EdTech, or Education Technology, has seen something of a boom as of late. A large part of the reason why has to do with the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 forced many institutions to close in order to keep up with health and safety protocols. Businesses, government offices, banks, many major institutions shut down and resorted to remote working as a solution to the lockdown.
Schools were not exempt from these lockdowns. In fact, schools and universities received the most attention and concern as to how they were going to respond and react in order to keep the school year going and provide the students with the necessary education.
Thus, more individuals became introduced to an e-learning platform, which is an integrated set of interactive educational services that provide trainers, learners, and others involved in education with the knowledge, tools, and resources to support and enhance educational delivery online. As a result, we saw the rise of one e-learning platform after another, as they began to step in to provide learning support and an alternative to in-class learning.
E-learning platforms are just one aspect of the EdTech industry which in its entirety, are the collective e-learning tools and resources for professionals to provide an education. An industry valued at $75 billion and growing. So what exactly are the top trends in this industry? And what other types of e-learning solutions and tools exist within it? This article will highlight the 5 top trends to look for in the EdTech industry.
#5- Peer-to-Peer Learning
Peer-to-peer learning is an educational practice, and method, where students interact and engage with each other to obtain educational goals. Students seek knowledge and information from other students who happen to have a more in-depth understanding of a certain topic or subject. The rise of peer-to-peer learning has coincided with the move to remote learning, and the rise of the EduTech industry. Peer-to-peer learning platforms have grown in prominence, and have provided the means for students to receive complimentary education besides their regular school hours.
On these platforms, students receive learning support that will enhance their knowledge and skills, while connecting and engaging with peers who share similar interests, experiences, and backgrounds. Students also become active learners, and not just receivers of information. They participate in the educating process, co-operating and engaging with each other, to learn a subject.
Peer-to-peer learning continues to grow in popularity and demand and is looking to become a staple in EduTech as one of the promising learning management platforms and e-learning solutions.
#4- Artificial Intelligence
Many have been put off by Artificial Intelligence because of the belief that it is a technology that has been talked about for a while but never came to fruition. However, these individuals can’t be more wrong because Artificial Intelligence is no longer a thing for the future, it is the technology of today. Artificial Intelligence is already being applied across a wide range of industries and technologies. Today, chat support, customer service, voice interaction, personal assistants, and more, are all components of Artificial Intelligence technology.
When it comes to EduTech, e-learning platforms, and education, Artificial Intelligence can provide the creation of complex automation systems that will have the ability to control an entire education process. This is one of the e-learning tools that will enhance, and make EduTech e-learning solutions easier to use.
#3- Data and Analytics
Data and analytics is perhaps the most exciting trend for the EduTech industry and every e-learning platform. The perk of having online education is access to real-time data and analytics. Any e-learning platform has the ability, through its e-learning tools, to track and provide data and analytics to the education providers and their students. This data can be an integral part of the learning support students receive through e-learning platforms. This way, students and teachers can get a better understanding of their strengths, skills, and capabilities.
E-learning platforms can also produce a large amount of data about student behavior, interests, engagement with different content, etc. This data can then be analyzed to gather valuable knowledge and insight which will improve the whole educational process or certain aspects of it. We already see such an application with the peer-to-peer learning platform Peer Square. Peer Square Students aims to be an EduTech industry changer by offering teachers, and schools insight into their student learning through aggregated data reports.
Another goal of the EduTech industry and e-learning platforms is to make the education process fun. Through gamification of learning, students get educated through the simple and easy process of playing to learn. Gamification not only diminishes the fear of failure, but it also enhances the student’s analytical skills, while developing additional ones. There are other benefits of gamification in the online classroom. However, what’s most important is that gamification is an essential e-learning tool that further complements and enhances the learning process, much like peer-to-peer learning does. It is the type of learning support that provides a different approach to education, with effective results.
#1- Immersive Learning and Virtual Reality
Immersive learning with Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is considered a rising technology in education. They are dedicated to enhancing education, making it more engaging by changing the role of the student. The student goes from being a passive observer to an active participant, who interacts with the learning environment, and goes as far as becoming a part of it.
Virtual reality is a technology common amongst many industries. Most notably, it has dominated the gaming industry. So there is no reason why virtual reality can not be implemented in the education sector, especially given the many positives it has as learning support for students.
The Role of EduTech
To sum things up, EduTech has a prominent role in education and e-learning solutions. The EduTech industry is massive with an ecosystem of exciting technologies and projects, all aimed at improving education, and e-learning platforms. Trends like Artificial Intelligence, data, and analytics are all essential tools implemented across several industries today.
This is why it’s vital that education catches up, and the way to do that is through EduTech. Even peer-to-peer learning and its role in complementing education through added learning support are vital for the growth of a student's skill set and social network. The role of EduTech is huge and the future promising, as more and more schools and institutions begin to tap into Education Technology.