5 Ways That Edtech is Democratizing Education

Technology permeates every aspect of our lives today. So it’s not surprising that these advances are now revolutionizing our educational system, too.

The results are more far-reaching than anyone could have predicted. Here are some of the ways in which edtech is levelling the playing field, making quality educational experiences available to all.

  1. The best educators in the world are now available to everyone. Online platforms such as MIT OpenCourseware, Coursera and even YouTube grant access to some of the best instructors in the globe. A student living in an isolated rural area, or even in the far reaches of Africa, can now attend lectures by prestigious professors at Harvard, Yale or MIT.
  2. Students can easily access personalized assessment and feedback. The development of powerful learning analytic tools allow students to monitor their own progress towards learning goals. Apps like Khan Academy and DuoLingo embed personalized assessment in the learning experience. Learning analytics can also target areas in which improved instruction is needed. This ability to self-assess is available to any student with a Wifi connection.
  3. Edtech improves the quality of interactions with face-to-face teachers. With easy access to quality lessons and lectures, face-to-face teachers can spend less time assembling materials and more time interacting with students. They can focus on getting to know their students better and personalize instruction to a degree that was never possible before.
  4. Knowledge and information is available to all for free or at a low cost. Remember when poorer school districts could not afford textbooks? How about when students who couldn’t afford college got no higher education at all? Gone are the days when education was out of reach for the economically disadvantaged. Even the poorest schools and students in the world can find the educational content that they need.
  5. Students can access communities of experts. We all know that the most effective method of learning is not reading or listening. It is through hands-on experience and expert examples. A student learning about history can chat with an archaeologist on Skype. Language students can communicate with native speakers via blogs or wikis. These communities of experts open up opportunities for students who could never even have imagined it before.

Thanks to the emerging edtech revolution in our schools, a student from a poor village in Rwanda now has the same opportunities as a third-generation legacy Yale student. The playing field has been levelled in a way that’s truly unprecedented in history.

 

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