“Education is the key that unlocks the golden door to freedom.” – George Washington Carver
The education industry is among the largest and most important sectors globally, but it has been making slow progress towards digitalization and innovative learning methods for years.
However, as a result of the health crisis, this industry underwent a digital revolution. Startups began creating new online learning platforms and tools to keep children engaged in learning.
Indeed, they redefined norms in education using artificial intelligence, machine learning, digitalization, and automation, thus introducing more efficient and engaging education delivery channels.
Without a doubt, the EdTech startup scene has witnessed significant growth and is filled with apps and various online tools. Here is how EdTech startups are transforming the future of education.
What is EdTech?
EdTech is a unique fusion of education and technology. This combination is a major game-changer considering that the education industry is one of the most traditional sectors across the world.
Today, classrooms have become virtual as a result of technological advancements. There is the introduction of IT tools to enhance the student learning experience as well as open new opportunities for the teachers.
Venture funding for EdTech has reached billions of dollars, and the figure is expected to rise going forward. Most of these EdTech funding deals were done in the US, with giant players like Materclass and Skillshare taking the lead.
Therefore the boring 20th-century lectures are being transformed by major EdTech companies into fun-filled, vibrant, and interactive classroom experiences. Indeed the boring approach consisting of the redundant, monotonous pen-paper method is being replaced by a blend of virtual realities.
What is the future of EdTech?
The education system has stagnated for decades. However, technology has revolutionized education, and it’s believed that digital content will occupy the place of textbooks as well as change the brick-and-mortar classroom setup.
Educational technologies have facilitated changes such as virtual reality (VR), more personalized learning opportunities, and gamification.
It’s expected that the industry will evolve and add more technology-enabled practices like robotic kits to teach learners coding, the use of micro-tutoring or crowdsourced tutoring, and digital testing.
The following are nine things to expect in the future.
Remote, Self-paced Learning: ELearning tools that facilitate learning at any place and time. Such technology will flip classrooms in such a way that the theoretical part of learning will be done outside the classroom while the practical part will be taught interactively in a face-to-face setup.
Individualized Learning: The technology will provide study tools adapted to student’s capabilities. Therefore the above-average students will have harder tasks and questions while below average will be allowed to practice more and achieve a certain level.
Free Choice: Students will be allowed to use tools that are best suited for their learning process. For instance, they can have different devices, programs, and techniques according to their own preferences. This change will be characterized by terminologies such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), flipped classroom, and blended learning.
Field Experience: The curricula will create room for certain skills that need face-to-face interaction and human knowledge due to the availability of technology that facilitates more efficiency in specific domains. Therefore learning institutions will offer students opportunities to obtain real-world skills that match their future careers. Actually, the curricula will provide students with more room for mentoring projects, fulfill internships and collaboration projects.
Attention-grabbing lessons: In the traditional classroom setup, students sit the entire day in class. Half of them are listening while the other number is dreaming. Further, today’s students experience a lot of distraction from an infinite number of gadgets and activities all vying for their attention. However, crafting lesson plans that ate educational and gripping can boost their classroom participation. EdTech is the answer because it allows students to interact with others across the globe using video as well as submit their assignments as podcasts, videos, or better still, gamifying problem-solving.
Project-Based Learning: Covid-19 contributed to the rapid growth of the freelance economy. EdTech is introducing today’s students to project-based learning and working. In other words, learners are being taught how to apply their skills in various situations. High school students are getting acquitted to project-based learning that trains collaborative, organizational, and time management skills. Although this is done at the basic level, students will need these skills in their further academic careers.
Mentorship: It’s expected that students will have more independence in their learning process as we advance, and mentorship will be fundamental to their success. Therefore, teachers will be a vital element as students navigate through the jungle of information. Also, even if education becomes remote, the learners’ academic performance will depend on the educational institution and their teacher.
Courseware Platforms to Access Students: The traditional measurement of students’ competencies using Q&A will change because learners cram material for exam purposes and forget days after the test. However, giving them projects to work on can help them apply their knowledge in the field while still their factual knowledge can be gauged during the learning process.
Student Involvement: Learners will take ownership of their education as they become more involved in formulating their curricula. Actually, bringing youngsters and professionals together is vital in maintaining a contemporary, up-to-date as well as helpful curriculum. An all-embracing study program must have students’ input about the courses’ content and availability.
Data Analysis: It is forecasted that computers will replace mathematics in the future. They will perform tasks such as statistical analysis, data analysis, as well as predict future trends.
