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At the intersect between education and technology

May, 2019

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EdTech breathes new life into worldwide academic sector

This is the digital age. There is practically no industry or facet of modern life that has not felt the keen sting of technological advancement. And one of the most important global industries to feel the impact of technological absolution and digitalisation is education. This is an industry that has been traditionally-inclined for decades, and it is only quite recently that it has wholeheartedly embraced the notion of digital evolution. It was important for education to evolve, but it has taken some time for it to do so.

The world began to enter the digital age years ago, with the introduction of smartphones and tablets, and automation and simplification for systems and programs. We single-handedly drove this modernisation of our world, and we created it to be exactly what we wanted it to be. In short, we are to thank for the way of the modern world. Even still, there were some industries that did not seek to embrace digitalisation with the rest of the world at first. Education is undoubtedly one of them. Yet here we are today, with tech in education a firm reality – and one that continues to grow.

Bringing technological disruption to the education sector

EdTech (education technology) began to first disrupt the academic sector a few years ago, when the rest of the world started to definitively turn to digitalisation to evolve its reaches. The first generations of students who have grown up surrounded by technological innovation, have started to enter the education systems around the world. These are students who expect their education experience to mirror the other experiences of their young lives. And so, this is where EdTech enters the scene. Designed to make education easier to access, more efficient, and more globally inclusive, this technology has achieved exactly that.

Why EdTech is such an important modern education facet

EdTech is important for two reasons. First, the industry must align its methods and models with the way of the modern world – that world is driven by tech. And second, EdTech provides students with opportunity and preparation, hand in hand. Whether a student wants to go on to become a security officer, a writer, a diesel mechanic, and IT professional, personal insurance advisor, or any other number of potential professions does not necessarily matter. What does, is how prepared they are for the workforce that looms ahead. Now, thanks to widespread digitalisation, technology is going to be an important part – even a core principle – in that workforce, so EdTech becomes even more important to these students’ futures and to their current education experience.

The future of EdTech and the global academic sector

EdTech has well and truly entered the academic world, and it has become an integral part of education on a global scale. Thanks to education technology, students who previously were geographically or financially limited, or even short on time they could dedicate to their studies, are able to study online partially or entirely. This might seem a small change, but it has big promise, and it yields big hope in students today, and for the students of tomorrow. This is just the beginning of EdTech, but it is a stunningly bright beginning.

Digital learning the future of global academic sector

Education is one of the most innovative and awe-inspiring industries in the world. For decades, this is an industry that has single-handedly shaped the youth of generations into the forward-thinking, intelligent, and passionate professionals that make up the workforce of today, and have done so in the past. A traditional industry to the core, there were those who firmly believed that education would be untouchable when it came to digital modernisation. However, as digital modernisation quickly approached in the form of technological innovations and further (ongoing) disruptions, it became obvious quite fast that no industry was immune to technological disruption – not even education. Technological advancement finally came to education in the form of EdTech (education technology), but it did not come easily or without its challenges.

A changing world

The way of the world is evolving, and that means that change is quite literally inevitable. In recent years, technological innovation has paved the way for exciting innovations and revolutions that have sought (and successfully achieved) to make the world a more convenient, efficient, and well-designed place. Technology is all about improving the world, in all sense of the world. This has never changed, and it likely never will. We are now so familiar with technological advancement that we crave it, and we look for it so often that when we cannot see it, it is more strange than common. For education, that means embracing EdTech. And when it comes to EdTech, the core of its value lies in the introduction and further advancement of online education.

Upcoming generations

The generations of young people making their way through the education systems around the world for the first time currently, are the very same generations who are the first to have grown up literally surrounded by and positively immersed in, feats of technology and rapid digitalisation. Whether these students grow up to be security officers, tradies, commercial insurance brokers, artists, authors, diesel mechanics, veterinarians, or any other number of professions, is irrelevant. The point always remains the same. These are generations who are used to technological innovation in all areas of their lives, and they practically demand it – especially in their education. Modern students now thrive on both traditional and digital learning principles, not solely traditional academic approaches.

Modern learning in collaboration with traditional education

Students today – and the students of tomorrow and well into the future (probably forever, in fact) – expect EdTech to be a prominent feature in their learning experience. Having grown up immersed in technologies and feats of digitalisation, these individuals are the same people who learn better when approached with digital learning methods and models – because this is what they are familiar with. EdTech was never designed to replace traditional education, but rather to join forces with it to create a stronger future for the education industry the world over. Now, we are finally seeing that vision come to vibrant life, and it is comforting and promising – an ode to what is possible going forward for this pillar industry.

Understanding the evolution of education technology

We live in an interesting era, unparalleled to any that have come before this. We are in the unique position of existing in between a traditional era run by localised methods, and a digital era run by globally inclusive models. The rise of this world has been made possible through our ever-increasing fascination with technological advancement and rapid digitalisation. And it is here now, transforming practically every industry and revitalising it in a bid to realign it with the way that the modern world is moving. This is the way of the modern world. Every industry, every facet of modern society and life as we know it, has been altered by technology, transformed by digitalisation in some way.

Technology becomes central focus the world over

Regardless of if it is technology in the hospitals, meeting rooms, or classrooms, or even the holding and moving of cryptocurrency in Malaysia (or anything in between), technology has effectively swung into action. In healthcare, it started with the automation of patient records and appointment settings. In business, it bloomed into motion with the rise of digital marketing. In education and security, it took hold first in basic systems and processes, and now is a prominent component in both industries. In the automotive industry, it started with wired DVD players and now we are seeing the first electric cars on the roads. In the arts, graphic design tools and laptops have made much of the creative work easier and more efficient than ever. And in education, it is all about EdTech (education technology).

A traditional industry embraces modern growth strategies

As far as traditionally-inclined industries go, education is about as traditional as you can get. A sector run predominantly (if not wholly) by teachers in classrooms, set syllabuses, and pen and paper materials, education has successfully done its job by exceptional standards, for decades. Generation after generation of students went through the global education systems, going on to be successful after their graduates. And then along came technological disruption. Education was one of the last industries to wholly embrace digitalisation in its wake, but now that it has, EdTech is transforming the sector from the inside out. Everything from learning materials to learning approaches has been positively transformed, and education as an industry is thriving as a result.

The future of academics and EdTech expansion

The academic industry has embraced EdTech at long last, but there is still a long way to go. Of course, EdTech was never designed to completely overtake traditional education, and it never will. There will always be a place in the academic sector for both formats of learning and teaching to exist. What will happen – and in fact, what is already starting to swing into motion – is that education as a global industry will strengthen, allowing for a wholly inclusive approach to learning and teaching. The goal, of course, is to effectively create a future for the academic sector that thrives on making education available to as many people as possible, as consistently as possible.

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