Technological advancements are continuously transforming fields and industries, including the education sector. Educational technology, or EdTech for short, has been met with increasing demand. A Forbes’ report on the global EdTech market notes that this demand is expected to grow annually by 16.5%, with the EdTech industry projected to reach a market value of $404 billion by 2025.
This demand is largely driven by the need to serve all learners from K-12 and higher education up to the workforce. Other contributing factors to EdTech’s growth are the widespread use of mobile devices and increasing Internet connectivity worldwide.
However, the value of learning is not just based on the tools and technologies used. This article takes a look at how technology-enabled education has the ability to expand teaching principles and move towards a more student-centered learning experience.
Enhances digital skills
There have been concerns about the health consequences of technology, especially among young people who are constantly exposed to it for educational and personal use.
But as we previously covered in an article entitled ‘Is Technology Causing Problems for Students?’, when technology is carefully and thoughtfully applied in education, it can do more than just minimize physical and mental fatigue among students. More importantly, access to digital resources and tools enables students to gain and/or enhance digital skills like computer literacy, data entry, and digital content creation.
This is especially important in preparing students for today’s fast-paced job market, as the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation notes that digital skills are critical to increased employment opportunities and higher wages. For every 10% increase in digital skill level, the average U.S. worker’s salary can increase by 4%.
Facilitates lifelong and real-world learning
The potential of EdTech in accelerating skills development is not just limited to students. In fact, e-learning statistics compiled by Studocu reveal that employees are also utilizing digital tools and platforms for professional training and lifelong learning.
According to those statistics, corporate e-learning is expected to grow by $37.8 billion from 2020 to 2025. More than 90% of U.S. businesses are realizing how e-learning can boost learners’ efficiency by 40-60% and their retention rates by 82% compared to traditional learning. Through corporate e-learning, employees can be onboarded more efficiently and learn role-based skills essential for productivity and career advancement.
Finally, since e-learning is cost-effective and requires fewer dedicated staff or trainers, 42% of companies that use e-learning are reported to generate more income than those that don’t.
Personalizes the learning experience
Technology has also significantly changed the learning experience in terms of personalizing it to the learner’s needs and learning styles. Traditionally, it is the teacher or instructor who takes control of both the learning content and timeline.
But with e-learning tools like learning management systems (LMS), learners of all ages can absorb material at their own pace and only learn what is applicable to their knowledge level. GlobeNewswire reports that this has led to a rapid growth in the self-paced e-learning market. The industry is expected to increase from $7.61 billion in 2022 to $8.06 billion in 2023 and is expected to expand at a faster rate in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Furthermore, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in various LMS can collect data on each individual learner’s performance, progress, and learning history. The AI-powered LMS can then monitor which areas need improvement so that learning can be more specific and targeted, as opposed to taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
But beyond AI, the future of e-learning is bright and teeming with possibilities for further enhancing the learning environment. Introducing gamification elements like leaderboards and point systems, for one, can make learning more fun and interactive. Meanwhile, ongoing advancements in virtual/augmented reality for 3D classroom models aim to provide real-time engagement and collaboration, even when learning sessions are conducted remotely.