How children learn today is not the same as their parents did. Today, kids are growing up in a world that is driven by technology. The way educators teach, adopt different methodologies, and conduct assessments have undergone a massive change. Old-fashioned classrooms equipped with books and blackboards are long gone. New teaching techniques such as internet research, experience-based education, virtual learning, and live assessments are being introduced to meet the ever-evolving educational needs. This transformation has led to a new era: EdTech. Keep reading to find out how the world of education is changing for the better and how it can benefit you. Let’s get started.
What is EdTech?
According to Investopedia, EdTech is an experience designed specially to enhance teacher-led learning in classrooms and improve students’ outcomes. As of now, this technology is in the early stages of development, but the way it is growing, it shows promise as a method of customizing the curriculum for a student’s ability level. This is done by introducing and reinforcing new content at a pace the student can handle. By now, you must have guessed that EdTech is a unique combination of “education” and “technology.”
Evolution of the EdTech Industry
When one reads the word ‘EdTech’, it seems simple- an introduction of technology in education. But, it is much more than just using smart boards in classrooms. Over the last decade, this industry has evolved a lot. From smart classrooms to apps that can help you learn pretty much anything, EdTech solutions have come a long way. Whether you want to learn a foreign language or even immerse yourself into orbit, there are so many solutions available today; you will be spoilt for choice!
How the Industry Has Grown over the Years
This industry is proliferating. In 2017, this domain has witnessed a whopping of $9 billion in investments across the globe. This was a 30% leap as compared to 2016. The US, China, and India are the top 3 countries that have witnessed the rapid growth of this industry. Considering the way the Americans, Chinese, and Indians are spending on education, 2020 is set to be a record-breaking year for the EdTech industry. Here are a few statistics that will help you understand the importance of this domain, how it has evolved over the years, and what’s in store for the future.
- The education market is one of the largest in the world today. More than $5 trillion is spent each year globally on primary, secondary, and corporate learning.
- EdSurge Research claims that investments in this industry in the US has gone up by five times from 2010-2015.
- Technavio states that the EdTech market in North America will grow, with a 9% CAGR forecast through 2019.
- The educational apps market in the US was valued at $2.5 billion in 2016. (Source: Australian Trade and Investment Commission)
- The US market is expected to reach $43 billion by 2019 from $33 billion in 2016.
EdTech Investment Company types
The statistics above prove that this is one of the most fast-growing sectors. And, this is mainly due to the type and number of companies investing in it. EdTech has now become more than just smartboards in a classroom or an LMS for teachers. The following pointers will help you understand which companies are investing billions in this sector and how they are trying to transform it.
As technology has become ubiquitous and affordable, immersive tech is easily accessible to educators and companies. By investing in this tech, companies want to use AR, VR, and MR to enhance education. Here’s an example of VR being used in a classroom in Toronto:
Coding and Technology
Gone are the days when primary education was limited to basic mathematics and science. These days companies want to introduce children to coding in their elementary years. BomberBot is one such digital learning tool that helps children learn how to code, with other digital skills such as testing, algorithmic thinking, and spatial reasoning. With this tool, children do not require any programming skills— teachers can use the ready-made lesson plans to work with the BomberBot game with online and offline activities.
This is, by far, the most significant trends in educational technology that aims to turn the learning process more fun and engaging. Companies investing in this technology want to add game elements and bring video game designs into the learning process. This EdTech trend is likely to improve students’ concentration levels. A few companies which are taking gamification to the next level are Trinket, GameDesk, Duolingo, BrainScape, and CK-12.
The EdTech industry isn’t just focusing on empowering children with relevant knowledge but also shaping their personalities. Social-emotional learning is one such initiative that is garnering attention from several educators. This is because technology might help us in myriad ways, but it might not be the same for all the kids. Are you wondering how? Well, a 2018 Pew Research Center survey of kids aged 13-17 found that 7 in 10 teens think that their peers are suffering from anxiety and depression. The same study states that 6 in 10 kids feel pressure to get good grades, while 3 out of every 10 feel pressure to look good and fit in socially. Also, there are dozens of studies that claim students today are distracted, and they’re suffering from mental health issues more than ever before.
To address these issues, the education community is collaborating with licensed therapists and techpreneurs to help students who are struggling. Mightifier is one such solution that encourages positive feedback among classmates and delivers real-time data to teachers about students (& classrooms) well-being.
