Coronavirus has been a catalyst for the EdTech Revolution; but what does that mean for education in the long run?
Reliance on EdTech
EdTech is now a $6 trillion industry, with British schools alone investing an estimated £900m annually. Since the global pandemic, these investments have proven even more worthwhile. Schools and universities across the world are relying more and more on EdTech services and remote learning. But what does this mean for teachers and pupils? Is the EdTech revolution sustainable in the long run or are teachers are pupils getting left behind?
The internet has been a blessing for the range of resources available for students. Internet-connected devices in classrooms give access to many interactive resources, from the most basic audio and video materials to creative tools and online quizzes. However, these resources cannot be treated as a one-size-fits-all solution and should still be tailored to suit an individual child’s ability.
Gamification can be a hugely powerful learning tool, especially when accompanied by a clear learning objective. ‘Game mechanics’ such as rules and rewards to learning can enhance teaching, and increase student motivation. 67% of students surveyed in 2018 said that gamified courses motivated them more than traditional ones. Saying that, the surplus of games available in the current market makes finding a game with genuine educational value challenging for teachers.
In a recent poll conducted by YouGov, 61% of parents felt that artificial intelligence will be an important addition to classrooms by the year 2035. However, given the backlash of this year’s A-Level results, there are still significant obstacles when it comes to assessing student performance using AI and algorithms.
Social and Emotional Learning
Whilst EdTech brings many positives, it must be noted the impact it has on emotional wellbeing. Many times, children are highly capable of understanding the functionality of their tech, without appreciating the toll it takes on their mental health. 90% of school leaders reported an increased number of students experiencing anxiety or stress in the last five years. They indicated exam stress and maintaining a “perfect lifestyle” on social media as key stressors. More worryingly, 30% of pupils claim their school would not know how to help them with an online problem.
The Future of EdTech
Educators dream of a future in which technology can streamline administration and revolutionise learning. Yet, this is not such a distant future. 87% of primary school children across the UK regularly use the internet for photo sharing, playing games, and connecting with family and friends.
Subsequently, as we venture further into this tech-dependent world of education, we must consider best practices. As well as becoming tech savvy, we need to make sure we teach children kindness, empathy and resilience, to combat the darker side of EdTech.