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What Is Edtech?
+4 Ways AI is Shaping Education in 2020

What are the educational technologies? How will education be transformed by the widespread implementation of AI, and what benefits will this change produce?

  • EdTech
Natalie Koltunova Content Marketing Manager

Educational Technology, or just simply “Edtech”, is a mix of technologies that have been introduced to the educational industry to improve the process of teaching and enhance the results of learning. 

Edtech is a combination of modern technologies that helps to switch from the familiar studying process to an online or even personalized learning experience. Edtech includes all types of software and technological tools that influence the educational process at every level.

How does Edtech improve Students’ and Teachers’ lives?

Let’s dig a little deeper into this question. EdTech is constantly pushing teachers and students towards new horizons. Here are four benefits of using educational technology for students of all ages, as well as four benefits specifically for teachers.

Check 4 reasons why students benefit from edtech below:

  1. Round-the-clock learning 

Educational technologies allow students to learn from anywhere and everywhere. All written materials and video content are available 24/7 and access to learning has never been easier for students. They can use their tablets, smartphones, and laptops wherever they are, whether they are on their way home or on holidays. The only thing that’s needed is a connection to the internet. The ability to study at any time and from any location motivates students to learn as it is no longer strictly necessary for them to be physically present in the classroom.

  1. Individualized learning pathways

The key idea of personalized learning is the ability to easily customize an entire curriculum to a student’s specific abilities. Edtech tools allow students to learn at their own pace as each student has his/her own skills, strengths, and weaknesses. All of these demand individualized learning methods. Educational tools are the best match to make this approach a reality.

  1. High-quality communication

Educational tools are often introduced to the learning process as a game or as an online challenge. This means that students enjoy increased levels of motivation as they try to overcome a challenge or win a game. Said games and challenges can’t be overcome successfully without effective communication between all members of a team, which is why all learners benefit from systems where they are able to communicate freely and collaborate easily.

  1. Engaging lessons 

Boring lessons are fast becoming a thing of the past. The ability to use plenty of online gadgets motivates students to learn, attend meetings, and deepens participation in classroom activities. Tablets and laptops in the classroom have a magnetic pull, drawing students’ attention. The combination of innovative methods of learning and edtech tools can increase the level of student engagement and has a strong positive influence on their learning abilities. 

And what about teachers? Here I collect 4 reasons why teachers benefit from using technologies:

Teachers can also enjoy the benefits of introducing educational technologies to their professional life. Here are four examples of how edtech tools can improve any teacher’s life and professional performance.

  1. Automated evaluation of results 

By using edtech tools based on machine learning, teachers can save time when making an assessment of their students’ results. While an app matches easy-to-fill-in papers like true/false blankets or multiple-choice, teachers can be more flexible with their routine and spend more time with students instead of marking. 

  1. Administrative Management  

It’s an established truth that teachers usually struggle with managing a group of students all the time. Moreover, this can be a real issue for educators when one considers that the burden of management is a central cause of problems like professional burnout. Educational technology offers a solution to overwork and educational exhaustion. Educational apps and edtech software enable teachers to automatically send reminders to kids and parents about upcoming projects, events, or assessments. These tools lead to quieter, calmer classrooms and increase effective communication. Teachers can get back to doing what they do best... teaching! Meanwhile, machines can take on the burden of time-consuming administrative tasks. 

  1. Computerized paper

Thanks to EdTech and digitalization, people no longer need to waste as much paper which also means significant financial savings when budgeting for printed materials. Paper handouts are becoming a relic of the past. Choosing to move towards digitization and classroom software saves thousands of physical pieces of paper homework and also helps promote greener policies in the classroom.

  1. No more guessing

Finally, hours of useless time wasted doing marking is at an end. Educators now have thousands of opportunities to assess the skills and knowledge of their students without all the guesswork. There are plenty of tools, apps and data platforms that are able to accurately analyze the results of students. 

