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Edtech is the Future

What is Edtech?

Wikipedia states that the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) defined educational technology as “the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources”.

Educational technology is the process of integrating technology into education in a positive manner that promotes a more diverse learning environment and a way for students to learn how to use technology as well as their common assignments.

 

The Aim of Edtech is to Improve Education

Various technology used to improve education include technological apps, tools and services.  By using technology we seek to improve teaching and learning processes, and therefore improve the performance of the education system. Therefore, it is very important to keep this aim in mind when choosing computer programmes, apps or devices for the classroom.

The technology we choose must be simple to introduce/adopt and facilitate learning, and it must improve students’ performance.

Edtech is not a substitute for the work of teachers and educators.

With Edtech, teachers have more tools for employing strategies which focus on the use of the resources and information available.  Multimedia is used to impart knowledge.   Using videos alone is a very limited way of implementing Edtech.  Edtech is much more than this.

 

Why is Edtech so important?

Take a look at the current and future job markets.

Digital skills are required by companies. And those people who don’t have these skills will find it more difficult to access the job market.

In an article by Businesstech.co.za, the most in-demand job skills in South Africa right now are highlighted.  It is based on comprehensive data gathered from the CareerJunction website.

“The marketing, ICT and business & management sectors saw a notable uptake in jobs since July 2019.”

Software Development remains the most sought-after skill set on CareerJunction.

When looking at active job seekers across various sectors, areas of high supply correlate closely to areas of high demand, however, supply outstrips demand in some areas, leading to a competitive environment for job seekers.

In another article, “The South African jobs that will likely be replaced by new tech in the next 10 years”, Businesstech.co.za writes that “against the 4.5 million potential new jobs created, we estimate that these technologies could displace 3.3 million existing jobs by 2030”.  “For example, in data-processing roles such as payroll officers and transaction processors, 72 percent of activities are potentially automatable”.

The research shows that the in sectors such as manufacturing and retail, the jobs lost are likely to outnumber the jobs gained.

“We should also emphasise that the new, technology-enabled jobs will require higher skills levels than most of the jobs displaced.”

Microsoft’s article, “Are you prepared for the future of work?” states that “The World Economic Forum has predicted that by 2025, the amount of work being done by machines will rise from 29 percent to over 50 percent. While this does mean a predicted displacement of around 75 million jobs, it’s expected to create 133 million new job roles. This revolution will free human employees from repetitive tasks, allowing them to bring other talents to the forefront. Creativity, strategy, critical thinking as well as analytical thinking are all examples of talents that are unique to us as humans.

“Both current and future employees need to invest in developing their digital skills to ensure they adapt to this new way of working.”

“65% of today’s students will be in jobs that don’t exist yet”.

According to Microsoft, all students need to be future-ready, equipped with traditional numeracy and literacy capability, as well as STEM and computer science skills.

 

We must Prepare Future Generations for the Job Market

Education models of the last 100 years need to change.  Education can no longer be a class with students sitting down and a teacher standing up while the students have books on their desks and the teacher explains concepts.

Now days, the reality outside the classroom is completely different.  We all use technology in one form or another.  Young people are exposed to technology every day.

If students are not exposed to technology in the classroom, to enrich their experience of learning and teach them numerous ways of using technology, the difference between those with digital skills and those without is going to be huge.

Ultimately, Edtech not only aims to improve teaching, but it also equips students with skills that are necessary for the future.

Written by Melani Cerqueira, Marketing Director, Academy Private School (A division of Alphademia Education, www.alphademia.com) and Head of Innovation, Alphademia Education.  melani.c@mweb.co.za