The recent Covid pandemic has proven that our education system presents obvious vulnerabilities. The fragility of this infrastructure has been laid bare for all the world to see.
The consequences will affect an entire generation of people.
Long after the masks are gone, we will still suffer the effects of this setback. Currently, millions of students from across the globe are attending online classes in hopes of not falling behind. Also, there is a growing interest in education aid companies and essay sites, proving that at least a portion of students cannot meet the current demands.
At the start of 2021, there is no end in sight. Students, teachers, parents, experts, and commentators are holding their breath to see what will happen. This is a fight that transcends politics and age groups, as our entire society is interested in children and young adults’ education.
Here are the top Edtech predictions for the year 2021:
When you are dealing with millions of people, it can be hard to assess the current situation. As mentioned, consequences in education policy changes have a very slow boil. We will know for sure if a change was helpful, only after decades have passed.
A vast number of students have missed a chunk of the 2019-2020 school year. Even the subjects and classes that they were able to attend were held online. Not even the best schools on the planet have been able to make remote learning be effective.
Even in the best of cases, retention rates suffer drastically. Given this situation, we must know what is going on. Learning analytics technology gathers data from students nation-wide. In addition, organizations can be formed internationally to share relevant data.
The goal is not to wait decades or an entire school year to see what works. New methods can be tested and analyzed quicker. In real-time, we will have feedback on what we should keep and what should be thrown away.
An unhealthy stereotype damages human perception—a sort of proto-dualism, where activities of the mind and the body are entirely separate. You are either a man of learning or a man of action. As popular culture is fond of showing, you are either a nerd or a jock.
The reality of the human body is different. So many people find even regular learning to be profoundly boring and unstimulating due to a lack of engagement. Boredom and disengagement hurt people on a psychological level.
Being told to sit down motionless and noiseless for hours at a time encourages an inferior engagement rate. Minds were meant to retain while doing.
At least before Covid, you got to go to school and see real people. Now, even that was taken away.
Students are asked to sit in front of a screen, passively watching a lesson. Although there isn’t much data on such a new phenomenon, the little amount of data we have shows a distinct disengagement on the student’s part.
This trend of decreased motivation will most likely bleed-into the year 2021. An excellent method to combat this is to jump on any occasion to gamify the learning experience. Teachers can make up challenges, give distinct and remember-able names, set milestones, etc.
Government money can commission online applications with graphics and sounds, using the addictive nature of video games for learning.
In essence, learning is already seen as a dull affair by energetic young people. Remote learning is even more so. There needs to be a dedicated effort to change that. Lessons learned now will be useful even after the pandemic ends.
It seems that comfort is the enemy of innovation. It is surprising to learn that hardship, disease, and war often force people to adapt via technology. Before Covid, technology was steadily being integrated into the educational landscape. However, this was happening at a glacier’s pace.
And for all the negative results of remote learning, technology is showing a lot of promise. The tech itself isn’t to blame; it’s the fact that we have to rely on tech alone.
Students will never be able to rid themselves of human contact; it’s just how people are built. However, as an educational aid, technology is precious.
Educational technology and aids have seen an explosion in popularity. Digital tools for essay writing, spell checking, lesson plans, school schedules, translators, homework apps, and hundreds of other apps are being put to good use.
Not to mention video conference software, whose monthly user numbers must be astounding. The best part is that we get to keep all of these innovations after the crisis ends.
As any quality inspector can tell you: If you want to test something, you put it under stress. The current crisis is fascinating to observe, given that it provides insight into the education process.
It seems that teaching will forever be tied to in-person instruction, but technology can enhance and speed up said instruction.
Technology is best used when it is understood. It is unhealthy and unproductive to treat it as a fix-all solution for any issue. It will never be the main method of mass-educating millions of people. The brain’s retention mechanism depends too much on engagement and emotional tags.
By taking into account the limitations of tech, it paradoxically becomes an even more powerful implementation. Regardless of your opinion on the matter, the education landscape has forever changed.