The Future of EdTech | How Big Is The Global EdTech Market?
The Future of EdTech – During the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the education world shifted online. Schools were offering online classes, students were looking for online tutoring services, and new educational technologies were being developed.
One part of education which struggled with the online learning environment was research since, the research is often dependent on being in a lab or close collaboration between students and advisors.
High school students looking to connect to research advisors were particularly harmed because they do not live at universities, so the lack of physical contact with professors made it hard for them to get involved in research.
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Research Opportunities for High School Students
At the end of the pandemic, virtual research opportunities for high school students started to be created. These platforms are innovative spaces for high school students to find experienced researchers who have similar interests as them.
The platforms allow the students to connect with the research advisors and work with them on writing research papers.
Some of the platforms support independent research for the high school students where the advisor only serves in an advising capacity, and some of the platforms allow students to find research assistant positions with professors.
Jinso is one of the platforms which is leading the way in offering research opportunities to high school students by connecting them to research advisors. Students working with Jinso participate in a 9-week program to produce independent research.
The platform connects the students who sign up with a research mentor that matches their interests. The network is growing, and students are conducting research in a wide range of subjects.
Some of the most popular subjects that high school students choose to research are biology and political science. Data science projects are common in any field since there are countless online databases that students can access for free.
Research advisors help students analyze the database to draw new conclusions from them which had not been drawn before.
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What Are The Best Online Courseworks?
The future of EdTech space is growing, and it is not only limited to areas such as research advising. Online coursework is also growing in popularity, and there is an ever increasing number of offerings from the main online coursework providers such as Coursera and EdX.
There are also many other online coursework providers which specialize in certain areas or allow community members to create and upload their own courses to share their talents and expertise with others.
The online coursework community has become a vibrant space for students to connect with others and learn new skills which they may not find in a traditional high school. It has also given the opportunity to those who are not currently students to have a structured educational experience. Online coursework has supported career changes and the learning of new hobbies.
What Is The Future Of EdTech?
Moving forward, the future of EdTech sector will continue to grow, and there is likely to be a large amount of disruption for traditional academic institutions.
Financial institutions have dealt with major changes in the industry as smaller firms started to decentralize finance, and a similar form of decentralization seems to be at play in the academic world. Academia may be the next big sector to be transformed by technology.
Traditional universities have already started to try to adapt to use up-to-date technologies. They realize that if they stick with traditional methods, not only will they remain inaccessible to large groups in society, but they will be overtaken by smaller players in the industry.
One major way in which colleges have started to use new technologies is by creating open access repositories to democratize access to research.
All academic research which was publicly shared used to be published in scholarly journals. However, technology has created easier ways for articles to be shared.
In addition, journals are exclusive, selective, and it takes a long time for an article to go from submission to publication.
Through open access repositories, schools allow researchers to upload journal articles which are then visible and free to everyone. They are easily searchable on the web, and they belong to large databases which can be filtered by those looking for articles on a particular subject.
Open access repositories are the key to open and equal access to research in the future.
How Does A Virtual Class Work?
Another way in which universities have adapted to online learning is by offering virtual classes permanently. A virtual class uses whiteboards online, video conferences, screens sharing to hold live lectures, and discussions in an interactive manner. For example, several lecture classes at universities including Harvard are being streamed to students online or to watch later.
Students no longer have to worry about classes taking place at conflicting times because they can watch one of their lectures later. Additionally, international students who are unable to physically be on the college campus are then able to watch the lectures from home.
Since they are available at any time, international students can also watch them at the time that is most convenient for them. Time zone differences have caused students living in different time zones from their university to have classes at atypical times during the pandemic.
There are more changes that universities must undertake if they want to successfully migrate to the web and be less vulnerable to new technologies and competition. There are not many universities which offer fully online degrees, for example; on Coursera, ‘The University of Illinois’ offers an iMBA, which is completely an online graduate degree in business.
More schools should follow a similar route and have entirely online offerings for students who are physically unable to make it to campus, either due to work or family commitments.
We have the potential to use technology to make academia an accessible institution. Currently, our academic system has many flaws. Acceptance rates at top schools are unnecessarily low, and the systems for determining who gets accepted are not always the most meritocratic.
We should have a system where everyone has access to the same educational opportunities from a young age, and online learning solutions are the best way to do that. Regardless of where one lives, they should have access to the same quality education from elementary school all the way through higher education.
This system is possible for us to achieve, and it is just a matter of effort. Whether traditional institutions adapt or smaller educational technology companies take their position is yet to be determined.