The term Edtech is getting increasingly popular and Google Trends shows that the Covid 19 pandemic has drastically increased the number of people interested in it. If you are one of those wondering what do EdTech websites actually do, I have a detailed explanation for you in this article.
What do EdTech websites do? EdTech websites combine Education with technology and are platforms that deliver education digitally to students. EdTech websites can make learning extremely convenient for students as well as teachers by providing remote learning, adaptive learning, automated evaluation, retaining attention easier, and making learning more engaging.
There are so many ways in which EdTech websites can help you as a student or as an education provider and it’s important to know the ins and outs of all of those.
The simplest functional definition of an EdTech website is any web-based platform that offers learning in any form. By that definition, almost all websites share some form of information with their users, from blogs to Wikipedia to YouTube. So, all websites are EdTech websites to different extents, but in the article, we limit our discussion to dedicated EdTech websites and what do such websites do.
EdTech websites often have a learning management system that delivers online classes to its users, usually in a pre-recorded video form. The students are enrolled either for the free courses or by paying a fee for the paid courses. And once enrolled, they get access to learning materials inside one or more of the courses.
Through EdTech websites, students can learn anywhere they want. Traditional classroom education that involves commuting every day from home to school and back home is no longer necessary. Now students can learn in the comfort of their homes.
While critics are concerned about the impact of lack of human interaction, they often forget that there are students who are introverted, shy, or not comfortable in the presence of others. So, it is hard for them to focus on their work in public or ask questions in front of people. With remote learning, such students can get their questions answered and can learn in their comfort zone.
EdTech websites also provide the option for adaptive learning. All students naturally have different levels of cognitive abilities. Thus, traditional education which teaches everyone using the same approach might make some students demotivated while others bored. With adaptive learning, the EdTech websites can judge the level of each individual user and can deliver adaptive content. Further, it can also provide adaptive tests and adaptive evaluations that provide a fairer opportunity for every student.
In traditional education, the evaluation of students for tests and assignments is a rather tedious task for teachers. The moral responsibility of delivering fair judgment to each student can be crushing at times, especially when you are dealing with a class of hundreds of students. With the EdTech website, it’s easy to set up automated evaluations for online tests. This takes away a huge task from the teachers’ shoulders.
Another value that EdTech websites give is making learning more interesting and interactive. Online platforms can deliver lessons in a fun and easy-to-consume way. It can hold the attention of students for longer. Even traditionally, most kids were more inclined towards watching TV than reading a book. It’s obvious that visual and interactive way of delivering information has always been easy to consume and digest. It’s time to take advantage of technology and deliver more effective education.
With EdTech websites, you can understand the needs of each individual student in more detail. Every student has different strengths and weaknesses and this factor was not considered in traditional education as much as it should have.
With the self-paced learning opportunity that EdTech websites provide, students can skim through the lessons that they are good at and can go deeper into lessons that they need more attention to. Also, the non-synchronous (pre-recorded) content makes repetition easier. On the contrary, in traditional education, students have to sit through hours of lectures that they already know and it’s harder for them to get repeated explanations for topics that are harder to understand.
With EdTech websites, it is possible to analyze data on how much time a student took to cover a particular lesson. It can also analyze the pattern of mistakes a student makes on tests. Based on the student’s strengths and weaknesses, instructors can create personalized lesson plans for each student.
Most of us (who graduated in the pre-COVID era) have gone through traditional education and experienced the challenges that come with it. For example, while learning Geometry or Trigonometry in a classroom lecture, it can be hard to visualize the shapes, angles, or distances using pen and paper. And learning everything from books can be boring at times unless you are a total nerd like me. With 3D animations and augmented reality, it is easy to visualize everything that you are learning and it makes it a lot more intuitive to learn maths, physics, or engineering.
EdTech websites also give the opportunity to gamify learning. You can get your web-based gaming app developed and embed it on your EdTech website and students can take up these games to complement their learning. Games are more engaging than old-school lectures and quizzes. It promotes healthy competition among peers. It engages the students in experiential learning and Kinesthetic learning, which is largely ignored in traditional education.
Through EdTech websites, education providers can engage students in many other activities as well, like attempting quizzes together or comparing their solutions to their peers and learning through different perspectives.
With EdTech, it is now possible to learn from anyone whom you can aspire. For example, if you could not get selected for your dream university, it does not have to be the end of all your dreams. Professors from the best institutes in the world are also taking part in creating online lectures which can be accessed by students around the world.
Many experts believe that going for fully digitized learning can destroy the age-old relationship between students and teachers. Most parents also trust the teachers with imparting a values system to the students. Learning through a human connection has its own value that cannot be ignored. Also spending time with their classmates in person develops the social dynamics among the students.
I believe the best approach for learning, in the long run, is a hybrid model. Most schools and traditional education institutes have an EdTech platform these days that supplement classroom lectures. Also, there are so many learning platforms that bridge the gap between college education and the job market. Also, EdTech websites provide a great opportunity for working professionals to refresh their skills and knowledge, which traditionally wasn’t as easy since they cannot go back to school or college.
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