the education experience with tech innovations.
Education and eLearning platforms require expertise in cloud technologies and the ability to work with high volumes of data in variable multimedia formats. Accessing the power of AI in education, users will strive to automate routine tasks and use machine learning algorithms for analytics, evaluation, and personalization. Furthermore, the creation and delivery of video content and online conference rooms won’t be possible without telecommunications technology.
The reason why technology in education is booming now lies in the fundamental transformation within other industries and adoption of technology among users. For sure, not all students and employees will be ready to adopt technology right away, but the global tendency is clear. As remote work becomes popular and we all want to learn our entire lives but on our own conditions, technology will hold a competitive edge for educators, who are now becoming digital and tech-first by default.
Partnering with software development service providers, EdTech and eLearning companies can access the tech expertise and business approaches they need to deliver advanced technology that helps learners excel in their fields.