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Is EdTech the passport to the future?

Key EdTech trends to watch out for in 2021 and beyond

Education and technology have always shared a lot in common. Like two mates kicking a football (humankind) back and forth as they move from one side of the street (the past) to the other (the future), there’s lots to be said about their relationship and its influence on social evolution.


Together, both education and technology have played pivotal roles in shaping the world around us, and almost every achievement we’ve accomplished or (see dodgy football metaphor above) goal we’ve scored as a species to date can be traced back, in some way, shape or form, to this historic bond.


Now, in the wake of a catastrophic pandemic that brought the world to its knees and kickstarted a digital evolution across every industry, the relationship between education and technology is closer than ever before.


As the EdTech market continues to boom, with sources forecasting the industry will grow from USD 85.8 billion in 2020 to USD 181.2 billion by 2025, the innovations it delivers will continue transforming the education landscape in countless ways. But what trends are driving EdTech growth in the present day, and how are they redefining the way we learn and teach?


Let’s look below to find out.


eLearning is for life, not just the pandemic


While eLearning was largely under utilised in the past, especially in developing countries, COVID-19 restrictions on movement, and the widespread closure of schools and other education establishments skyrocketed the demand for remote-based, globally accessible education platforms. But the value of eLearning doesn’t end there.


By providing an infinitely scalable and highly affordable learning platform that allows tutors to teach hundreds, thousands, perhaps even millions of students at the same time from any location, companies like Udemy have changed the education sector forever.


Instead of taking out personal loans or taking time off work to enrol on courses to improve their personal and/or professional lives, eLearning gives people of all socio-economic backgrounds the freedom to choose what, how, when, and where they learn.


If education is the game, play on


As well as making education more accessible, a rapid rise in new technologies that gamify learning to make the experience more engaging, relevant, and enjoyable for students is another a major trend emerging from the EdTech space.


While capturing a student’s imagination is arguably the most difficult part of any teacher’s job, innovative platforms like Kahoot and Tinytap give students of all ages access to a wide variety of fun, fully-interactive games that stimulate their competitive nature and desire to master new skills.


By introducing these video-game-inspired technologies into the learning environment, tutors can quickly increase levels of engagement while leveraging the metrics gathered to adjust their teaching methods in accordance with each individual student’s needs.


Expanding knowledge in new realities


While the idea of virtual reality is far from new, the recent arrival of high-quality, affordable VR headsets like the Oculus Quest 2, and the ever-expanding educational metaverse is changing the way we learn in an unprecedented way.


With virtual reality platforms like Nearpod, educators can immerse their students into magical learning environments set in far-away exotic locations or ancient historical time periods that would be possible to reach in the real, logical world – and all without anyone ever having to leave the classroom.


On a corporate and industrial level, platforms like ENGAGE and PIXO VR also provide highly scalable, ultra-low-cost training solutions that organisations can quickly roll out across their networks to improve safety and employee performance.


The dawn of AI-adaptive learning


The rapid acceleration of Artificial Intelligence is transforming many industries across the world, and the education sector is no exception. With AI-adaptive learning platforms like Kidaptive and Knewton, educators can now optimise the student learning process to increase engagement and improve learning outcomes tenfold.


By harvesting data and processing it through complex, AI-driven computer algorithms, these platforms can intelligently generate customised resources and activities to personalise the learning experience, ensuring every student achieves the very best of their potential.


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