EdTech And Why It's Hot! EdTech, or educational technology, is a hot topic right now for instructors, administrators, learners, and investors. Educational institutes of all levels are looking at the latest advancements in technology to figure out how they can be leveraged and used to improve the field of education. Problems such as adaptive learning styles, lack of educational institutes embracing change, and the misuse of technology have posed a threat to the educational system as a whole.
More explicitly, EdTech, is a the study and practice of facilitating “e-learning,” or instructional methods by combining technology, media, and learning theory (Marlboro Edu). EdTech systems can be K-12 schools, higher education, businesses, corporate facilities, and beyond. In a broad sense of the term, it is a tool used as an extension for human capability.
Caleb Clark, of Marlboro College Graduate School, defines it as a place where “teach” meets “geek.” Clark notes that teachers typically do not have the technological “geek” understanding of the system, but have the talent to teach. Reversed, those engineering the mechanical and technological support systems often don’t know how to “teach” and be engaging. Somewhere in the middle lies, EdTech, the perfect balance of “geeking it out” with technology and more traditional teaching approaches.
EdTech provides learners with the appropriate technological resources in the form of software, hardware, and Internet applications – blogs, wikis, and webinars, and telecommunications – and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The facilitating process of technological resources is endless and quickly changing.
An interesting fact about EdTech is, that with the exponential growth of the Internet/technology, there are no limits or containing categories that EdTech falls into. Versatile as it is, “EdTechers,” those working behind the system and embracing the change, make sure to keep it a mere extension/liaison, and use it as a tool to bridge newer processes with traditional teaching, and ensure it is easily adapted without losing sight of the goal and main teaching objectives.
Current platforms supporting EdTech include digital classroom systems such as Blackboard, OpenCourseWare, and E-Lecta.edu. Other supporting technologies include podcasts, wiki pages, mobile devices (m-learning), and mobile applications.
What can we expect from the future of EdTech?
In this era of education 2.0, we will continue to see platform expansion. As of now, m-learning seems to be on the rise with its appeal of on-the-go access, collaboration using cloud computing, and the sharing compatibility, which gives mobility possibilities even more leverage. As of April 15th, Scholastics launched its largest product in EdTech history, which was six breakthrough mobile programs for the common core proficiency of students, designed specifically for the iPad. We are sure to see more of this happening in the very near future.
Always keep learning.
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