Developments in technology have transformed education since the turn of the century. In recent years, public health crises have increased the adoption of educational technology for conducting classes and distributing course materials online. Find out what this term means, how schools are already using technology to support learning and possibilities for the future, and how students stand to benefit from technology in schools.
What is EdTech
Technology designed and implemented to provide access to education and promote learning is commonly referred to as ed-tech. All of the following types of hardware and software can be useful for educational purposes:
Desktop and laptop computers
Smartphones and tablets
Live video cameras
Video conferencing applications
Learning management platforms
Many contemporary students have experience using these types of technology in hybrid or virtual courses. Camera- and microphone-enabled computers and devices are used to access video conferencing applications and learning management platforms.
The reality of unequal access to technology is a common criticism of learning technology, especially in distributed applications. Many districts supply students with systems complete with all of the hardware peripherals needed to access and participate in online classes. Teachers and students who use virtual backgrounds can promote group focus and maintain personal privacy.
How Are Schools Using Technology
For in-person learning, technology in classrooms enables students to work in ways that reflect the changing requirements of most real-world occupations. This is also true of remote education, but this technology must first allow for virtual attendance and enable students to see, hear and engage with the digital content created by teachers or Online Program Management providers.
Teachers at some schools have updated their lesson plans for virtual or hybrid class environments. Other schools have opted to outsource learning to external companies or resources that offer access to courses and other educational products. Institutions can purchase subscriptions to OPM resources for students or develop combinations of online resources to empower students to communicate and learn effectively.
In addition to resources for conducting courses, many schools have also invested in systems that allow students to take quizzes and tests online and prepare and submit essays, projects, and other assignments. Assessment and project management technology should be as secure, reliable, and user-friendly as possible. With the right technology configuration for education, any institution or instructor can teach online.
How Students Can Benefit
Surveys indicate that most students are open to taking online courses after vast numbers of students experienced virtual and hybrid learning in 2020 and subsequent school years. Approximately two-thirds of students polled on their willingness to take fully online courses in the future somewhat agreed, while nearly half expressed a strong preference for virtual coursework.
Access to the most effective technology for virtual learning is crucial for students to succeed. Asynchronous courses enable students to work through materials at their own pace. At the same time, synchronous sessions allow for the communication that is so critical to learning to occur among students and teachers. Using systems that support the ways teachers teach, and students learn is imperative, as virtual classes lack the casual and conversational learning opportunities that are possible in person. These opportunities may be limited in hybrid courses.
Virtual office backgrounds are not just for brands and businesses. Teachers and students can select custom virtual backgrounds to use on Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and other compatible video conferencing platforms. These backgrounds promote focus among participants and give teachers the ability to display slides with Pizazz or gather students in the same shared Zoom Immersive View scene for effective communication and learning.