Introduction to Education Technology Trends
Technology is rapidly changing the way we live and interact. It is changing the face of every field and every sector in the best way possible. But the field of education is lagging in terms of technology adoption. Considering the fact that education is something that can change the world in a positive way, the introduction of technology in education has become even more essential.
Education technology can help to eliminate current barriers to providing quality education all across the world. Education technology will provide a chance to widen the imagination of the students and help them grasp better. The education sector and the entities such as students, teachers, management, parents, etc. will benefit a lot from the latest and upcoming trends in education technology. For this reason, we have compiled some of the key trends and technologies that can define trends for the coming year.
Here are the top 10 upcoming trends in education technology-
1. Lifelong Education
Just as hospitals and banks have people being around them, no matter if they are 16 or 60, colleges should also have that kind of engagement with the public. The pandemic has influenced many people to take up education once again as a way to pass time as well as learn something new with the help of the internet. There has been a 27% growth in the number of people returning to education.
Moreover, with an increased number of 54% of jobs wanting a solid educational background for any industry, it is high time for individuals seeking a job position in a company to be highly educated in versatile backgrounds and fields.
One of the many trends of online learning is that it is highly accessible and convenient to uphold in any circumstance. The amount of time needed to complete a course online is significantly lowered as compared to the rate it took in the previous few years.
People from a wide number of backgrounds have been looking for an education that is interactive, fun, and easy to grasp while also being distanced from the educator. These are the exact characteristics of the method of eLearning that has been implemented all over the world.
2. Online Education
Even when things like ticket booking, watching TV shows, and ordering food are becoming online, education is still behind in terms of online education delivery. Due to the easy availability of the internet, the number of internet users is increasing rapidly. The increasing number of Smartphone users is providing a good opportunity to deliver education online.
Online education which includes online courses and online examinations is slowly and surely becoming popular due to the interest shown by working professionals to learn new things and expand their knowledge about technology. More organizations like Byju’s is emerging to target online education for students.
Here are a few statistical points that can provide insights about education technology in the year 2021.
- The forecast of Indian online education market is estimated to be worth $8.6 billion by 2026.
- In 2018, the online education market in India was INR 39 Bn. But by the year 2024, it is expected to reach INR 360.3 Bn.
- The online primary and secondary supplemental education segment is estimated to reach INR 123.65 Bn by 2024.
- By the year 2024, the online test preparation market is also expected to reach INR 94.75 Bn.
In the coming year, we would see considerable growth in online education and its aligned services. Online education is useful to remove barriers caused due to classroom-based learning. Students will be able to easily go through the same class repeatedly and revise key subjects/ topics. Online education will give them the freedom to learn at their own pace and thus understand the topics well.
Internet penetration in rural India is increasing as we move forward. Mobile app-based services like WhatsApp and YouTube are becoming popular in rural areas. But the scarcity of quality teachers in rural parts of India still persists. Rural students are looking forward to consuming digital education in the form of videos, and documents. They are dependent on the online mode of education to create a better future.
There are three key segments for digital education which are as follows:
i. K-12 Digital Education
K-12 combines technology with education to create high-quality and customized learning syllabi for students from kindergarten to 12th class. K-12-powered online schools are slowly gaining acceptance as it creates a beautiful blend between traditional education with modern technology and tools for digital learning.
ii. Higher Education
Higher education is also slowly adopting the digital era. Online certifications or the certifications which add value to their degree are becoming popular among college students. Most such courses are targeted to improve the employability of the students. The availability of many more such courses can help to make online education popular in India.
iii. Professional Education
Adaptability for professional education such as executive management courses is on the higher side. This is because many working professionals are opting for courses that would enable them to easily enroll, learn, give assessments and acquire certification from any location such as an office or home.
Upcoming features in Digital Education
• Blended Learning
A combination of traditional learning methods and online educational materials is called Blended learning. As both of these methods of learning have some strengths and weaknesses, the best of both these methods is incorporated into blended education.
• Automatic Grading
Automatic grading is an Artificial Intelligence-powered way of grading tests, homework, assignments, quizzes, essays, etc. submitted by the students. Automation Grading is a flexible and efficient way of grading students which also helps to reduce the manual efforts and workload of the teachers.
• Digital Textbooks
Digital textbooks are accessible to learners at any time from anywhere. Students are able to easily highlight any sections in these textbooks while reading as also search for the meaning of terms, listen to the audio translations, adjust font and light, etc.
