We want to begin this article about education technology solutions with a short story about a girl from Pakistan. Her name is Khadijah Niazi. As an ambitious and talented young student in grade four, she had a strong desire to participate in a science club. Just like her brother. Unfortunately, she was denied taking part. The apparent reason? Not enough girls interested in science to run a girls club. In her own words, she felt confused and angry.
Sometime later, her school hosted a maths competition, divided into one part for boys and another for girls. Her brother’s teacher started preparing him for the contest and gave the lad extra time to learn. Nothing similar was done for her. This was when she decided to take matters into her own hands and began taking online courses.
After a few years of intensive learning and completing about 20 courses, she passed an exam in quantum mechanics at the age of 13! In a TEDx talk in Islamabad, she mentioned how important the fusion of education and technology is. Had it not been for the internet, the online platforms and the helpful people she found there, none of what she did would be possible.
What our generation needs to know now is about the fusion of education. The fusion of online learning with brick-and-mortar learning. None of these systems can deliver alone now, in this age of technological revolution.
We agree with Khadijah. Technology plays an important role in education and helps many students overcome hurdles that would otherwise be almost impenetrable obstacles. It provides a wide range of innovative tools and resources to help educators enhance student learning experiences and outcomes.
Let’s look at five educational technology solutions that are already improving the way in which many people study.
The rise of digital technology has enabled remote learning to become more accessible, interactive, and engaging for students. Online courses and virtual classrooms have become more streamlined and user-friendly, with increased multimedia capabilities. Collaborative tools such as video conferencing and chat rooms are used to facilitate communication and collaboration.
Here are the most important benefits of remote learning.
- Increased flexibility and accessibility. Students can accumulate knowledge at their own pace and at a time & place that best suits their needs.
- Lower costs & eco-friendly approach. With remote learning, both pupils and teachers don’t h waste time and fuel commuting to and from school. And schools themselves use less resources like electricity and heating.
- Increased comfort. Students can learn in a comfortable and familiar environment, which can help reduce stress and make learning more enjoyable.
- Improved digital literacy. People who take part in online education can develop and improve their digital literacy skills as they use and interact with technology.
As with everything, remote learning has its challenges. For example, it’s harder for pupils to maintain friendships and socialize if they don’t attend school in the traditional sense. Another issue is the absence of basic physical activity that can result from online learning. There’s a limited set of exercises students can do during online P.E. Plus, this type of schooling encourages a sedentary lifestyle, which is obviously unhealthy.
Gamification in education
When talking about education technology solutions, gamification is at the top of our list. It can make learning a fun and rewarding experience for students by providing rewards and recognition for completing tasks, offering feedback, and providing an engaging and interactive learning environment. Many educational institutions are now using this tool to give students a more exciting and engaging experience.
And engagement is key. If the participants aren’t willing to discover new things and gain new skills, training or class will be ineffective no matter how rich the curriculum is. Arguably everybody like some form of competition and games. The idea of receiving a reward, even in the form of useless points on a scoreboard, gets us excited and helps us concentrate on the task.
This is exactly why it’s way easier for many to learn a new language with an app like Duolingo than by attending a traditional course. I, for one, love the idea of a learning streak. And although the subsequent numbers that appear next to the fire icon don’t have a tangible value, they’re what keeps me motivated to complete at least one task a day. Finally, Duolingo tracks students’ progress and adjusts teaching strategies accordingly, and that’s another great advantage of gamification.
An example of a gamified learning experience in virtual reality is the application 4Experience developed for MissionOne. It’s essentially a VR soft skills training app aimed at improving communication and collaboration between team members as well as leadership skills. Any team can take advantage of the tool, although it has been made with business users in mind. Having mentioned virtual reality, let’s look at it closer.
Immersive learning experiences
Immersive experiences are increasingly used as a more effective and engaging way of learning than traditional methods. They use XR technologies, including virtual reality training, AR apps and 3D simulations.
Just like with gamification, immersive learning aims at increasing the engagement of students and trainees. It’s interactive and overall fun to use. Virtual reality also helps remove outside distractions. Once you put on a headset, your phone lighting up won’t make you lose focus on what you’re doing.
Finally, VR & 3D simulations enable students to witness or train in conditions that would be too risky or expensive to recreate physically. Like training for flight deck personnel during harsh weather conditions.
Virtual reality in education
To show you the potential applications of VR in schools, let’s look at this VR education app 4Experience developed. It’s a software project designed to bring immersive virtual reality experiences to the classroom. The platform allows teachers to teach through VR experiences using a library of educational content, including interactive lessons, quizzes, and virtual tours.
The software supports multiple headsets and devices, making it easy for students to access the content from anywhere. It’s also easy to implement a dashboard for teachers to monitor student progress and engagement, as well as analytics to help them identify areas for improvement.
Furthermore, virtual reality can also be used for interactive storytelling and visiting historical sites and events as if we were there. At 4Experience, we had the opportunity and privilege to work on a VR storytelling project that shows the harsh reality of the Warsaw Uprising during World War II. Tools like these can be fantastic education technology solutions if used properly.
Adaptive learning tools
We all enjoy personalized experiences and products. Our name on a coffee cup or a signed thank you note make us feel appreciated. But there are also more pragmatic reasons for personalization. A personalized product will fit our needs better. And it’s the same for learning experiences.
This is where adaptive learning tools come into play. These modern applications use AI and machine learning to learn your habits and preferences. Based on that, they can personalize the experience and let you learn at your own pace and in the most effective way.
We can use Duolingo as an example once more. The application collects analytical data about the users’ behaviors and performance. This information is used to upgrade and improve the mechanics. As a result, the application is constantly updated with new, better ways to learn.
Adaptive learning can be a part of larger education technology solutions like a VR training platform or application.
Learning management systems
Early learning management systems started appearing when computers were first used for education. Canvas, Blackboard and Moodle are listed among the most popular LMS platforms in the U.S., Moodle being the most used one in Europe. They’re essentially software applications used to create, manage, and deliver online learning experiences.
These education technology solutions are used mainly in higher learning and professional settings. Among other things, they help create virtual classrooms and host online assessments & quizzes.
The biggest advantages of using an LMS can include better access to learning resources, lower administrative and operational costs, automation, improved scalability & flexibility, as well as more effective knowledge transfer.
The future of technology solutions in education
We’ve only scratched the surface of what education technology solutions can do. The future looks brighter than ever. We’re sure to see an even bigger demand for online and remote learning, which will require more powerful and user-friendly technologies.
The use of virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D simulations will also become more commonplace as educators recognize their potential for improving student engagement and learning outcomes. We can also expect to see increased use of adaptive learning tools, as well as more efficient learning management systems.
All in all, the combination of education & technology solutions has the potential to revolutionize the way in which people learn and acquire new skills. It can help people access opportunities that were not available to them before and create a more equitable school environment. We are excited to see what the future holds for this powerful fusion.
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The author generated this text about education technology solutions in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.