Educational Technology: Evolution & Impact on Learning

What is Educational Technology?

Commonly known as EdTech, Educational Technology is the study and use of technology to enhance the learning process. How the education ecosystem was managed ten years ago has changed completely today, and with this we have witnessed a sea change in the way teachers, learners, and education systems have transformed. Use of communication tools, computer hardware, software and mobile based technology is common nowadays as it makes the academic processes more convenient and accessible to learners.

The Beginning and Evolution  

The history of technology in the field of education can be traced to the times when abacus was first used. From the introduction of educational movies in 1900 to using projector in classrooms for teaching, various developments have taken place to make learning a more enriching experience. Although the use of computers started way back for distance learning, the goals were just limited to transmission of knowledge. What we know as EduTech today is not just about the transmission but offering custom learning experience. From academic to need-based learning, every sphere of EdTech depends on some IT tools and methodologies that enable enhanced learning experience. From automated grading to video lectures everything is managed using sophisticated platforms that can sustain collaboration and inclusivity.

Let’s take a look at the most commonly used EdTech tools and systems,

Visual bookmarking

These tools are used by students and teachers to collect visual inspirations and save for later use. Teachers use it for future lectures and students for their projects. The modern-day visual bookmarking tools like Dragdis and Evernote are equipped with more features like sharing, mark-up, drawing, offline access, etc. For online learners, a book-marking tool is the way to save and organize things that they may need in future.

Video Lectures Creation

Earlier students required to be either present online while teachers gave their lectures or go through the archaic videos that only showed their teachers discussing topics without any whiteboards or visual examples. With Free screen recording software like Recorder teachers can create lectures that include both their screens and webcam. Which means a more interactive experience. Besides systematic online learning, such tools are also used for communication like answering quick and common queries, presenting reports, etc. Video lectures can further be hosted on video hosting platforms, accessible by students from around the globe.

Online Collaboration

With online collaboration tools like Buncee and Bit, the location of a learner and teacher doesn’t affect how the learning experience turns out to be. If you will go on searching for these tools you may find all sorts of dedicated and fully integrated solutions too.  From chats to file sharing, everything is done at one place using these tools. 

Alternatively, you can go for asynchronous video communication using a screen or webcam video recorder. Asynchronous videos give you control over your conversations and save your time, thereby minimizing communication lags.

The process involves a quick online mic test / webcam test and you’re ready to record your first video.

Automated Grading

How assignments are taken up and evaluated plays a crucial role in making online learning as good (or better) as the in-class experience.  This is where artificial intelligence comes into the picture. Machine learning based apps are widely used to assess assignments, which saves a lot of time and money. The algorithm is based on how human graders assess students’ submissions.  

 Feedback tools

These tools are used to run a quick survey, give feedback, or do a poll to collect views of students. Innovative techniques of teaching are integral to online learning, so such tools come handy while collecting views, and to keep the remote learners engaged. The goal of integrating technology into education is make learning available to all without killing the essence of in-class experience, and feedback tools. Like Poll Everywhere, Socrative, and other video/chat systems make it achievable with ease.

Today, educational technology is one of the most growing sectors. So we are bound to see more advanced ways of online interactive learning in future. As the tech-enabled population increases globally, more and more teachers and students will be able to access resources online. Which means more innovation, and new expansion in the field of online education.

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