3. Digital and Comprehensive Online Assessments
Evaluation of students is one of the key areas of the academic curriculum. The success of education largely depends on the type of evaluation done. Traditionally, the evaluation of the students has largely been focused on theory examinations. The students are analyzed based on their theoretical knowledge. The students usually write theory or descriptive answers in the exams and it is being evaluated by one of the examiners. Their passing or failure depends on their understanding of theory.
Limitations of current assessments of the evaluation system
- Evaluation is human dependent
- It is biased and not standardized for all students
- It is prone to error
- It does not take into consideration practical aspects of the knowledge
In the coming years, there would be more focus on practical and hands-on aspects of studies. The evaluation of students would also be based on the practical knowledge that they have acquired of a particular topic. The proportion of theory exams would be reduced while the amount of experimental, field, or non-theoretical education would increase.
The educational institutes will also focus on conducting all types of exams in online mode. This will include practicals and oral exams as well. This implies that educational institutes will adopt online platforms which help to conduct practical exams and voice-based assessments in online mode.
The voice-based assessments will come with an option to record answers. These recorded answers will be evaluated by the examiners after listening to them. These voice-based assessments can efficiently replace the oral or viva exams which were traditionally conducted in the classrooms.
Knowledge is becoming dynamic and changing quickly due to the era of the internet. Things that are taught in education institutions at the moment might become obsolete or outdated in no time. Here is a quick video about why Indian Education universities need to adopt dynamic syllabi with new technology.
Knowledge management and collaboration tools and features can help institutes to improve the practical knowledge of the students.
For example, practicals conduct using Virtual Reality technology would become more useful to the students as it would create simulated three-dimensional environments for the students to carry out their experiments.
Therefore, many institutions are likely to adopt education technology in the coming years.
Artificial Intelligence-Driven Assessments
Personalized assessments can be created for students using AI-powered online examination systems. Along with providing some very useful features for online examinations, AI-based systems can provide useful insights into student performance, group analysis, and individual analysis for each topic/sub-topic.
There are possibilities of bias being carried out by the examiners during the evaluation of examinations. As the assessment of the student is done using online tools and techniques, bias associated with manual evaluation can be eliminated. Assessment tools are developed to focus on evaluating the practical aspect of the subject rather than the theoretical knowledge of the student.
Online examination system like Eklavvya, which is an award-winning platform developed at Splashgain provides evaluation mechanisms for subjective assessments as well. The students can write their answers directly or use the feature of speech-to-text where they would speak the answers and the system will type them on the screen. The feature of a timer is also provided for each question or exam.
Certain features of Eklavvya such as a secure browser disallow students to switch to other applications during active online exams or different techniques of remote invigilation preventing students from cheating or carrying out any malpractice. There is also a facility for auto authentication of the student using a photo capture facility with the help of a web camera. Eklavvya offers a few other features such as audit logging, live video streaming, live chats, etc to help maintain the integrity of online exams.
For objective exams, results are instantly generated. This has helped to eliminate the barrier of manual evaluation of student performance.
Another type of exam that can be conducted online mode with the help of the Eklavvya platform is the programming tests. These tests are necessary as they help to gauge the technical or coding skills of the students or job applicants.
The schools can make use of these online programming tests to conduct competitions which would help to boost the students’ coding skills. Corporate organizations can make use of these tests to measure the knowledge of the candidates who have applied for a position of developer.
In the coming year assessment of the knowledge would be based on new factors as listed below:
- Practical Implementation
- Ability of innovation
- Problem Solving using knowledge
- Conceptual Application of the knowledge
Digital assessment can ensure unbiased and error-free analysis of individual performance. It will help save the costs invested in exam centers and in manual travel and evaluation work. It would also be able to provide personalized feedback for each student. Such feedback would be able to set the right path for the student to progress further in terms of knowledge acquisition.
4. Inheriting BlockChain mechanism to Education Technology
Blockchain technology helps to copy and transfer data but does not allow modification. This technology is extremely useful as it can prevent hacking of the system. This has made Blockchain an emerging technology. It is going to dominate innovation across many businesses in the coming decade.
Many articles are being written about Blockchain technology. They are useful when there is a need for collaboration or distribution of database/ information. Blockchain is useful in many areas of education including examination management, student credentials verification, certificate verification, etc.
Maintaining Student Academic Records
In the current scenario, the mark sheets of the individual students are maintained by respective universities. No third-party authority or any person is appointed to validate the marks or degree obtained by the student as per records of the university. If the universities decide to verify each student’s mark sheet or certificate then the entire process will have to be carried out manually.
