Education as a sector still needs to implement technology initiatives considered the norm in other industries
Education is a sector still in need of implementing technology initiatives that are considered the norm in other industries.
Encouragingly, EdTech is increasingly becoming a priority for educational institutions worldwide, in line with the requirements of today's job market.
Some of the benefits of implementing EdTech:
It helps students change careers and plan their future education
Oliver Thomas, Director of Strategy and Innovation at Hult International Business School, claims that his first encounter with education technology was actually in his own HealthTech business.
“We ran webinars for our clients to give them more information about new scientific developments. There was a huge appetite for this, and it became clear to me then how much people were craving relevant, accessible education. It was then I realised how big the opportunity in EdTech could be.”
In Thomas's opinion, education is one of the key sectors that benefit from digital transformation, being a sector that plays an instrumental role in our society: “There are a couple of sectors that are really life- changing in terms of the role they play in people’s lives and how people think about their short and long-term futures. One is of course healthcare – that is so fundamental to your quality of life and affects every aspect of it. And the second is education, being an investment in yourself and in your future.”
Thomas believes that if people want to change careers, the developments in technology and the benefits of EdTech mean that more people can now access education for various reasons to advance their own careers and increase their skill set. This brings greater opportunities to them in the future.
Big data helps identify career gaps
The development of using big data in higher education means that institutions such as Hult International Business School can use innovative digital tools to help students plan their careers for the future and identify any gaps in their skill set that could perhaps hold them back in their future potential. Tools such as careermapper.io enable students to answer questions based on their current career path and jobs within that career sector, alongside other job opportunities.
Using big data, the tool gives details on market demand, salary brackets and skills required to do various roles. This enables users of the tool to gain insight into what they need to do to increase their chances of landing their desired new job, promotion or career change. The tool asks users about long term goals, and advises on job matches for them.
Easier assessment processes
Assessment of learning performance in higher education is much easier thanks to new EdTech advances. In digital format assignments, students can receive ongoing feedback from tutors, making the learning process much smoother. Projects, course updates and assessments can also be digitally sent to students, and feedback given is more direct, immediate and personalised.
Online assessments also quickly produce data patterns that help lecturers identify students' areas of weakness, enabling them to give immediate support that is tailored to the students' learning requirements. Students can also request feedback or help with course work at any time, rather than book a face-to-face visit with their tutor.
Less time spent on administration is vital for any academic institution. EdTech advances like digital learning through electronic devices like tablets reduces the need for stacks of books and paperwork. Apps and programmes can digitally send updates to students regarding their courses and lectures, and multiple projects can easily be viewed from the same device. Factors in relation to a student's progress on a course can also be more closely monitored without the need for extra paperwork that has to be checked.
Remote learning is more easily achieved
With some higher education students choosing to do remote learning courses so that they can balance their degrees with other commitments such as work and raising a family, EdTech advances and the internet make learning practices more accessible and convenient.
Virtual lessons can take the place of lectures, students can communicate with peers and professors at any time of the day or night, and network building with other professionals and peers becomes more accessible through social media and online professional networks.
Oliver Thomas, Director of Strategy and Innovation at Hult International Business School