What is Edtech? This word is becoming common because technology in education at schools is increasingly being used. But when we talk about EdTech, what exactly do we mean? Is there any obvious example, and what are the benefits and disadvantages of using new technologies?
We’ll answer these questions and explain the term throughout this post, but we’ll show you a little tease: we see nothing but good things.
What is the meaning of Edtech?
EDTech is an acronym for “Educational Technology.” We can understand it as those tools, techniques, or procedures that help us, through new technologies, to transfer knowledge from one person to another. In this case, from a teacher to his students.
These tools can include online learning platforms, mobile applications, educational software, and other types of technology. EDTech aims to help students and teachers learn and teach more effectively and efficiently.
But this statement is already becoming obsolete. Although we still have a standard student-teacher face-to-face in the educational community, the truth is that digital advances are causing, in many cases, these systems to vary.
Why do we say this? For two reasons:
|Nowadays, many classes are recorded or delivered through voiceovers that accompany a presentation timelessly. The teacher is still there, but the relationship with the students may not exist.|
|Exams via digital platforms are even more secure than face-to-face, thanks to tools such as SMOWL. The evaluation process can be 100% virtual. Thanks to this, teachers can eliminate one of the things they are least happy about: being the bad cop in the exam room.|
Why is Educational Technology important?
We believe that EdTech solutions in the academic world are vital as they help more people learn in less time. Technology may seem expensive to develop at first, but once implemented, it makes education much more accessible and universal.
Thanks to technology, many people who had not considered access to a specific type of education now have it much more manageable.
EdTech: examples of tools that link education with technology
Educational Technology is here to stay. And this is more than evident if we visit a school or university right now: dozens of tools used now were not used 20 years ago.
Every educational process can include one or more of these tools, which, as we have already mentioned, have changed over time.
Let us look at some of these EdTech tools or techniques in more depth:
- Virtual classroom: as its name suggests, it is precisely the same as a classroom—a learning space- but in a digital format. The difference is that the teacher can virtually manage all the necessary resources and audiovisual educational materials. Oh, and it removes the geographical barrier to class attendance.
- E-mail: yes, it seems silly, but it is a tool that facilitates communication between teachers, students, and parents. Not so long ago, all this communication was based on a piece of paper that could quickly get “lost” along the way.
- Virtual reality: although it is still being developed, it is already one of the most significant technological advances. It tries to immerse students in a realistically recreated scenario in which they are active protagonists of a story or situation.
- Digital identification systems: when taking an exam, institutions have to be sure that the person who is going to take it is the same person who has completed the course, and that is what these tools are for. SMOWL products are an excellent example of this type of tool.
Benefits of Edtech
Many professionals in the EdTech industry believe that education and technology should always go hand in hand.
In the following paragraphs, we have compiled its main benefits.
Creates a more dynamic and engaging environment
Some people may think that technology can be a distraction, but the reality is that it helps to encourage active participation in the classroom.
Electronic devices such as computers or tablets can help turn boring subjects into more interactive and fun activities.
Improves collaboration among the student body
Many teachers have observed that students help each other more when using technology in the classroom. When students are divided into smaller groups, the more technologically advanced students can help their inexperienced peers.
Prepares students for the future
When teachers teach students skills related to technology tools such as PowerPoint or Excel, they set them up for success. Introducing educational technology into the classroom at an early age will help prepare students for future digital demands when they enter the job market by allowing them to develop an optimal career plan.
Disadvantages of Edtech
As is usually the case with technological advances, things can constantly be improved.
These are the main drawbacks, which, even today, technology in education still has.
It can lead to technological disparity
Technological advances can be too expensive in specific social contexts. Economic differences between countries and even centers in the same region can mean that the student body does not go hand in hand regarding technological knowledge.
Requires more management and training
Training trainers is vital. Only some people have the necessary expertise for this type of innovative teaching. However, this is an easily avoidable barrier, although it takes time.
The charm of face-to-face teaching is lost
Although communication barriers are increasingly lower, it is true that a face-to-face conversation has its charm and helps to build trust between colleagues and teachers. In any case, this is compensated by many classmates from different fields that a student can meet throughout a course.
Proctoring: the EdTech that provides security
We hope this post has clarified the importance of EdTech (technology in education) and that you can get an idea of the types of technologies and new teaching processes that have emerged thanks to it.
At Smowltech, we believe that the technology that helps improve people’s lives is worthwhile, and SMOWL is part of it.
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