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Evolving EdTech Landscape For A Holistic Education Experience
As the hybrid classroom model takes centre stage and educators recalibrate their approach to learning, the coming year will see technology dominating the EdTech landscape, with a strong focus on social-emotional learning.
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The global education landscape remains in a state of constant technological transformation as the second year of pandemic comes to an end. With the ongoing shifts in the education sector, it is essential to build a strong foundation for students to ensure continuity in learning. The location-agnostic structure of online education has given students the accessibility to quality teaching and education, from anywhere at any time. Providing students with new and innovative ways to learn is crucial for better engagement and as a result, student’s continued academic success. As the hybrid classroom model takes centre stage and educators recalibrate their approach to learning, the coming year will see technology dominating the EdTech landscape, with a strong focus on social-emotional learning.
Seeing the shift from a content heavy space to a more engagement focused space, an emerging trend is students interacting with subjects across many interfaces including smartphones, computer screens, tablets and even VR headsets. This omnichannel approach to learning will give students the accessibility and availability to a wide range of technological tools which will help drive high engagement in students, resulting in better learning outcomes. Learners will also benefit from the flexibility to pick and choose their learning device. In order to implement the omnichannel approach successfully, educators will need to consider the persisting challenge of the disconnect between different learning tools and their integration across both physical and digital platforms. Moreover, this approach should also ensure consistency across platforms despite each device’s unique feature.
Bridging The Digital Divide
With broad availability of internet devices, and the mass migration to online education during the pandemic, education is finally reaching many traditionally underserved groups. EdTech has created a great opportunity for students to learn from anywhere. Students can access educational resources from any device that supports internet, allowing them to engage with lessons remotely. This kind of technological advancement makes learning accessible for all because students do not just need one equipment, such as desktop computers; they can use something most students always have with them, a cell phone. Although there is progress, there is a long way to go especially in India where the digital divide is still very prominent. The lack of access to the internet and mobile technology could increase education inequality in poor and rural areas. There is a huge scope to increase the penetration of education in these areas and provide accessible education solutions to all.
Safeguarding and Regulation
The internet, being a largely unregulated space, and growing prevalence of digital devices around students’ online lives raises the question of its impact on their mental health. As students’ online lives merge between various facets including education, social networking, entertainment and gaming on the internet, it is the need of the hour to have some level of safeguarding and regulation. The major task for EdTech platforms is to offer learning opportunities that mitigate the negative side-effects of children’s increased screen time and proactively manage their time in the digital world. Furthermore, there is a direct link between students’ academic performance and their mental health, which means there also needs to be an increased focus on social-emotional learning. These interventions can help improve students’ emotional intelligence while also reducing anxiety and helping them manage stress more effectively.
Focus on Visual Cues
As education is increasingly being highlighted more as an experience than a product, the idea of a classroom as the only setting where learning takes place, is fading into the past. A successful online learning approach must focus on real-world examples along with visual cues and avoid more abstract theories which are prevalent in conventional education environments. Newer trends such as tech-enabled immersive learning will be spotlight. According to a study by PwC, VR technology enables students to learn more materials faster, while increasing their confidence to apply the skills in real-life. VR learning can provide immersive and practical experiences to students which command their attention. VR can also help in assisting special needs students, resulting in improved communication skills for students with hearing impairment and even facilitate social interactions for autistic students. VR-enabled immersive learning will help students practice skills in a relatable environment, while also increasing engagement significantly.
Another way to stimulate student’s engagement is by utilising big data which is extremely valuable to understand student’s behaviour patterns and provide personalized support to students. This can be used to assess the understanding of students, identify gaps in learning and individual learning behaviours and styles, thus adapting learning programmes to promote positive learning outcomes.
With continuous innovation, technology has enabled students to learn from anywhere, anytime. Teachers are able to assess the performance of the students remotely to ensure that there is continuity in learning. Technology is a game changer for education, which has tailored the teaching process for better learning outcomes, and it will be at the forefront of change in the journey towards EdTech transformation.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.