Today, thanks to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a massive increase in the utilization of technology and education together. Virtual classrooms, cloud servers and more have all been utilized to their full potential this past year, but that potential has been inhibited in many ways. Traditional teachers who resist modern innovations in the classroom, lack of appropriate funding for teachers, and lack of infrastructure are all major issues that the educational technology industry is currently facing. But it’s important to recognize how far we have come, and acknowledge the impressive innovations that are currently available. Even just these three examples are revolutionizing the educational field and establishing the future of education as an industry.
We are all fairly familiar with online education as a practice. This has long been a realm of mockery for reasons both valid and less so. Many criticize the diploma-mills that function online, providing relatively useless degrees alongside poor educational support systems. Others feel that traditional classroom education cannot be replaced. While the former is a legitimate concern, we have been forced to acknowledge that an internet-based education can truly be on-par with an in-person one – as long as the proper support systems are in place.
Cloud computing is often misunderstood but has been instrumental in facilitating online education. Cloud computing provides easy access to materials of all kinds, from lectures and audio-visual media to E-books and similar materials. This easy access is fundamental to education of all kinds. Without the raw materials of knowledge, education is severely limited by the teacher’s and their time. By making sure that students have access to educational materials on their own time, they can come to class fully prepared for explanations and guidance by their teachers. Cloud access also provides better opportunities for poor and disadvantaged students who might not have readily available materials.
Artificial intelligence is a bit of a modern buzzword, and the technology is becoming more forced into every walk of life. It’s becoming an every-tool that people try to use for every problem, regardless of how viable it is as a solution. But there are some very key ways that AI is being used in education. Grading and feedback are exactly the kinds of tasks that AI can help facilitate. AI and Machine Learning can take an answer key and recognize when a student has made even a partially correct or incorrect answer – not just in math, but in everything from biology to history. The personalization and ease-of-access that AI can provide is seeing particular attraction among students with special needs and other learning difficulties.