Today, the education industry is experiencing a digital transformation. From K-12 to universities and even libraries, educational institutions are adopting digital technology to improve student outcomes, increase collaboration among peers and instructors, and streamline administrative processes. With this shift comes new challenges.
What is Educational Technology?
Educational technology (often abbreviated as “ed tech”) refers to the use of computer-related technologies in education, learning, and training.
With the explosion of digital technology, it has become an increasingly pervasive part of modern life — including our education system.
“Technology” can refer to a wide variety of tools and devices that have been used to facilitate learning. These include computers and computer networks; websites, mobile apps, and other software platforms; and devices like robots and virtual reality systems.
Ed tech also includes pedagogical approaches for using technology in education, including online learning and blended learning.
AI and Machine Learning in Education
AI and machine learning have the potential to transform many aspects of the education system, from how students take tests to how teachers assess their students.
For example, AI can be used to create personalized lesson plans for each student. It can also help teachers deliver personalized feedback based on students’ progress. This can be especially useful in online environments, like Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
AI and machine learning can also be used to improve the efficiency of administrative processes, like student scheduling. In ed tech, though, AI is often more of a marketing tool than a reality. While many ed tech products do include AI features, they’re far from the fully autonomous systems of science fiction.
Augmented Reality in K-12 and Higher Ed
AR is perhaps the most recognizable ed tech tool that’s emerged in recent years. From Pokémon Go to AR-enabled smartphones, AR is all around us.
In education, AR can be used to bring virtual content into the real world. For example, museums can use AR to bring exhibits to life. Students can use AR to learn about dinosaurs by bringing them to life in their classroom.
AR can also be used to help students with special needs. AR can be used to create visual cues for students with autism. It can also be used to provide special educational tools, like a virtual flash card system.