Online learning and educational tools have made education widely available, easily accessible and more affordable for all aspiring learners across the world. Numerous colleges and online institutes now offer a wide range of courses on various subjects to help spread the reach of education. We are now using EdTech to offer advanced learning opportunities to students located even in remote parts of the world.
According to a report published by Ambient Insight, it was found that global EdTech firms have accumulated around $2.34 billion last year in funding. This figure has increased significantly from $1.64 billion back in 2013. Here we are going to talk about how such investments are improving education worldwide-
Today providing access to basic educational opportunities on a global scale have become a serious problem. Approximately 58 million elementary school-aged kids and around 63 million preteens who are of middle school age globally, did not get admitted to school in 2012, as per a report released by UNICEF in January 2015.
Jeremy Johnson, founder and CEO of global talent accelerator Andela and co-founder of 2U, recently wrote in an article, “Educators around the world are using technology to increase access to education. Pencil, a nonprofit organization in New York City, is leveraging technology and community involvement to impact urban schools, paving the way for struggling school systems in cities worldwide.”
Winning over cost
Cost is still one of the biggest obstacles for education. In the US, the total outstanding debt for public school systems in 2012 was over $406 million, claims a report released by the United States Census Bureau in 2014.
Johnson added “As the cost of education rises, many public school teachers are left to pick up the tab. A survey of 946 U.S. teachers conducted in June 2014 by Sheer ID and Agile Education Marketing found that respondents spent an average of $513 of their own money on classroom supplies, resources, classroom books, and professional development during the 2013-14 school year… Ed-tech is helping to relieve some of the financial burden.”
Reorganizing the classroom
Johnson believes that education technology is modifying the way our teachers teach and our students learn. He believes, “In place of the traditional brick-and-mortar classroom, we have witnessed the rise of ‘flipped classrooms’ leveraging blended online and offline instruction, where students watch video lectures at home and do their ‘homework’ in class.”
According to a 2014 survey by Kaltura conducted on 500 educational professionals, it was observed that almost 48 per cent of the instructors utilise videos and implement flipped classroom strategies; while 57 per cent respondents claimed that flipped classrooms will soon be considered as the standard in higher education. Eventually blended online learning will become the benchmark.
EdTech offers academic opportunities and solutions to children as well as adults who are focused on pursuing higher education, learning new skills and boosting their employability in an affordable way. Johnson wrote “For instance, Udacity offers affordable higher education options. The company provides massive open online courses that focus on teaching tech skills needed by the top employers in the Silicon Valley. A range of technology skills are in short supply today, and Udacity is working to bridge the skills gap.”
“By developing education alternatives, these companies are ensuring that every student, regardless of age or location, can compete in a 21st century economy.” he added.
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