What a perfect match — machine tools can analyze a learner’s strengths and weaknesses, while teachers provide the human touch and necessary expertise to decide how to deliver a proactive teaching plan tailored to the needs of their students.

What has changed in Edtech over the years?

Looking back, most would say that edtech is a relatively new phenomenon. However, in reality these seemingly seismic shifts started a long time ago.

We can now observe the hype around educational technology and edtech news as this industry rapidly transforms through the help of online and blended learning, the use of gadgets in lessons, the increasing inclusion of apps and useful software, and the incorporation of robots and AI into the learning process. While these promising changes might seem novel or surprising to many of us, we would do well to remember that the roots of these modern developments in edtech stem from decades of research and development.

The Evolution of classroom technologies

“Let’s get back to basics and remember how we went from the classic “chalkboard” classroom of yesteryear to our modern educational reality of robots and Artificial Intelligence. What were the first technologies and protocols that developed from the internet and where did they lead us?

The first place we could start is the hypertext transfer protocol, or HTTP. This fundamental protocol for exchanging data between our browsers and websites enables all aspects of the modern internet as we know it.

After years of development, people are now preparing for the release of the 3rd version of HTTP, otherwise known as HTTP/3. Combined with widespread, hyper-fast 5G mobile connectivity, these improvements will enable business transformation and further boost the development of ever more innovative technologies. 

These improvements have the potential to catalyze even more widespread industry adoption of Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), normalizing the use of both in everyday life. This also applies to the use of AI, the capabilities of which will be supercharged by these developments.” — says the CTO of Piogroup Software, Alexander Burmistrov. 

How is AI changing The Education Industry?

How will education be transformed by the widespread implementation of AI, and what benefits will this change produce?

While education continues to evolve and traditional educational methods change drastically to keep up, the introduction of artificial intelligence adds significant value to the education industry. 

Here are four ways AI will boost education in the near future:

  1. Reduction of administrative tasks

Teachers and educators waste thousands of hours trying to complete hundreds of administrative tasks: providing replies to students and their parents, assessing homework, and grading exams to name just a few. The rollout of AI in the education sector allows us to cut out hours of administrative work and free up teachers’ precious time. Admission boards, for example, could noticeably benefit from the time-saving efficiencies of AI assistance. All paperwork and classification can be automated, giving administrators a greater level of focus when it comes to selecting the right candidate.

  1. Smart Content

By combining education and technology, will definitely result in smart content, which specializes in introducing only the most relevant information to the user and customizes the digital learning interface to the needs of the user. This can be deployed at every level of the educational experience; from K1 students all the way up to corporate business training. 

  1. New opportunities

AI not only improves technological processes but also opens new opportunities for digital upgrades and transformation. While such technologies can seem quite costly to introduce, the outcomes are so valuable that the costs become negligible throughout the time. For example, an algorithm can make a data-driven forecast for the operational department, which can be a great help when planning upcoming expenses. By taking advantage of these cost-saving measures, the deployment of AI in edtech pays for itself and quickly pays dividends in terms of improved efficiency. Additionally, as technology advances over time, edtech software and tech tools become cheaper and more accessible to every institution.

  1. Chatbot feedback

Chatbots are widely used nowadays in retail and marketing industries. However, chatbots are a perfect match for the educational sphere as well. Educators currently spend hours giving feedback to their students regarding their grades or assessments, as well as fielding questions that are more closely related to administrative issues rather than educational ones. The use of chatbots may become a key time saver for both learners and educators: students can communicate with a dedicated chatbot responsible for handling administrative issues, getting all the necessary answers to their queries while teachers can spend more time giving private, individualized feedback or filling a student’s knowledge gap.

What are the trends for EdTech growth beyond 2020?

Overall, the increased use of edtech and intelligent systems is skyrocketing in the sphere of education, an area that is otherwise the domain of dedicated human participation and safe from being fully automated. Edtech tools and intelligent systems will not replace educators but would instead provide us with the best extension of the human ability to educate. 

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