Blockchain technology can help to eliminate such issues by offering features such as information collaboration and validation which can help to validate the student’s degree or marks obtained. We can see more new concepts and ideas related to collaboration-oriented processes in blockchain especially developed for the education sector.
Storage of Certificates of Students
Blockchain technology allows duplication of data. Thus it can help to store digital copies of the student certificates in a distributed and collaborative environment. Each university can act as a node or Validator where any person in authority can validate student documents by requesting verified information from the students.
A collaborative approach can help solve many issues like loss of original degree certificates or mark sheets, illegal duplication or modification of documents, authentication of student education records, etc. This will also help universities to cut down the costs involved in making infrastructure available for the storage of students’ important educational documents.
5. Personalised Learning
Traditional classroom-based learning involves a standard theory-based syllabus taught by teachers physically. The syllabus, classrooms, and teachers are the same for all the students in spite of the differences in their interests and grasping capacity. As traditional classroom-based learning is not customized pertaining to the needs of every individual student, it is becoming old and obsolete.
Let us consider examples of online or on-demand streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. These platforms provide us with personalized and on-demand television experiences. They are removing location, device, and timing constraints. Television shows and sports events are being streamed in a personalized manner with the help of these platforms.
Similarly, education delivery or learning process must be personalized. Traditional classroom-based lecture processes may not be helpful for each individual. Every individual has some strengths, weaknesses, and pace of understanding a particular topic. Different students would also have a liking or interest in different subjects. These things are different for each individual. Due to these reasons, different students excel in different subjects. Some students also lag behind as theoretical learning is not their strongest suit.
But traditional classroom-based learning ignores these facts and assesses students based on the marks they receive in each and every subject. When students acquire fewer marks in a particular subject, they tend to compare themselves with the ones who have received good marks. This leads to unhealthy competition among them which might affect their self-confidence in the long run. These are a few drawbacks of traditional classroom-based education which need to be addressed soon.
Personalized learning using technology is the only way that would help create syllabi or learning activities after considering every student’s strong and weak areas. Thus this is one of the trends that would dominate in the coming year.
Advantages of Personalised Learning
- Ability to absorb topics and understand increases due to personalized learning
- Personalized learning can help the student to learn, and understand topics at per individual speed
- It can be done from any location
- It is classroom-independent.
6. AI-based Personalised Analysis of Individual
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the latest buzzword in the world today. Not only the technology sector but all sectors including finance, manufacturing, and healthcare are going to be revolutionized due to the implementation of AI. The education sector is also likely to get more ideas and implementations using AI in the upcoming years.
Feedback from teachers (human) has some limitations in terms of the ability to comprehend student performance while taking into consideration historical performance. AI can help provide a detailed analysis of student performance in examinations. AI can be developed to analyze a candidate’s responses while evaluating psychometric tests. AI can take algorithm-based decisions which would prove very helpful to analyze a candidate’s responses and in turn understanding the candidate’s mindset and behavior patterns. It can also help to make predictions about the candidate’s behavior in the future.
Thus, personalized learning and analysis of the learning is possible using AI-driven assessments of the students.
7. Revolution in Exam Management with Education Technology
Exams are still conducted in the traditional manner which includes exam centers, manual exam invigilation, manual answer sheet evaluation, etc. The traditional examination system is not only tedious but it is also risky due to a lot of manual work and human intervention.
But, the introduction of AI in the examination management system can bring in a lot of transformative changes in current exam management. AI-based proctoring or auto-remote proctoring can enable institutions to conduct exams without any need for infrastructure or logistics.
Introductory video of Remote Proctoring to invigilate Online Exams
Remote Proctoring technology can enable students to appear for exams sitting at any location by using any internet-based device and a stable internet connection. The system can track or monitor the activity of a remote user using technologically advanced video, image and audio streaming. Artificial intelligence can analyze the students to verify if they are appearing for the exam in a fair manner.
Currently, this service has been successfully adopted and implemented by higher education institutes and universities for conducting entrance exams. It has helped them to remove infrastructural requirements and save huge administrative costs involved in managing such exams.
AI-based Remote Proctoring is undoubtedly going to be in demand in the coming days.
8. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality(AR) in Education Technology
Virtual reality is a computer-generated technology that can create a virtual environment that is immersive and interactive. It can create a world that is similar to the real world yet very different. No wonder, virtual reality has gained tremendous popularity in the gaming industry.
