The name of each sector is coined from their focus area while having “tech” as the suffix. Edtech as an example is coined from Education + tech which is regarded as Educational technology.
We are focusing on Edtech today because thanks to this sector, you are reading this article. The old learning system wasn’t exactly bland though, as the educational system then encouraged individual thinking and first-hand experience, as there was no internet to read about the experience of others. Presently, the aim of education is more on creative and critical thinking, improving already suggested ideas or already made innovations.
Educational technology is the use of different technological tools to improve the quality of education.
Way before technology found its way into the educational system, abacus, maps, encyclopedias, etc were used by both the students and the teachers. Apart from the issue of portability for some of the learning and teaching materials, students who can’t afford to get their own have to spend hours are the library waiting for some people to return the materials they borrowed before they can use this. This in itself is time-consuming.
After the gospel of Technology started spreading to this sector, both students and teachers made use of the internet, audiobooks, ebooks, and online materials (dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, etc). Some use games to aid more assimilation. Smart boards came into view, a projector is an example, and so are interactive whiteboards.
Mobile devices and learning apps are also part of this innovation. These were the major tools used during the COVID-19 pandemic and people were to stay home. Blended learning which includes the use of classroom and internet-enabled devices was introduced, the same as distributed learning. Schools that adopted this technology experience little to no disruption in their academic calendar, unlike schools that didn’t adopt these methods
Types of Educational technology
- Synchronous and Asynchronous learning
- Linear learning
- Blended learning
- Collaborative learning
Synchronous and Asynchronous learning
Synchronous learning: This is a type of learning where both the teacher and the students are in the same space at the same time. The main aim of this type of learning is for students to participate in real time. They get to ask questions about areas they do not understand and get replies almost immediately. Examples are Virtual classrooms, Real-time webinars, Video conferencing, face-to-face discussions, etc. Online platforms where learning can take place are Google Meet, WhatsApp groups, Twitter space, Clubhouse, Instagram live, YouTube live, Facebook live, etc.
This involved pre-recorded classes, practice quizzes, and Self-paced learning. In this type, students and teachers do not need to be in the same space at the same time. Learning does not take place in real-time but at the student’s convenience.
This type of learning can take place on Google Classroom, Clubhouse, Kahoot!, Twitter space, Designated websites, etc.
Note: The different online platforms mentioned above are the most common in this region.
Linear learning: Another example of self-paced learning is this. Students can go through the materials provided in any other they like and the technology behind this allows the teachers to track their work.
Blended learning: This type of learning is a combination of the traditional classroom setting and online classes. This is mostly required for courses that are time-consuming or that require hands-on experience.
Collaborative learning: This type of learning improves socialisation because it requires students to work together in teams. Projects and presentations are examples. There is no particular “how” to how this is done because it can be online or offline. The main goal is to promote teamwork.
Thanks to education, technology has penetrated different spheres of life and other sectors of tech have their roots in it. These types of learning technologies listed above help to promote creative and interactive learning.
Edtech is a sector that needs more than enough funding and resources to reach as many people as possible. Even though we regard it as a truncator, many communities are nowhere close to civilisation. Advanced technology is one of the five characteristics of civilization. The other four are; Advanced cities, Complex institutions, Specialised workers, and Recordkeeping.
Another is that people need to familiarize themselves with certain tools to make learning easy.