The rise of technology has reshaped the world we live in. It has transformed the way we lead our everyday lives, the way we work, and is bringing seismic changes to the way we educate ourselves.
With the rise of online education, the idea of the traditional classroom is becoming more elusive, and the traditional education system roles of teachers and students are modifying too.
And, while we still haven’t seen all teched has to offer.
Not so long ago, the educational process couldn’t be imagined without teachers and students sharing the same geographical location. We can now get an online degree without meeting our teachers face-to-face or ever setting foot in the university.
If we’re interested in a highly specific program that is available in another city or even another continent, chances are now much higher that we can complete it and get a degree, without turning our lives upside down.
This also means that education is becoming less elitist. The best universities are opening their gates and becoming globally accessible too.
Technology has the power to break down other barriers as well, not only geographical ones. In the future, we can expect that many will have a chance to learn from the best teachers, at an affordable price, and their own pace, regardless of where they leave.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are now able to witness the increase in edtech applications. For example, because of the tremendous importance of education in China, several hundred million primary and secondary education students had started taking virtual classes over web platforms when their schools closed, with both students and teachers learning on the go.
Many countries, such as Austria, Turkey, Bulgaria, are following their example.
Apart from making the education process easier to access, the rise of technology has made it more flexible too. With all course materials available online, students can now attend classes, learn and complete their classwork whenever they find it appropriate, as long as they are within the limits of an assigned deadline.
This opens up a world of opportunities for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend traditional education, such as parents who need to take care of their young children or persons already holding full-time jobs that they don’t want to jeopardize.
How vital flexibility is, can be seen in the fact that 68% of online students are already skilled professionals who want to advance their careers or explore new possibilities.
With all the technological advancements, the roles of students and teachers are changing too.
While in the traditional educational system, teachers were the primary source of information, students now play a more active role. With all the information and resources they now can find online, students are capable of researching new topics, and learning about new concepts and ideas.
Time spent online, with their teacher, can now be spent more efficiently, discussing these ideas and their implications. The role of a teacher spreads beyond lecturing, developing into the role of a moderator, and a mentor.
The interaction between teachers and students is also changing due to the advancements of technology.
The time of interaction is not limited to the classes only – students can now ask for clarification or request information when they need help and expect the answer to come while the issue is still fresh in their minds.
They may no longer benefit from face-to-face conversations, but on the other hand, they can take advantage of different communication tools, such as email or instant messengers.
Technology has opened up a possibility for highly beneficial online testing too. Since tests are most commonly graded by the machine, online testing in unbiased, and thus entirely fair. Essays and open-answer questions still need to be graded by the teacher, though.
Furthermore, online testing takes significantly reduces students’ anxiety. Instead of sitting in a room full of people, they can now take their exams in a friendly and familiar environment, using digital tools they are accustomed to.
Not to mention that online tests decrease wasting vital resources, such as time and money while being more environmentally friendly.
While traditional education system had many difficulties addressing the needs of individual students, technology gives rise to personalizing learning approaches for every individual student.
This is especially important when it comes to the students with special needs, no matter if they’re mostly housebound, have seeing, speaking or hearing impairments, or some social, intellectual, or developmental disability.
Technology gives us a chance to create a stimulating working environment that can fit the specific students’ needs.
Educational possibilities are endless, even without the formal education borders. There is a variety of tools and excellent learning content available online that everyone can use to advance the skills they need.
For example, with apps such as Duolingo, Babbel or Bussou, you need a mobile, some free time and enough will to learn the basics, or more, of the language of your choice.
With the advancement in AI, AR and VR, the possibilities edtech brings will only grow. However, even though technology has shown its ability to bring down the geographical barriers, societies have to play a vital part and reduce other barriers that still make education a privilege.
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