The rapid technology development will lead to massive changes and opportunities in the education system. Today’s classrooms look almost the same as 30 years ago. A teacher stands in front of a classroom explaining facts and ideas, while students sit and listen with the learning materials being mostly physical textbooks or printouts. Some schools eventually integrated modern chalkboards or created a computer room, but most schools are largely untapped by the digital transformation.
With a few exceptions, schools are one of the few institutions that have not seen radical changes spurred by technology. The fact that the younger generation of digital natives are faster technology adopters than their teachers, leads to a gap between teachers and students. The digital demand of the students, who are used to employ digital tools outside the school, is not catered at school itself. Combined with the fact that digital skills are becoming more and more important, especially for the students, leads to the conclusion that a great change in the current education system is needed.
It is not about bringing more computers to the classroom.
More important than having more computers in the classroom is a shift of mindset, which enables teachers and educators to see the potential of integrating technologies in their curricula. This does not only diminish the digital gap between teacher and student, but also leads to tapping the full potential of individualized learning.
There are different kind of learners. Some of them, such as those who are diagnosed with ADHD, face unique problems in the current education system. If not helped with Ritalin or any other medication, these students do not have enough chances to succeed. At the same time, it is almost impossible for teachers and educators to meet the expectations of all learning types in a classroom. By integrating education technology some major learning obstacles for students can be reduced.
It is forecasted that the disruption of the education sector will be the next big wave after fintech. While the current education technology industry is lacking proper investments and viable business models, with startups facing a rigid education system, massive digitalization is expected in the near future. Education technology startups will continue the push towards individualized learning for students.
It all comes down to skilled teachers.
Not all education issues can be cured by education technology, but it provides a greater access to acquire new skills. Teachers not only need an overview of useful education technology resources, but also need deep insights into this new market in order to be able to decide which technology is helpful for the specific needs of each student.
Education technology consultants operate at the interface between innovative technologies and traditional education. They serve as catalysts and help teachers and educators to find and integrate the right technologies and digital resources for their students. Together with the teachers they explore the potential of digital learning and help to support the needs of the students. Digital resources are very powerful, when integrated and combined with curricula. Still the human factor plays the most important role, therefore the role of the teacher will remain crucial for the educational success of students. The efficient integration of technology, which ultimately leads to preparing the students for their future, should be the goal of every school.