A teaching revolution

2 mins read

When the current Coronavirus crisis is over and life returns to normal, will EdTech be playing an even bigger role in educating children?

Teachers and students alike have, over the past few weeks, had to watch as schools have been shut down and exams cancelled amid the on-going public health emergency caused by the Coronavirus.

According to the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization thousands of schools have been closed around the world, with hundreds of millions of students facing an educational upheaval that’s unparalleled in both its scale and level of disruption.

The implications of the pandemic for the education sector, and the impact it’s having, has been so great that it is to be examined in a wide-ranging inquiry by the UK Parliament’s Education Select Committee.

Its chair, Robert Halfon MP, has said, “The coronavirus outbreak is going to have a deep and long-lasting impact right across the education sector.”

One of those impacts will be the accelerating trend for using more technology in schools, and this crisis has seen a growing number of schools turning to it in order to maintain learning continuity.

Today, the Coronavirus has resulted in the majority of children in the UK now being educated remotely, with schools adopting technology to deliver the best learning experiences they can.

In the latest issue of New Electronics we look at how technology is being used to revolutionise education, whether through the use of robotics or virtual reality, which has the potential to make education more immersive and impactful, or by deploying artificial intelligence.

While for some the move to use technology will require a significant shift in mind-set, for others it’ll be seen as an opportunity to think creatively and to look at new and emerging ways to embed and use technology when it comes to teaching and learning.

While EdTech certainly has a positive perception in terms of its impact on teacher workloads and student experiences, there is often a widespread gap in teacher proficiency, which means that these resources are often under-utilised and are not always able to deliver the potential benefits promised.

So ensuring that technology supports education will require not only better support for teachers but, from the industry itself, greater creativity and a willingness to rethink and redesign technology – keeping it simple and making sure it really does deliver what is promised.

As with any crisis, as the Coronavirus upends the way in which we work, live and engage with one another, plenty of companies in the EdTech sector will be looking to make money by selling their technology to schools.

Critically the EdTech industry needs to ensure that it puts the needs of both teachers and students first, because the risks and costs to both of getting ‘technology’ wrong will be immense.