How is EdTech Transforming the Classroom?
EdTech is set to grow according to education and learning sector experts because businesses leverage technology to make education accessible to everyone, create highly personalized learning experiences as well as scale the sector.
In traditional classroom education, average students set the pace of learning. As a result, some students struggle to catch up, are bored and disinterested.
On the contrary, EdTech eliminates such drawbacks and is able to go where traditional education can’t. This is achieved through interactive tools, personalized classes, and engaging multimedia.
The following are the reasons why educational technology is superior to conventional learning.
Offers 24/7 Learning Access: EdTech stepped in to rescue traditional classroom education when the Covid-19 pandemic started. With the help of IoT and technology devices, learners can access learning material without stepping into a classroom. As a result, students can continue learning each day at their convenience and pace.
Creates Personalized Experiences: Education technology is helping teachers build a tailored learning program according to students’ skills, strengths, and interests. Definitely, tutors can’t create a personalized experience in traditional classroom teaching.
Streamlines Education: Edtech applications helps to streamline communication between parents, students, and teachers. ParentSquare is an excellent school-to-home communication application that helps teachers, school administrators, and support staff reminds students about their assignments and exams. The aim of these reminders is to help them prepare, register and submit. Also, the platform enhances student engagement, parental involvement and increases academic achievement.
Automated Grading: The use of AI and machine learning to analyze, assess and grade students frees up hours for teachers. This helps them use that extra free time with both struggling and gifted students to improve their performances.
Paperless Classrooms: There is no need for teachers and students to spend time on the copy machine because assignments and exams are submitted and done online. Therefore, teachers have less worry about the security of thousands of homework files. It also lowers the printing budgets and promotes greener policies in the education industry.
What are the EdTech Trends to Look Out for Going Forward?
Interactive Learning: Educational institutions can now take learning to another level because of the availability of the right digital tools. In view of that, teachers are able to create a one-of-a-kind interactive experience. Learners can develop real-life skills through instruction-based learning, virtual reality, gamification, and simulation programs. These include skills such as decision-making, analytical thinking, and problem-solving. Further, virtual reality technologies make learning more memorable, thus enhancing students’ psychomotor and cognitive skills. It’s expected that teachers and support staff will implement interactive learning and use it to gauge learners’ overall aptitude. This will allow them to evaluate their performance fairly in order to customize and personalize their training programs.
Assessments via AI: The traditional teaching model gives learners test scores and attendance percentages. However, EdTech gives them reading efficiency, the amount of time taken in analyzing questions and submitting an answer as well as how fast they grasp a concept. This is achieved through the use of AI. Giving a learner their progress report and highlighting where they should improve makes EdTech apps the future of education.
Students Allowed to Pursue their Passions Online: Student’s attention is occupied by academia and other skills such as art, music, and acting. EdTech applications are designed to help learners pursue their passions online. For instance, CreatorUp educates users on how they create and market their content online, thus enabling them to build a career in the entertainment industry.
Assistive Technology: There are students with some disabilities, but EdTech provides new technologies to empower them. That means the digitalization of education will give learners with disabilities more equal footing with their peers. Today, students can use tablets and computers with modified keyboards with larger cursors or buttons and manipulate with their feet, mouth, or other capabilities. Additionally, speech-to-text technology is a reliable alternative that helps learners with disabilities and can’t operate any kind of manual input device. Students with dyslexia have access to easy-to-read fonts thanks to technology.
Connectivity: Prior to the introduction of email and the internet, students sent letters to their pen pals across the world and waited for months to hear back from them. However, due to technology, they can now connect with them using video conferencing tools, social media sites, or send them emails. This is beneficial because it helps students learn about other people’s ideas and culture before joining the corporate world. For instance, today’s and future students can see volcano eruptions that they learn in the classroom in real-time and as it is erupting using TED Talks, YouTube, and other online resources. Such resources enhance students’ understanding of such topics.
What are the EdTech Startups Transforming Teaching and Learning Globally?
The Canadian EdTech startup provides an AI recruitment platform to help high school students further their education abroad.
Therefore, international high school students can get scholarship guidance on this platform as well as apply for admission in any of the 1,500 educational institutions globally. Further, ApplyBoard helps learners align their interests with suitable courses that can enhance their cognitive abilities.
As a result, two million-plus students have used this platform to fulfill their education goals overseas.
