Historically, the education sector has been one that is traditional to the core. This is true of other industries as well, but it rarely runs as deep as it does within the education sector. Educators and students coexist amid a series of learning and educating techniques, ideals, methods, and models. The entire focus of education is built around the ideal that there is something profound in academic progression. For the most part, and for most individuals, this is certainly true.
There are, of course, always individuals who find that their identity as a student is not for them, and thus they take their talents and their mind elsewhere. What has begun to waver, however, is the fact that education tools have begun to shift wildly, needing to find their footing in an increasingly technologically-focused world. In today’s modern society, technology is literally everywhere. In the education sector, it began to infiltrate in subtle ways.
First, course materials and assessment submission methods went digital. Then, students had the opportunity to hire an essay writer to lessen their workload when they were stressed out. And now, education technology (EdTech) has leapt into the industry, changing it and having profound impact all at once. But there is a problem.
The current problem with the EdTech approach
EdTech has the means and the potential to be literally life-changing. The issue with EdTech is not the technology itself. Not at all. The issue with EdTech lies in the way that EdTech entrepreneurs and startups approach bringing their devices and platforms to the industry.
Focusing more so on their own experiences in school and with learning (experiences that, mind you, occurred upwards of twenty-five to thirty years ago now, on average), they craft their designs and have the prototypes made. But the education sector has changed dramatically since they were in school themselves. Focusing on their own experiences is not the way.
How to bridge the gap and solve the issue
Instead of focusing on their own experiences, EdTech entrepreneurs and startups should be actively asking the current educators and students where they feel the gaps in the system are. For EdTech to be successfully included, it must be focused towards bridging gaps that are currently happening, not gaps that have previously been an issue.
Some educators (emphasis on some) believe that allowing the implementation of EdTech into the sector will create a digital divide that, ultimately, will make the industry less inclusive and more complex. This is untrue. It is easy to understand why some educators have this believe, because many of them came into their profession in a time where technology in education was not even a remote possibility.
EdTech development and implementation in the future
For any EdTech innovation to have true and lasting impact in the future, it needs to be primarily focused on current issues while also focusing on carefully watching the industry to make predictive guesses at future issues as well. EdTech is about bringing active, reliable solutions to real-world problems.