ITunesU, Byju's, KhanAcademy, CrashCourse, we have heard it all. There was a generation that grew up with the new-found magic of internet and started visiting online resources leaving behind the tomes in the libraries. Next came the inclusion of audio visual dimensions in teaching to keep up the student interests and also supplementing the ways of teaching.
It was not long before that mobiles penetrated lives and accessed world class content and resources, it was only a tap away; the new way of getting things done at schools, and universities.
And then it happens again. Putting technology to use for a complete makeover of education is discussed like never before; finding a purpose in each of the modern-day approaches to shape up a comprehensive EdTech industry and the apps that drive it. Digitized education becomes the new normal in learning.
The EdTech ecosystem
The education industry is easily one of the fastest developing sectors across the world, passionately driving both learning and teaching with next-gen technologies. It comes as no surprise that technology pioneers are going full throttle in the emerging EdTech market. Estimates say that EdTech market may cross $250 billion by the end of current decade. Startups in education make the most of these opportunities.
Mobile platforms make it feasible for students to adopt all new ways of learning, especially with smartphones and wearables becoming their second skin. A different kind of digital transformation is in the offing through the very savvy mobile apps.
The millennial user experiences focused on personalization make no exception for education, disrupting the very methods of teaching. Pushing educators to open their eyes to completely different methodologies of teaching, instructors turn into mentors with supplemented knowledge.
The EdTech experiences
Learning experiences as well as teaching experiences undergo a metamorphosis powered by practical usage of trending tech rolled out through apps. Besides the ever-growing list of interesting concepts; latest on the block like the Google Lens announced at the i/o 2017 for visual searches can easily be predicted to seep in into mobile apps to supplement education on the go!
Interactive and immersive experiences – Indulging and engaging
Virtual Reality – getting the right feel of the subject
As virtual reality gains a foothold with big names getting into serious business with both content and devices to support VR, EdTech grabs the opportunity by rolling out immersive apps and software to discuss topics using VR to get a feel of the real things.
Studies indicate that students exposed to virtual reality based learning have higher understanding and retaining of concepts than students learning with traditional techniques. Live interactions facilitated by virtual reality with three-dimensional modelling are an efficient means for immersive learning experiences delivered through apps in sync with the VR headsets.
Augmented Reality – supplementing the basics
AR builds on static content to transform the book based classrooms into interactive and engaging scenarios with augmentation from videos, animations and interesting tips. The specialized AR based mobile apps for education enhance the learning experiences with highly improved rates of engagement.
Blending in Gamification - adding the fun quotient in learning and teaching
Gaming comes naturally to students, irrespective of age. EdTech cashes in!
Gamification introduces virtual competitions, points to be scored for quizzes, rewards and badges for excelling at courses, as well as live comparisons into apps. Gamification becomes the way of doing things in education apps, becoming a popular approach not only for students but also for schools and universities with an aim to drawing out better performances. Educators identify this as one of the most practical methods of driving motivation levels of students.
Intuitive experiences for learningand teaching
Analytics and Business Intelligence – real time insights for better performances
Business Intelligence and Analytics combined with technologies like Big Data and proximity based solutions like beacons revolutionize the education industry.
Mobile apps and technology driven learning systems have the capabilities to analyze, slice and dice the data captured based on student performances for increased visibilities and continuous progress monitoring.
Automated suggestions for areas needing supplementing are generated to value-add to a tutor’s plans. Dashboards and real-time progress reports as well as predictions keep parents in continuous sync with the ongoings.
Cognitive learning and Artificial Intelligence – supplementing acumen
As technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing and Deep learning all become mainstream, EdTech finds conducive methods to exploit these as well. Emerging trends like chatbots become a part of the apps ecosystem and offer automated directions for students to keep changing the pattern of studies.
Artificial Intelligence plays a key role in shaping up cognitive learning systems, as well as designing intelligent tutoring systems and driving smart content focusing on each individual. AI integrated apps respond proactively to student progress and tailor curriculum suggestions based on student preferences and learning capabilities detected, supplementing the role of educators themselves.
Collaboration and distribution in disruptive ways
Collaboration apps – let the ideas flow
Constantly connected, the new age student identifies easily with apps offering collaboration with a peer group across the world. Skype, Google Hangouts, OneDrive, Google Drive, all to beyond their very businesslike image and become indispensable tools for peer communication within student and educator communities.
Social media apps allow students and their mentors to remain seamlessly in touch with one another in a global collaborative space. Information dissemination and classroom updates are easy to maintain and distribute with these new methodologies
Blockchain technology – secure distribution and sharing
Colleges and universities explore the Cloud based blockchains in education to distribute and maintain certificates, merit badges and credits all through apps as acceptable proofs rather than relying on paper verifications. Assessment scores and other digital assets on the decentralized blockchains for further distribution, future review or analysis emerge as practical way of doing things. Going one step further, distribution of learning content too becomes practical and safe.
What the numbers say
Numbers are indicative of the times that have already arrived. Mobile apps for EdTech bring in a complete change in the approaches to learning, teaching and managing institutes.
Most students today carry smartphones and most believe that the use of a mobile device is essential for their education.
A growing number of teachers also agree that technology empowerment is essential in education. They also agree that student engagement does increase with smart technology involvement.
In the United States, there is at least 1 computer per 5 students, and within public schools, the expense on digital content exceed $3 billion per year.
In a nutshell - Towards a tech ready workforce for educational apps
Growing up with technology means that students are in complete sync with the expectations from the workforce when they join the corporate world. Students move away from age old examination and learning techniques with a focus on knowledge rather than grades.
Technology renders a smarter education system with a different genre of students in the making and there is a new mobile app every other day adding on to the EdTech ecosystem!
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