The concept of VR is becoming cost-effective. Many other sectors have started using VR for many critical things. Education is also a field that can avail the benefits of this technology. Consider the below analysis of information retention. When it comes to classroom-based lectures, knowledge retention is the lowest. Knowledge retention improves drastically when it is given in the form of audio, videos, visuals, etc.
There is a scientific reason behind it. When a human mind is able to see something in action its retention is better. VR not only provides the opportunity to see something but also experience it as if it was real. A pair of 3D glasses or a VR headset is the minimum basic requirement to experience something. The experience is so real that he/she can feel as if a real person is standing in front of that event or scene. As this technology requires very fewer equipment, it can help to reduce plenty of expenses incurred in making infrastructure available.
VR implementations that target quality education and training would see good growth in the coming years. As an educator, you should put your focus on this technology for sure.
Check out the above video. You may get a feeling as if you are also climbing the hill. You can get a 360-degree view of the surrounding.
Traditional classroom-based lectures have the lowest knowledge retention rate whereas technology like VR can increase knowledge retention to a significant level. VR technology can help students to understand a particular topic easily. Complex concepts and things that are taught using Virtual Reality can prove beneficial for the students to grasp and retain for a longer time.
On the other hand, Augmented Reality gives learners and educators a platform to feel and touch the subjects of study anywhere and anytime. These technologies help make education an immersive field rather than the rigid and forced kind of atmosphere towards both students and teachers known as in the past. The freedom that these technologies supplement teachers and students in the ways of earning is massive.
The need for immersive and interactive learning methods in teaching has led to teachers and educators lending their assignments and projects in the form of games. While not a new prospect in the field of education, as it has been in the industry’s motto for over 20 years, today’s generational learning depends on it with full force. While most people think that gamification refers to the process of integrating only games into the teaching process, it is so much wider in its reach than it might seem at face value.
Introducing gamification into one’s teaching schedule may include making the learning experience for an individual as clear as possible by supplementing him rules stated clearly and boundaries made specifically to indulge in the creative behavior of the student.
Excluding stereotypical modules from the minds of creators as well as parents and teachers is a must, as without that the trust in gamification by the students will be limited resulting in lesser results than expected.
More times than needed, the type of motivation that this sort of learning grants the student with short-term motivation like achievements and scores but for the long-term, a deeper analysis is needed by the student as well as the teacher if this method is supposed to enhance the learning experience. Differing from the given patterns of games can be exciting and grow more out-of-the-box thinking in the student.
10. Subscription-Based Model for Learning
In recent times entertainment and media industries are moving away from home-based and traditional forms of supplying media to consumers, the same tactic should be used by the education industry to change the way we view learning.
In traditional online learning, the user is eligible to pay for one course, view teaching material based on it, complete its assignments, receive feedback and pass the examination on the course to receive the certificate. But in today’s fast-moving world the user wants to try out multiple given courses, try all of them out, choose a specific one based on their need and assessments and then appear for the exam above, this type of learning is based on subscriptions, and monthly payments.
This module of learning was seen as a failure back in the past but is a growing trend in the scope of education today. The method of subscription gives the user full access to the study material of all courses simultaneously, while also giving the user the function of changing the course midway.
In this sense, the user can study anything on the site whenever and wherever they like without the worry of being stuck in one square of course.
Thus, from the above 10 points, we can conclude that education technology is a buzzword that can help Indian universities with the adoption of new things or solutions.
Impact of COVID-19 and Education Technology
The recent COVID-19 outbreak has badly impacted the education sector. Due to the strict measures being taken to prevent the spread of the virus, there is forceful adoption of technology with live classes, learning, and proctored exams taking off in a big way. This has actually helped the education system to commence its journey toward digitization.
Thus, the education sector is likely to change drastically in the coming year due to the large-scale adoption of technology for schools, colleges, and universities. This would not just enhance the education standards but also increase the knowledge gained by the students which would brighten up their own as well as the country’s future.
About the Author
Swapnil has more than 15 years of experience in the Information Technology sector. He has been working on digital platforms in the education sector. Swapnil is an avid reader and writes articles on technology and leading developments in the education and IT sectors.
Swapnil is the founder of Splashgain, an Education Technology company from India working on various innovative EdTech platforms for examinations, proctoring solutions, digital admission processes, and more. Splashgain has been working with many educational institutes and universities for AI-powered innovations and solutions to transform the education sector.
Splashgain has also filed a patent for an innovative product based on AI.