Educational Technology: What is educational technology? guide.
Edtech, or educational technology, is a combination of information technology tools and educational practices aimed at facilitating and enhancing learning.
EDTECH is the practice of combining technology with traditional educational methods to enhance learning experiences. | Image: Shutterstock
What is educational technology?
Edtech, or educational technology, is the practice of introducing ICT tools into the classroom to create more engaging, holistic, and individualized learning experiences.
Today’s classrooms have moved beyond the old-fashioned desktop computers that were once the norm and are now filled with technology with tablets, interactive online courses and even robots that can take notes and record lectures for absent students.
What is Educational Technology Defination?
Definition of Edtech: Edtech, short for educational technology, refers to the use of software and hardware to enhance teaching and learning.
The influx of educational technology tools is changing classrooms in many ways. For example, educational technology robots, virtual reality lessons, and gamified classroom activities make it easier for students to stay engaged through engaging forms of learning. edtech IoT devices are praised for their ability to create digital classrooms for students, whether they are at school, on the bus or at home. Even machine learning tools and blockchain technology help teachers grade tests and hold students accountable for homework.
The potential for scalable, individualized learning has played an important role in the rise of the education technology industry. The way we learn, how we interact with classmates and teachers, and our general enthusiasm for the same subjects is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Everyone learns at their own pace and in their own style. Edtech tools make it easier for teachers to create individualized lesson plans and learning experiences that foster a sense of inclusion and enhance the learning capabilities of all students, regardless of their age or learning abilities.
It seems that technology in the classroom is here to stay. In a 2018 study, 86% of eighth-grade teachers agreed that using technology to teach students was important. 75% of the teachers participating in the study said that the use of technology led to improved academic performance of students. For this reason, many may find it necessary to understand the benefits that educational technology brings in the form of increased communication, collaboration, and the overall quality of education.
Students using computers and tablets
Education is not one size fits all. EDTECH’s growing list of tools helps students and teachers create individualized learning experiences. | Image: Shutterstock
How does educational technology help students and teachers?
Benefits of Edtech for Students
The influx of technology opens up new ways of learning for students of all ages, while promoting collaboration and inclusivity in the classroom. Here are five key ways that educational technology directly impacts the way students learn.
Cloud-enabled gadgets and tablets enhance classroom collaboration. Tablets loaded with educational games and online lessons give children the tools to solve problems together. Meanwhile, cloud-based applications allow students to upload their homework, digitally talk to each other about their thought processes, and get any help they may need.
Access to learning 24/7
IoT devices make it easier for students to have full access to the classroom in a digital environment. Whether they’re at school, on the bus, or at home, connected devices give students access to Wi-Fi and the cloud to complete work at their own pace — and on their own schedules — without the constraints imposed by the need to be in a physical classroom.
Various applications also help students and teachers stay in touch in case students have questions or need to alert teachers to an emergency.
“Flipping” the classroom
Educational technology tools are upending the traditional concept of classroom and education. Traditionally, students have to listen to lectures or read in class and then work on projects and homework at home. Thanks to video lectures and learning apps, students can now watch lessons at home at their own pace, using class time to work collaboratively on projects as a group. This type of learning style helps promote self-learning, creativity and a sense of collaboration among students.
Personal educational experiences
Edtech opens opportunities for teachers to craft personalized learning plans for each of their students. This approach aims to personalize learning based on the student’s strengths, skills, and interests.
Video content tools help students learn at their own pace and because students can pause and rewind lectures, these videos can help students fully understand lessons. Through analytics, teachers can see which students are having difficulties in certain lessons and provide further assistance on that topic.
Instead of relying on stressful tests to measure academic success, teachers are now turning to apps that consistently measure overall proficiency. Consistent measurements reveal learning trends that teachers can use to develop specialized learning plans based on each student’s strengths and weaknesses, or more importantly, find negative trends that can be proactively thwarted with intervention.
Do you remember sitting in class, half listening, half the day dreaming? Now, with an endless number of devices and external influences vying for a student’s attention, it’s essential to craft lesson plans that are both engaging and educational. Educational technology advocates say technology is the solution. Some of the more innovative examples of students using technology to enhance classroom engagement include interacting with other classrooms around the world via video, having students submit assignments in the form of videos or podcasts, and even solving problems through play.
Personalized learning adapts to different learning styles.
On-demand video conferencing allows class time to focus on collaboration.
Game-based lessons engage students more deeply.
Cloud computing with 24/7 access allows students to work from anywhere.
Automated grading and classroom management tools help teachers balance their responsibilities.
Benefits of educational technology for teachers
Students are not the only group that benefits from educational technology. Teachers see educational technology as a way to develop effective learning practices and save time in the classroom. Here are four ways education technology is helping teachers get back to doing what they do: Teaching.
Educational technology tools with artificial intelligence make grading easier. These applications use machine learning to analyze and evaluate responses based on task specifications. Using these tools, especially for objective tasks such as true/false or fill-in-the-blank assessments, frees up hours that teachers typically spend evaluating tasks. Additional leave provides teachers more flexibility for less preparation and one-on-one time with gifted and struggling students.
Classroom management tools
Let’s face it, trying to convince a large group of kids to do anything can be a challenge. Educational technology has the power to make everything a little easier, from the way teachers communicate with their students to how students behave. There are now apps that help send reminders to parents and students about projects or assignments, as well as tools that allow students to self-monitor classroom noise levels. Incorporating management tools into the classroom creates a less chaotic and more collaborative environment.
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Assistive technology in the classroom is reinventing the future of education
Printing budgets, wasted paper and countless time spent at the copier are now a thing of the past thanks to education technology. Classrooms going digital provide an easier way to grade assignments, reduce the burden of having to protect hundreds of assignment files, and promote greener classroom policies overall.
Teachers spend countless hours trying to assess their students’ skills or areas for improvement. Educational technology can change all that. Today there are countless tools, data platforms, and applications that constantly assess students’ skills and needs and relay data to the teacher.
Sometimes, teachers don’t see harmful trends in school for months, but some tools that use real-time data can help teachers uncover a student’s strengths and weaknesses, and even signs of learning problems, and develop a proactive plan to help.