How Technology is Disrupting the Education Sector

Author: Kristina Proffitt

20th March 2018

There’s no denying that technology is changing every industry in a plethora of ways.

It’s shrunk the world for us all, making things that were once impossible accessible to everyone.

Education is no different.

In the last few years, technology has been used to create better experiences for students, teachers, and administrative staff.

The smaller world means that wherever you are, you can still take advantage of great learning opportunities even if you can’t afford the cost of living in expensive cities, or simply prefer the countryside.

Students have more chances to learn new skills because geography no longer limits what teachers they have access to.

Here are some of the other ways technology is disrupting the education sector.

Virtual lessons

Virtual lessons are one of the best parts of modern technology. They mean that should students want to learn a new language, even if there aren’t teachers that speak that language in their area, they can still learn from a native speaker in real-time.

Virtual lessons also mean that if a teacher can’t get to the classroom, students don’t have to miss out on their education.

Students who can’t get into the classroom due to bad weather or health problems, meanwhile, don’t have to miss out either – they can be just as much of a part of the class as someone there in person.

AR and VR can take this even further, putting students in situations that would previously have only been experienced from a book or a film. For students learning about dangerous or remote situations, they can also learn without the dangers or expenses. 

Alternatively, students can take part in lessons in their own time, meaning that they can pause video lessons to give them more time to take notes, or replay sections that they don’t understand.

Bridging the gap between education and employment

Taking the leap from higher education into employment is terrifying.

Technology helps to bridge the gap between education and employment by connecting students with businesses that may want to hire them.

Students can also use this information to get career advice from people who work in the industry they want to find out more about.

Interactive classrooms

Thanks to technology, lessons can be more interactive than ever.

Professors can send quizzes to their students in real-time to make sure that they’re taking notes on their devices and not perusing Facebook.

Gamification is also an effective way to engage students in classes, particularly ones that aren’t typically hands-on. Turning tedious subjects into games makes them more engaging for students and therefore more memorable, too.

Research is easier and more accessible

While nobody can deny the allure of a good book, trawling through books for the right quote or theme that you want to discuss is the worst part of research.

The internet – and apps such as Kindle and iBooks – have eradicated the need for this. Students can highlight passages they want to refer back to in ereader apps, and even make annotations in the apps themselves. That way, they don’t need to flick back through the book to find what they want – it’s already there for when they need it.

The internet, meanwhile, means that they can search for whatever they need and instantly come up with thousands – or possibly even millions – of results related to their query. While this is daunting, it’s a whole lot faster to get started than it used to be.

Real-time, automatic timetable updates

Timetables can change, and sometimes it can happen at the last minute. This means that it’s difficult to let everyone affected know within the appropriate time frame.

Syncing a student or teacher’s schedule to their mobile calendar means that they get notifications as and when anything changes. This can be anything from a lesson cancellation to a change of teacher or venue.

Professors are more accessible

Technology means that students don’t have to queue up outside a professor’s office to wait for some advice. Instead, they can email that professor their queries.

Alternatively, they can book a session with their professor online without the fear of turning up and not knowing if their professor will even be there.

Online courses

The University of London now allows you to get a full degree while studying from a distance. It has all the content as an in-person course, but students can take part wherever they are in the world. This means that more mature students who want a great education but can’t afford to live in London or don’t want to uproot their life can still get the best education possible.

Online courses are nothing new, but prominent universities segueing into this sector shows that they’re recognising how technology is changing the landscape of education. This is likely to appeal to mature students who want to study but may not have a university nearby that teaches the right course for them.

It also offers a cheaper alternative to students who may not be able more expensive university prices but still want to take advantage of the best education they can get.

Cloud storage

Cloud storage makes it easier for students to continue their studies when they get home. There’s no need to carry masses of notebooks or textbooks; everything can be accessed on any device they like.

Teachers can also use cloud storage to access students’ essays and mark their work, leaving annotations that are legible and not scrawled across the page.

Conclusion

These are just some of the ways in which technology is disrupting the education sector.

In the next few years, we’re going to see an increase in schools and universities adopting mobile learning, AR and VR, and other interactive learning tools. These all help to make learning more engaging, but crucially, more accessible, too.

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Kristina Proffitt

Date: 20th March 2018 | Category: Edtech