Early Childhood Learning
A decade ago, childhood learning was all about alphabets and numbers. There were barely any educational institutes interested in teaching kids about eco-living- basically, encouraging habits that are healthy and sustainable. GroPlay, a creative studio, is all set to change the way toddlers learn. This studio makes various children’s apps about health, social and sustainability issues in an inspiring and fun way. Every game is designed to give kids and their parents a foundation about eco-living which will help create a more sustainable future.
From immersive learning to teaching sustainability through apps, companies are investing in diverse initiatives in this domain. As we are going through a digital transformation, it is no surprise that there will be ten other technologies added to this list next year. Speaking of the future, let’s look at what we can expect from EdTech companies in 2020.
Top Three EdTech Trends for 2020
As the name suggests, this is where elements from the real and virtual worlds are combined to produce new environments and visualizations- in this reality, physical and digital objects co-exist simultaneously. Think about Pokémon GO. Here, users walk around the real world to find virtual Pokémon characters on the game map. This game is a perfect example of a mixed reality. Similar to this, educators are expected to create experiences for students that can help them access entirely inaccessible destinations. This can be as simple as an art gallery or even Mount Everest.
Customized Learning Experiences
Traditionally, students had to learn from textbooks only. Very few schools were open to allowing children to study the way they want to. This would not be the same anymore. Schools will hopefully develop customized learning experiences for students that they are able to determine how they’d personally like to express their learning from each lesson. This can be as simple as a book report, or even interpretive dance. New EdTech companies can make this possible through interactive games, modeling tools, video production, etc.
Think about how you learned a particular topic in your school; did you read it, see it, or watch it? Chances are you learned most of what you know today through reading alone. Unfortunately, not every child around the globe can read or even afford to go to such schools. Today, technology has made information and knowledge accessible, regardless of how well someone can read it. For instance, a child with dyslexia may live in a rural area that provides little support for learning differences. However, video conferencing makes it easier for even the most remote students to get the specialized learning assistance they need.
Top Eight Reasons to Embrace EdTech
Till now, we’re confident that you have a fair idea of how this industry has grown, and it will change in the future. But, does adopting technology in the classroom mean human teachers will soon have to start looking for other career options? We do not think so. The EdTech industry isn’t built to abolish the conventional teaching system, but to improve it. Here are a few reasons that explain in detail why it is about time we all accept the way education will transform a decade from now.
Become digital literate
In the 21st century, digital literacy is a fundamental skill for every student. This is because almost every job today and in the coming years will need the internet. By bringing in EdTech tools to the classroom, teachers can help students improve their digital literacy.
Automated grading system
Yes, that’s right! We have come past the days when teachers would carry a bundle of answer sheets home and check them over the weekend. Thanks to the automated grading system, educators will be able to down on this time, making measuring student progress simple.
Going paperless is one of the most effective ways for schools to save money and reduce their carbon footprint. By creating a syllabus which is available online and utilizing technology, teachers can cut back on the number of copies they make and save paper.
Did you know that visualization or mental imagery can accelerate learning and improve the performance of all sorts of skills? But, some people lack a mind’s eye altogether and find it impossible to conjure up such visual images – which affects their educational performance negatively. For such students, it is easier to understand concepts when they watch it or feel it. And, this is only possible through mixed reality.
Thanks to technology, students will soon be able to get the Ivy League experience, whenever wherever. This is because the online resources are pretty much limitless, so no matter what you want to learn, you will find materials for it anytime and anywhere.
Research, and publish
Initially, when students were asked to research a particular topic, all they could use were books available in the library- which is limited. Also, whatever data they collected was converted into a presentation to be viewed only by the teachers. However, with the digital transformation, students will be able to learn and research anything from anywhere. Along with this, they will be able to share and publish their valuable insights for everyone to view.
It is no surprise that kids love technology. Thanks to the different EdTech tools, they can now spend their time not only playing games but also learning. By incorporating tech into lessons, schools can get their students excited about learning, boost engagement without doing much work.
Customized learning experience
With EdTech, teachers can create a personalized syllabus for every student. This will help students to work on something different on their devices, and strengthen their areas of weakness.
These are just a few of the prominent benefits of this rapidly evolving industry. As EdTech companies continue to come up with new and better solutions, this list is bound to grow. If you have any other benefits, feel free to send us an email.
We hope this blog has helped you get a brief understanding of:
- What is EdTech?
- How the industry has evolved over the years
- EdTech Investment Company types
- Three EdTech Trends for 2020
- Eight Reasons to Embrace EdTech
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