Technology’s Impact on Education [EdTech]: WHY Should You Take Notice NOW?

Technology today is fast changing the ways of learning. In this article, you will see the factors behind EdTech, how automation is reducing the skills shelf-life, why both professionals and students need to take notice of this rapid wave, and how they can use this opportunity to secure their future employability!

Humans have been in continuous search of making learning an effective, accurate and fun-loving activity. Proof of this can be traced back to the usage of paintings on the cave walls or records of training soldiers effectively, using films & overhead projectors, during World War 2.

Advancement in technology has not only simplified the above processes, but has made it even better by adding following 2 additional benefits:

  • Personalization of Education
  • Democratization of Quality Education

Technology today has made possible to make the process of learning customized as per the learning requirements of each user. Today, your learning experience can be personalized based on your knowledge, progress and many other factors.

Technology is unlocking the learning opportunities which have never existed till date. Today, access to high-quality knowledge is not limited within the walls of top-tier schools/universities/colleges or physical location of an elite few in the society. Anyone can access to top class knowledge from anywhere across the globe, in a very cost-effective manner.

Technology today has given  immense power in our hands to learn anything, from anywhere, make our dreams true and equally important, be an important member of global community to make a better tomorrow.

As per World Economic Forum, The challenge is not that in future there would be shortage of jobs – rather the Real Challenge is – a shortage of skilled talent to fill those jobs!

Let us understand what it means and what right steps professionals should take.

Today, we are going to discuss 5 factors which one needs to understand to get the complete picture of EdTech and the opportunity it offers.

Key 5 Factors are:

  • Top 3 Trends in The Space of EdTech
  • Top 3 Technologies impacting Education [EdTech]
  • Key Factors boosting EdTech
  • Why Should YOU care NOW
  • How to Make Use of this immense Opportunity? (How to get started)

Let us discuss these above factors one by one.

Top 3 Trends in The Space of EdTech:

  • Professionals and Students opting for Online Learning
  • Increased focus of Employers to Upskill their workforce
  • Governments’ Support to Automation

Professionals and Students opting for Online Learning

Advancement in technology is definitely resulting in higher productivity and improved profits. However, it has its own impact on employment requirements. The shelf-life of skills is increasingly getting shorter as  technology evolves.

Skills requirement periods are getting shorter, forcing professionals to upskill in short bursts at a very cost-effective options like Online courses.

Due to this rapid advancement in technology, in today’s world job requirements are changing at a rate never seen before. Gap between the skills people have and those required by today’s job is one of the biggest problems.

Future of learning looking more and more Online!

In order to meet the skill requirements in today’s world of automation, professionals are leaning towards online learning. More and more professionals and students are enrolling for niche self-paced courses to address their specific training needs.

Spending multiple days in in-person workshops or going for classroom style training is not only expensive, but time consuming as well. Both the factors are counter-productive keeping the short shelf-life of skills needed.

Professionals today may not need long training sessions, but a quick 30 mins course to address a particular project need. Because of this, online learning is the most feasible option.

Inclination towards online learning is not limited to particular age group, as per a research

  • 50% of online college students are millennials (age group of 28 to 38)
  • 33% of online college students are Generation X (age group of 39 to 54)

Advancement in technologies like 5G and widespread availability of the Internet, are among the factors that are creating a supporting ecosystem for online learning.

Technological change will only gain more pace, making learning new skills an ongoing activity throughout the professional’s life. This suggests that the role of online learning is only going to get stronger in the future. We could see more and more people opting for online courses over in-person training programs.

Increased focus of Employers to Upskill their workforce:

Organisations increased focus on upskilling the workforce. 80% of CEOs today consider lack of their employee’s lack of essential skills as the biggest threat to business growth. Cost of replacing an employee  approximately equals  9 months’ salary. This trend proves that upskilling the workforce is a top agenda for many organizations.

As per a report from Manpower Group, – 84% – of organisations are planning to upskill their workforce by end of 2020, up from 54% to 87% in just 2 years

Governments’ Support to Automation

With technological advancement, our environment becomes more and more connected – Smart cities, autonomous vehicles, connected devices, etc.  Governments are fast realizing that digital transformation is the way towards creating prosperity and growth.

Automation has a huge impact on productivity and profit, which are one of primary driving factors of Economic Growth. Hence, not investing in creating a conducive environment for automation can cause the risk of missing out on an opportunity of creating large amount of wealth.

Mismatch in skillset can result in less productive organizations, which in turn, will impact the tax revenue. In extreme cases it has a potential to impact the GDP of the country as well.

These are the reasons for which we are now  seeing various governments exploring and encouraging EdTech initiatives. This trend is going to only gain  further momentum in future.

