How Technology is Shaping Education

education

Emerging technologies are restructuring the roles and paradigms in the education sector more profoundly now than ever before. We are at the age of the fourth industrial revolution, which is impacting all industries — especially education. Nascent technologies like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and Big Data are increasingly sweeping into classrooms and lecture halls. And the influx of new teaching tools and approaches afforded by these technologies is redefining teaching pedagogies, the role of educators, and education as a whole.

Personalized and gamified education

Every student learns in a different way and emerging technologies are helping educators address this through personalization. Adaptive learning software and increased access to the curriculum in varying formats is helping educators increase learning efficiency. Furthermore, the use of data in the classrooms also helps teachers keep track of their students’ performance or even studying habits. This rapid advancement of technology and its aforementioned impact on education gave birth to EdTech as an up-and-coming sector in the startup sphere. An EdSurge estimate found that $1.45 billion of venture capital has been infused to education-focused startups in 2018 alone. While this currently only constitutes for 1.1% of all VC-backed funding, it can definitely be said that the number of EdTech startups is increasing. Case in point, DreamBox, who received the largest deal amounting to $130 million in 2018, provides students with personalized and on-the-go learning experience with videos and games. Other areas include utilizing virtual reality and augmented reality for education.  

Feedback loop

The digital transformation of the economy also acts as a feedback loop to the education sector as the demand for STEM professionals reaches an inflection point. Schools and universities are putting a premium over STEM and coding classes, as it’s estimated that most of the jobs available in the future require these skills. With this, the education sector is aimed at churning out problem solvers and innovators who are self-reliant and technologically capable. For professionals and companies, re-education and reskilling have been paramount in achieving business goals. In response, massive open online courses (MOOCs) are also on the rise, with higher educational institutions increasingly investing in this format.  

Forging linkages

The constant disruptions in industries caused by these nascent technologies have also made the skills needed to be technically ambiguous and forward-looking. The advancement of technology adoption in the manufacturing industry, for one, has made it difficult for companies to hire professionals that can match the positions available. This is why industries are partnering up with universities to supply highly skilled professionals. For instance, Ohio State University is a manufacturing R&D and training powerhouse in the region. Indeed, its Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence is being funded to facilitate the growth of manufacturing in-state. Apart from being recognized as an Apple Distinguished School, Maryville University has also been exploring private partnerships with aircraft manufacturer Boeing and investment firm Edward Jones in developing degree programs for jobs that have yet to exist. This inevitable forging of linkages in industries and educational institutions is set to redefine and broaden higher education. This can also be seen in the proliferation of tech hubs adjoined to universities to directly connect emerging technologies to aspiring student-entrepreneurs. Austin, which is home to the University of Texas, is fast becoming the new Silicon Valley, with Apple recently announcing that it will build a new $1 billion campus in the area. High-tech workers and entrepreneurs gravitate towards these hubs and communities to foster greater innovation — further reshaping higher education.

 

Article exclusively for austinymca.org

Contributed by Andrea Swanson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrea Swanson
Contributor
All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to info@austinymca.org

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