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Jane Barton - Dec 17, 2019

3 EdTech Trends That Are Making Education More Accessible

With technology permeating schools, modern learning environments that rely heavily on digital tools are now replacing traditional classrooms.

EdTech has really taken off this year and has been a major force in driving technological changes. Wi-Fi-enabled campuses allow students to learn using their mobile devices, through smart content relayed via digital solutions, and other technology-driven initiatives that are disrupting traditional methods of education. This is an important aspect as the Harvard Business Review notes how two-thirds of college graduates struggle to launch a career. In this sense, EdTech is not only making education more innovative but helping preparing students for the real world. So, here are three trends in education technology that make learning more accessible.

Artificial Intelligence

From enabling smarter content and learning methods, artificial intelligence (AI) is finding and filling the gaps between teaching and learning. As a technology-aided academic intervention tool, schools are able to bridge gaps in learning disparities, especially in subjects like math and science. Ivy Tech Community College leveraged machine learning to identify and offer support to students at risk of failing courses. By identifying behaviors that characterize strong students, IT identified data related to those actions and built them into a machine learning model. Students identified as being at risk of failing were contacted by over 800 faculty and staff to offer specific and customized advice, like time and location of free tutoring based on individual student needs. By midterm, the failure rate dropped year over year by 3.3% and of the 16,247 identified at risk of failing, more than 3,100 additional students were passing classes than the previous year.

eLearning

eLearning is expanding the availability of higher education not only to disabled individuals but also to those who need on-going education but have limited time for physical classes, like working professionals. Forbes notes that 69% of students polled in a survey by Capterra indicated an interest in using their mobile devices to learn. As such, eLearning platforms designed to appeal to students via more convenient methods promote better learning engagement than conventional learning environments, and some even get recognized by tech giants like Apple for their distinguished technology programs. It’s why Apple Distinguished School and eLearning academy Maryville University is currently the fourth fastest-growing educational institution in the U.S. and is nationally known for its technology departments and programs. A testament to how online coursework is becoming more and more commonplace even in formal academic settings. In fact, eLearning has become so commonplace in the American school system that more people are learning new skills and achieving payable competence than ever before.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

Immersive augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies have many educational applications, but also allow disabled students to explore and learn about their own space as well as new places. EdTech that augments the reality of the classroom, where physical and digital realms can be seamlessly integrated and interacted with, can help create a more holistic and interdisciplinary learning environment. In the same way, the Office of Special Education and Programs invested $2.5 million in a VR program to nurture social skills in students with autism and other disabilities. Because students with disabilities don’t often learn social skills or pick up on social cues in the same way as other students, VR provides a safe and controlled environment where they can interact with virtual people to learn and understand consequences or positive and negative interactions.

 

Exclusively written for ubiquityuniversity.org 

Written by Jane Barton

Jane Barton is a former pre-school teacher who now balances her time between blogging and practicing yoga, and taking care of her two adorable dogs, Harry and Tim. During her off days, she plays bass for her "casual" garage band, Two Woo.