Top 3 Technologies impacting Education [EdTech]

  • Artificial Intelligence: Enables better Decisions
  • Virtual Reality: Enables better Learning Experience
  • Internet of Things (IoT): Enables Convenience & Flexibility

Artificial Intelligence: Enables better Decisions

Gone are the days when curriculum was designed to match as many kids as possible, where each student went through the same poor learning experience. With Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, today technology has capabilities to churn huge amount of data from various learning activities of an individual student.

With the help of this technology, this data is being used to draw insights (Predictive Analytics) about individual learning behaviour and based on that customized learning material, methods are recommended. Hence, it is enabling us to make better decisions and offer relevant options to maximise the learning potential. Isn’t this amazing!

In the age of AI, learning experience can be designed as per student’s learning behaviour. This customization is helping the students  reach their maximum potential. This is just the tip of the iceberg, AI has immense applications in the field of Education.

Virtual Reality: Enables better Learning Experience

In the past, education was mainly about comprehending the facts and information. But in today’s world, we can experience the education. With technology like Virtual Reality, learning by doing things has become possible.

Humans learn the best and retain maximum information by doing things. When we do something, it creates an experience which in turn helps our brain to capture the information in a better way. Virtual reality is making it possible to learn anything by actually doing it, exploring it and interacting with it. VR is making group learning also possible, where multiple students can interact and work in a virtual world.

Today, we can LIVE the Education. Learning experience is taken to a completely new level.

Isn’t this an amazing opportunity encouraging all of us to keeping learning!

Internet of Things (IoT): Enables Convenience & Flexibility

Students are increasingly moving away from paper books and opting for laptops, tablets and eBooks. Today, technology has bought all the knowledge at their fingertips. With a technology like IoT, students can have the same learning experience across all the devices – location of learning is fast becoming irrelevant.

Learners can access a book at home on one device (e.g. laptop); once they are at college/office, they can access it, on another device (e.g. tablet), right from the point where they left without the need of carrying their notebook or notes. Real time-sharing notes, data or any other details among different devices shared by group of students is a norm today.

Today, one can carry a whole library with her (using the feminine gender is the norm!) and can access it anywhere, anytime, on any device. That is the POWER of IoT. It is connecting smart devices like never seen before. What  convenience to access the material!

With the help of IoT, sign language can be translated into text as well as speech. This has put hearing-impaired people reach the levels of normal students, where they can get the best knowledge on any subject today. Technology has just put the disability out of the window here.

“It is not wrong to conclude, in the whole history of Mankind, one has never seen a better time when Learning is so EFFECTIVE, FUN & CONVENIENT! – That’s the Potential of Technology!!”

via GIPHY

Key Factors boosting EdTech: Low Risk and High ROI

  • Low Cost of Learning
  • Democratization of Quality Education (Making learning possible as a lifelong process)
  • Convenience is the Key
  • Learning on the Go – Mobile phones
  • Personalization of Education

Low Cost of Learning:

Affordability of online courses is the key driver behind choosing them. Cost of learning any new skill through in-person programs or college’s classroom style methods is very high. However, today, the same can be achieved at the cost of a coffee. Low Risk and high ROI deal.

At Online learning Platforms like Simpliv, one can master all the fundamental skills required to become a Data Scientist or a Digital Marketer at a fraction of the learning cost through other methods. One can avail the best quality courses, interact with the Experts, as well as be part of a professional community from the same domain.

Many times, you can find premium courses under various offers (e.g. free for a limited period). All these benefits are major drivers for this trend of online learning.

Democratization of Quality Education

As mentioned earlier in the article, today anyone sitting anywhere can access to the world-class knowledge if they have access to the Internet. Accessibility, combined with  low cost of learning, is a key factor behind online learning democratization of education.

Convenience is the Key

According to U.S. Department of Education guidelines, a typical full-time student needs to dedicate about 30 hours per week to their studies, which is a substantial time commitment for full-time workers. Online learning, on the other hand, offers convenience of not only the format as well as scheduling.

One can decide on the learning schedule as per the convenience without effecting other routines of day to day life. Colleges are also going a great length to be part of this change.

As per a survey , 67% of online students are enrolling for colleges located within 50 miles of their residence. This stat can sound a little strange, right? Wouldn’t it will be better for me to drive to the campus if I am living so close to it? Again, convenience and time efficiency become the deciding factors. (Please check how this point fits here. Isn’t it contradicting all that you are saying till now?)

We are not concluding that online learning will be the only mode of learning in future, however, we can very well see more and more professionals opting for online learning over traditional methods of learning in the years to come.

Learning on the Go – Mobile phones

Advancement in technology has made mobile phones more powerful and affordable. With large screens, better cameras, and powerful processors, these devices can perform almost any task. Most professionals and students are learning on the go – during commute, on the way to work, etc.

