Education Technology 101

education technology

Welcome to The EduTech Post! We are here to offer insights about education technology developments around the globe for educators and learners, and EdTech developers and investors.

Education technology aims at improving access to learning resources and boosting performance of learners. Major e-learning sectors are:

  • Preschool
  • K-12
  • Higher education
  • Professional
  • Special needs

The speed of development of technology and the appetite of the learners and educators for digitizing education is rapidly rising. As per Markets and Markets, the Smart education and learning market is expected to grow to $586.04 billion by the year 2021. Sounds great for all the stakeholders!

To feed that appetite, many old and new companies are developing a variety of content, platforms, and devices. Investors also recognize the opportunity, and are on the move with the groove. Many revolutionary EdTech start-ups like lynda.com have created success stories in the industry by crossing $1 billion mark in their acquisitions.

Educators, world over, are also increasingly accepting and supporting education technologies as mediums of disseminating lessons.

Digital content available for teachers and students:

  • Videos: (2D, 3D mono, 3D stereo, interactive): Retention of visuals in the brain is very high, as their processing speed is 60,000 times that of text. Therefore, videos improve learners’ performance and help boost attendance. Videos use comprehensive visuals to better render information which is difficult to explain verbally or through graphics.

E-learning videos are available in formats like documentary, 2D, 3D mono, 3D stereoscopic, and interactive. Subscription-based platforms like Sterling Pixels (3D), Click View (3D), BrainPoP (2D) and Byju’s (live), and free platforms like Khan Academy (2D) offer curriculum-related videos for classroom and flipped learning.

  • Audio files (podcasts, audiobooks): Audio books and podcasts by platforms like Learn Out Loud are getting very popular among learners. They are primarily used for flipped learning.
  • E-books: E-books are no more just digital text books. Enhanced and smart books make e-books interactive and responsive. Smart books by McGraw Hill education modulate the content as per students’ responses to formative assessments embedded in the books.
  • Images (infographics, mind maps, diagrams, pictures)Infographics and mind maps are examples of image-based learning resources. They are effective in learning facts, concepts and processes. As mentioned earlier, visuals are impactful and are favoured for teaching. elearninginfographics.com and learningfundamentals.com are two of the many platforms that disseminate information through graphics.
  • Interactives: Mozaweb and PhET offer interactive content for the K-12 segment. Simulations and interactive modules enable hands-on learning, and are becoming increasingly popular among teachers.
  • E-assessments: E-assessments are available in both formative and summative forms. Electronic formative assessments are often combined with learning resources and content; as per the responses of the students, resources and content is suggested to the students to learn from.
  • Analytics: For educators, parents and developers, analytics based on students’ assessments and learning behaviour are of high value. There are LMSs and other software in the market that offer such insight to stakeholders.

Platforms used to deliver e-content:

  • Social networking sites: Social websites, blogs and other such collaborative platforms allow easy sharing of information. Students can use these websites to find what they are looking to study. They can also ask questions via, posts, comments, and chat. Most of the students with access to the internet use these sites.
  • E-commerce websites: These are subscription or one-time sale websites. They offer a variety of education technology resources, e.g. BrainPop and Coursera.
  • Learning management systems (LMSs): LMSs help manage content and its assignment and organization. They are expected to have a large share in the education technology market by 2021. (M&M) As LMSs are becoming more and more flexible, they allow teachers to create or curate lessons as per the requirement of the curriculum.
  • Classroom Management systems (CMSs): These help deliver content and assessments to learners and to record, monitor and analyze their classroom behavior. CMSs also help manage class-admin tasks like taking attendance and creating lesson plans.
  • Learning content management systems: They help curate and organize e-learning content as per the curriculum.
  • Mobile APPS: Educational android and iOS Apps make learning accessible and engaging. Google play curates various educational android Apps that help gain knowledge, learn coding, prepare for exams, etc.
  • Virtual classrooms
  • E-learning authoring tools: These are a wonderful way to create content. They are available in LMSs or independently to create books, assignments and lessons as per one’s choice. This has revolutionized the publishing market.

Devices used:

Infrastructure, simple or complex, is required for a tech-based education environment. Besides internet connectivity, wi-fi, satellite boxes or offline disks and drives, one needs a device to run the content and software on:

  • Computers: Widely-used.
  • Projectors: Apt for classroom environment.
  • Televisions: Work for both home and classroom learning.
  • Digital whiteboards: Work like a big computer screen.
  • Web-cams: Required for virtual classrooms and conferences.
  • Interactive devices: Learners and instructors prefer interactive content over passive content. Therefore, interactive devices will drive the smart education and learning market in the near future. The main interactive devices include:
    • Interactive whiteboards
    • Interactive displays – projectors and computers
    • Smart phones, tablets and Kindle
  • VR devices: VR is creating a revolution. It takes a learner inside a reality or learning environment that is sometimes not easy to travel to, e.g. a desert, space, a restricted castle, various tourist destinations and faraway museums. Many popular VR headsets, as cheap as Google (cardboard), and as advanced as Samsung, Oculus and HTC are easily available.

For educators and learners, already there is much education technology in the market that can be used optimally for effective learning, and much more is being developed. We will bring you all that information through this platform.

Stay tuned for news, reviews, and user guides on EduTech products, software and services!

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