Technology has always been one of the most powerful driving forces behind different sectors, and education is certainly one of them.
As mobile phones and high-speed Internet access have become more of a norm today, ambitious students across the world can take all kinds of courses online at affordable prices or for completely free.
The following are some of the ways technology has changed the face of education today:
For a long time, quality education was simply out of reach for millions of people across the world. However, today the students have the option to take all kinds of online lessons in domains like marketing, graphic design, software development, etc. on top online learning platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, Coursera, etc.
In fact, they can even take premium courses from top universities like Harvard University and the University of California under their online courses segment.
These kinds of possibilities had never existed before but now even a student in a remote village in India can learn from a top-tier foreign institute.
2) Smartphone Prevalence
Today, almost every teenager and collegegoer own a smartphone. So, there are many ways they can get the best education and make their student life easier.
For instance, they can read eBooks to learn new skills or take online lessons in their free time or when they are traveling. They can also pay for various expenses like college tuition, accommodation, etc. by earning money with their mobile devices.
For instance, LeoVegas mobile casino is an online platform where they can play games like poker, roulette, etc. to earn real money.
There are also platforms like Fiverr and Freelancer.com where they can find different kinds of projects in graphic design, blogging, software development, etc. to earn a side income.
3) Easy Research
There was a time when it was only the library where the students could go to for finding information on a particular subject. It’s not hard to imagine how much difficulty they faced when they needed to find a particular fact or statistic.
They would go through piles of books and records for research which is why it would days or even weeks to finish a simple report. Today, research has become easier than ever.
A student can find the oldest of books, newspapers, reports, white papers, and publications on the Internet with a few clicks. There are even dedicated websites that help the students in preparing reports and thesis which makes their job even easier.
4) Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence technology has come a long way today and now shows signs of advanced human-like intelligence.
In fact, last year, Sophia AI robot received its first robot citizenship which made it easier to imagine a world where we have droids in our lives that can carry the otherwise mundane activities.
However, the technology also has potential in the education sector, and changes have already begun.
One of the most basic changes that AI has brought in the education sector is making grading easier for the professors. We already have programs that can grade multiple-choice tests but now the developers are creating AI programs that can grade essays and written answers that are otherwise subjective.
Other than that, AI is being used to create smart tutoring systems like Carnegie Learning that uses students’ data to give feedback and deliver better services.
5) Personalized Learning
Technology has allowed us to offer personalized learning experiences to the students. Today, education can be tailor-made for different students so that they are able to learn through a system that works best for them on an individual level. A good example of how this works is blended learning.
Blended learning is an education system in which the students can learn via electronic and online media as opposed to conventional face-to-face learning.
It allows the students to have their say in the process and decide when they want to study and at what pace they are comfortable going through the course material.
Another good example of personalized learning that’s seen in today’s education sector is adaptive learning. In this, a system collects information about student behavior when they answer questions.
It can use this information to provide feedback in real-time so that the learning experience can be adjusted accordingly.
For instance, it can process the answers given by a student for a sequence of questions and change the order of the questions or add/remove questions on the fly depending on the inputs received by the student.
In this way, an online test can be personalized for different students and they can be taught new skills under a controlled environment.
6) Augmented Reality
Good education can’t be provided with theory alone. Students need to see and inspect physical products and entities to get a good understanding of what they are being taught.
For instance, those who are studying mechanical engineering, architecture, medical science, etc. need to study complex models of buildings, auto engines, and human organs.
If an institute doesn’t have the financial capacity to provide the real products or prototypes, then they can use augmented reality to produce 3D models instead.
Plus, the students are more likely to show interest when next-gen technologies like Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality are used to demonstrate different concepts or teach new skills.
7) Technology in Classrooms
Technology has also entered the classrooms of today, and we are not talking about colleges but also schools and kindergartens.
In fact, some of the top schools are now offering laptops and tablets to their students and in most locations, the implementation of the move has been largely successful.
The following are some of the ways technology in classrooms is making the education system better:
a) Accessibility: The students no longer have to limit the education they receive to a classroom. With smartphones and other portable gadgets, they can receive new assignments from their teachers when they are going home in the school bus, or at home doing something else, etc.
This way, they can use their free time in learning and stay up to date with what’s going on in the school even when they are away.
b) Changes in Roles: In traditional classrooms, education has a one-sided delivery system in which the involvement of students is limited.
However, technology is changing that as the teachers are now not just relaying information that the students absorb, but rather providing tools and services that allow the students to become more engaged and participate in an active manner.
c) Push for Collaboration: Collaborating with other students and teachers has become a lot easier with modern tech. The students can now share notes, work on assignments and projects, and get more involved with each other rather easily.
What Lies in the Future?
Given the rate at which technology is advancing today, what lies in the future for the education sector is certainly something worth thinking about. The following are some of the possibilities that we can look forward to:
a) Epistemic Games: Game-like simulations that can allow the students to play different roles like an architect, doctor, lawyer, etc. and solve real-world problems.
They can get firsthand experience in whatever profession they are interested in and make actual decisions for their career based on their experience.
b) Everything Digital: Paperless classrooms in which the teachers teach on digital displays and explain complex topics easily using animations, videos and other forms of immersive content.
The students also take notes on digital devices and share the same with each other on the fly. They can also download study material and books provided by the school online.
c) More Efficient Assessment: Teachers can track the performance of their students in real-time. Whatever assignments are given to the students, the teachers can track the progress of each student through a centralized online system.
This will also help the teachers to see what concepts are creating problems for the students and they can then try to explain them in more detail in future classes.
d) Lifelong Learning: The future of education will focus on normalizing lifelong learning. In fact, the trend has already begun, as professionals in various domains are expected to learn new skills in their career from time to time to get more job opportunities and also to keep the jobs they already have.
Online education will ensure that anyone who wants to learn a new subject or skill can get the same as per their convenience from any location. Even some of the world’s top institutes have started offering full-fledged courses to the people online.
As you can see, technology has changed the education sector for the better on many levels. Given the rate at which we are advancing in the industry, we can expect even more affordable and accessible solutions for students across the globe in just a few years.
The online learning industry has certainly been one of the key entities in making the education sector more advanced, but with the incorporation of modern technologies like AI, Internet of Things, Big Data, etc. the industry can grow even faster and pave the road for even better facilities.