This month’s A Level and GCSE results highlighted #EdTech’s true scope and potential, as the future of education
Not only did the results prove how EdTech has complemented traditional teaching in the last 18 months - allowing schools to cope with the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic - but also how EdTech has reinvented the way students learn and teachers teach.
Pandemic-related school closures and disruptions resulted in students having to learn much of the syllabus virtually. Despite this, the proportion of top grades achieved by students in their A-levels was at its highest ever. In England, 44.3% of A-level entries were awarded either an A* or A grade – a 6.2% increase from the results from 2020 and a 19.1% rise from the pre-pandemic exam results of 2019.
Even the most cynical believers in grade inflation cannot argue that EdTech has not come of age this ear. EdTech has created a more inclusive, accessible classroom providing greater equality of opportunity and reducing the achievement gap.
Advanced, online EdTech platforms – using innovative techniques and varied learning methods to create a more personalised approach to educating – have allowed students to achieve their grades in difficult circumstances. Schools and educators can no longer ignore technology’s ability to make teaching and learning a more engaging, productive and flexible experience.
EdTech ensures no student is left behind and helps create a level playing field in the classroom. With students and teachers now accustomed to online learning, EdTech will undoubtedly play a more central role in schools.
As students return to in-person teaching in September, it is vital educators do not lose sight of this. The pandemic has accelerated the advancement of the education system and helped create a more inclusive learning environment.
Ability should not hold students back or hinder their educational development. The use of assistive technology and EdTech platforms or tools should be encouraged to help students meet their needs and discover which learning methods work best for them.
In 2018, education writer Amelia Harper noted EdTech developments benefit students with disabilities and allow special education students to work from the same devices as their peers. Students with physical, sensory and cognitive disabilities can benefit from alternative methods of learning and a more personalised approach thanks to EdTech platforms. These assistive tools and technologies can promote a sense of belonging and inclusivity in the classroom.
In education, there should be no one-size-fits-all solution. The last year has shown that EdTech can help prevent students falling behind and support unique needs in different ways, affording students greater independence, whilst easing the strain on teachers.
A recent United Nations Sustainable Development campaign reinforced the correlation between education and socioeconomic mobility. The findings indicated a higher quality of education results in a better quality of life.
Last month, at the Global Education Summit in London, Boris Johnson called on world leaders to invest in children’s education to “avoid the legacy of wasted talent” due to the pandemic. Johnson added: “Enabling children to learn and reach their full potential is the single greatest thing we can do to recover from this crisis and build better, fairer societies.”
EdTech wields considerable power; overcoming socioeconomic barriers and equipping the students of today with the necessary skills for the jobs of tomorrow.
EdTech is central to an inclusive classroom. Specialized assistive technology helps students overcome education barriers, equipping them with the tools and skills to succeed in life.
Technology has turned traditional classrooms into hyper-connected ones, where teachers educated in different ways and students learned in different ways. Governments also issued grants and financial aid to enable schools to afford devices to continue remote learning.
Last week’s results were concrete evidence of EdTech’s ability to democratise learning, promote a meritocratic classroom, eliminate the achievement gap and, ultimately, allow students to be the best they can be.
The future of education is exciting. Now is the time to embrace technology and make EdTech a core component of the education system.
Manan Khurma, Founder and CEO of Cuemath