The Indian EdTech startup was founded in 2012 to offer interactive online learning programs. The platform serves students of different age groups and has adopted a personalized approach.
Further, Byju’s offers a personalized approach and has introduced preparatory courses like JEE and IAS aspirants. This online platform has 50 million students and recently added Toppr, Epic, and Grade to its portfolio.
Also, the platform offers basic content for free, but students can still purchase advanced course content.
The American startup was established in 2012 to offer online courses to students and working professionals. More than 200 universities are working with Coursera to bridge the gap between traditional education systems and modern workplaces.
Indeed the startup has carved a niche in the EdTech market by offering industry-focused courses in collaboration with Imperial College of London, University of Michigan, Yale, and more. Over 70 million students are learning through Coursera.
The platform has adapted a B2B and B2C model, and so it sells online courses to students and working professionals to make money.
4. Immersive VR Education
This is an Irish EdTech company leveraging the virtual realities benefits to provide learners with an interactive learning experience. This transformative journey started in 2014, and since then, the startup has been collaborating with different educational institutions to offer VR-based learning.
The platform focuses on arbitrary concepts as opposed to obsolete educational approaches. So Immersive is an engaged VR platform that backs VR and non-VR devices, and some of its VR Headsets that support its educational application are Pico, Vive, and Oculus.
Further, Immersive VR Education has a professional course category, business organization, and corporate training.
The American EdTech startup was launched in 20133 and is committed to transforming the educational system. The platform has a unique content tool that helps teachers search for relevant articles that meet students’ needs.
Newsela assesses the students’ ability and then tailor-makes its course content based on their needs. Also, learners can access interactive course content in English and Spanish covering a wide range of domains like history, sports, and career tips. Approximately 11 million learners are enrolled in Newsela.
Students will get valuable content at no cost in the initial stages, but they access advanced course content on a paid subscription.
6. Panorama Education
This is an American SaaS platform offering virtual dashboards dedicated to monitoring students’ success. The platform was established in 2013 to provide a unique blend of education and technology.
Further, the dashboards offer real-time information, reducing teachers’ workload and following evidence-based strategies when supporting students.
Also, the platform follows the SaaS business model, so it gives learners its software upon the payment of the licensing fees, which varies across different districts in the US.
Panorama Education has study material that gives students a deeper understanding of emotional and social learning. As a result, over 12 million students globally have used this resource tool in their studies.
The UK-based EdTech startup runs an online digital library full of collections of school textbooks and non-fiction books. Therefore, learners can access the latest eBooks with easy methodologies, thus helping them understand complex concepts.
The platforms three million-plus textbooks are available on android and iOS applications and are from diverse domains such as life sciences, history, art, computer science, architecture, and more.
What is the Best Online Learning Platforms?
Covid-119 containment measures have accelerated online learning via digital course platforms. As a result, the online course and eLearning market is expected to hit $325 billion by the end of 2025.
Because of that the number of online course platform have grown and are offering students custom, professional learning experience.
Here are the best online learning platforms.
Thinkific: This platform sells affordable online courses. The students’ dashboard is customizable and has text, videos, and downloadable files.
Learnworlds: The site offers learners more interactive eLearning content with gamification, quizzes, interactive videos, downloadable attachments, eBooks, and more.
Kajabi: The online learning platform has more in-built tools and features to support both tutors and students.
Teachable: Students can access unlimited courses, coaching services, and tutors on this platform. They can also have live Zoom courses and graded courses.
LearnDash: The online learning platform has Focus Mode that blocks all distractions, thus allowing learners to run through a course quietly.
What are the Advantages of EdTech?
- Advanced technologies are improving students’ learning abilities. For instance, learners can now schedule their own classes in order to learn at the right pace. Learning through a project-based approach can help to develop students’ analytical skills.
- Learn by Fun; the technology has made it possible to switch from a textbook-based approach to a virtual reality (VR) education that is a reflection of real-life skills. Actually, VR-based learning is different because it’s interactive and enhances student learning abilities.
- Online learning environments focus on time management, thus teaching students the importance of time-based learning.
- The influx of technology is promoting collaboration and inclusivity. For instance, the use of cloud-enabled tools loaded with online lessons and learning games help children to solve problems together. They can also upload their homework and converse with their classmates digitally.
For many decades, the education industry has shaped people’s success. However, EdTech has taken over in this modern era to transform the traditional classroom setup through the use of new approaches to learning and teaching.
Therefore EdTech startups are leading the future of education using proactive approaches.
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