With the prevalence of technology in this digital age, the subject of disruption follows. Experts have predicted jobs being replaced by robots in this age of automation. Fortunately for the education industry, teachers are at a lower risk of being replaced by automation due to the highly interpersonal nature of the job. Still, it is inevitable for technology to descend upon the classrooms of today.
What exactly is EdTech and what is its purpose?
The definition of EdTech is multi-faceted, and it goes beyond the digitalisation of print. It is an architectural building of foundational elements which include hardware, software and educational theories; with the objective of harnessing the extensive reach of the internet whilst improving the quality of education. EdTech serves as a solution to daily challenges that educators face and the increasing need to stay relevant in today’s learning environment. The solution aims to empower teachers, enable efficiency and deliver effective lesson outcomes. And for students, learning becomes an experience that extends beyond the classroom.
This article will discuss 4 upcoming trends in the EdTech revolution.
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As digital literacy rate increases among the millennials, educators are increasingly compelled to integrate ICT into the curriculum. With the support of an existing digital infrastructure and teachers’ competencies in utilising digital tools, schools can further enhance the learning process through a digital curriculum. Digital curriculum is a long-term investment with benefits such as cost saving, sustainability and efficiency. An effective learning management system (LMS) comes with digital tools that could relieve teachers from administrative duties as well as provide students with opportunities to access materials for self-directed learning, form collaboration groups and equip each student with a comprehensive digital skillset which prepares them for the ever-changing workforce landscape.
5G and Internet of Thing (IoT)
With the next generation of connectivity, the 5G network holds great promises from lightning speed connection to a more reliable connection between devices. Take the concept of self-driven cars in a 5G connectivity city for example, driverless cars will become smarter; increase the ability to communicate seamlessly with other counterparts, read traffic data and avoid delays, navigate best routes and merge lanes, prevent accidents and increase man hours. All this made possible thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), which can be defined as a system of interrelated devices each with a unique identifier, communicating with each other through a network without any form of human interaction.
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So, how exactly would 5G network and IoT be applicable in the education context? Today, one of the key challenges in a classroom is to capture students’ attention for a prolonged period. And while a teacher’s lesson sometimes revolves around resolving technical issues, long waiting/loading time could leave students disinterested. With the capabilities of the 5G network, online digital resources can be presented in a matter of seconds. On top of that, the network can remove from a teacher’s plate, other administrative tasks such as taking attendance, technical automated marking and the giving and receiving of feedback, etc.
With XR technology (Extended Reality), one could digitalize field trips into virtual worlds where possibilities are endless. The accessibility to restricted locations no longer becomes an issue as complicating concepts are simplified through a practical approach using XR technology. This interactive form of learning would further stimulate the curiosity and create an immersive learning experience for students.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is often associated with a mental image of a robotic-like character and the definition of AI does not stray far from that misconception. In fact, the concept of AI is simply defined as the process of machines learning to mimic human intelligence and perform complex tasks using algorithms. Another key challenge an educator of today faces is the understanding of the various learning capacities and capabilities. The role of a teacher is to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses in specific subjects and follow up with the application of targeted learning.
As the curriculum is often designed as a one-size-fits-all one, this linear approach to learning displaces slower learners’ from fully mastering topics and concepts, hence building a weak foundation as they progress to more difficult topics. An LMS equipped with AI machine learning capabilities serves as a solution to eradicate such problems through the application of adaptive learning and predictive analysis from the collected data. This data-driven process serves to provide more informative insights on a specific area of focus for individual students and goes beyond providing customised learning packages in a more time-efficient manner. With an Al virtual tutor, students will be able to consult the “tutor” regarding difficulties faced in subjects outside of classroom hours, at the comfort of their own homes.
It is clear, therefore, that educational practitioners need to stay relevant, with the EdTech industry constantly evolving with new innovative developments, to produce a high-quality attention-sustaining education to better equip the younger generation for their tomorrow.
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