Simpliv and other online learning platforms are offering learning experience through their apps. You can just download the app and you are all set! All your courses, notes, expert feedback sessions, community chat, etc. can be achieved by this powerful device.

Why should YOU care – NOW?

via GIPHY

Automation is replacing human jobs – This can be considered as the biggest debate of the decade. However, the truth is humans have always used various tools to achieve better outcome. Why technology and machines should be any different?

Automation is NOT replacing human jobs; however, rapid Automation is putting the focus back on rapid and continuous need of upskilling.

Who should own the responsibility of integrating skills development as a part of day-to-day routine? This is one of the biggest debates around. There are 3 key players in this equation:

  • Organizations
  • Governments
  • Professionals

Currently, nobody has a clear answer to above debate, as each player has its own side of the story. Without getting into details of that story, one thing is very clear, which is that professionals are the ones who will get first impacted if no corrective action is taken at the earliest.

Keeping that in mind, it will not be wrong to say:

Professionals cannot walk away completely from the responsibility of keep building the required skills and ensure their future employment.”

The best way professionals can secure their future is by increasing their value for the company. This can happen only by constantly  upskilling and expanding their knowledge. Else, they are risking making their skills obsolete very soon.  Recent PWC survey supports the same.

  • 53% of professionals believe automation will impact their job in the next years
  • 46% of the companies are paying a higher to attract and retain in-demand talent with future capabilities
  • As per a  PwC survey, professionals are more than interested to get involved in upskilling
  • 77% of professionals except that they are regularly working on upskilling or learning a new skill to improve their chances of future employability
  • 30% of Jobs are at potential risk of automation by mid-2030’s.

As the above facts clearly conclude,

“Taking no action is a huge risk with the future, however, taking an action creates equally huge opportunity as well. The sooner you start upskilling, the farther you will be when others will try to catch up.”

Hence, the time for Professionals to take  effective action is NOW!

How to Start Upskilling & Make Use Of The Opportunity At Hand:

EdTech has come as a blessing to tackle the impact of technology on jobs. Professionals who are seriously looking to secure their future employability need to first take a serious look at their current skillset and what the future requirements are.

In today’s automation world, demand for new skills is appearing as fast as disappearing for old ones. This is the opportunity where in-demand talent can call the shots and get the best of both the worlds.

      Warning: Functional skills are crucial for their current and employment security. However, just working on functional skills will not future proof your employability. Working on Soft skills is also equally important.”

As per Future of Jobs report by World Economic Forum, below is the list of kills for which demand is GROWING & DECLINING

Working on soft skills like analytical thinking, communication, creativity, leadership, etc. is equally important. Professionals maintaining a right balance while building their functional and soft skills will have an edge to grasp future opportunities.

Design A Career Path for the Digital Age: Below steps should give you a roadmap to start:

MY CAREER PATH

  • EVALUATION: Evaluate your current skills and your Career Goal. Current, Next and Goal Role. Ask yourself the following:
    1. WHY do you want something?
    2. HOW  can you get there?
    3. WHAT activities need to be done to achieve that?
  • IDENTIFICATION: Identify your skillset gap based on future workforce requirements
  • PLANNING: Identify various learning options EdTech is offering to address the gap
  • PRIORITIZATION: Prioritize the areas to address to fill the cap, set a timeline to complete the activities
  • START:  Start taking  action NOW
  • MEASURE: Evaluate your progress regularly to monitor the progress
  • GRAB OPPORTUNITIES: Make maximum use of upskilling opportunities offered by an employer
  • KEEP EYES OPEN: Keep an eye on latest industry trends, key skills in demand to ensure that your career path is in-line with those trends.
  • NETWORKING: Work on building good relations in the Industry. You can learn a lot from fellow professionals and multiply your career growth opportunities.
  • DON’T STOP: Repeat above steps and as keep upskilling, improvising is the need!

Once you understand where you currently stand, what is the skillset gap, you need to plan out a continuous skillset development plan. Depending upon your needs, EdTech is offering you a variety of options. You need to identify carefully which options fits the best to address your unique situation.

Simpliv offers variety of learning and development options to professionals at their unique pace and style. Professionals can find courses ranging from Beginner to Advanced levels addressing the most in-demand skills to handle today and future work.

As you integrate upskilling opportunities into your job, you will find yourself getting better career opportunities on your way as well as leading a peaceful and happy Life!

Finally, please let us know your thoughts on:

  • Does this impact of technology excite you?
  • Are you ready to go on a path to upskill yourself or learn a new skill?

Final Word

The kind of tasks human do today may not be the same tomorrow and so would be the skills required to do those tasks. Hourglass learning window is fast shrinking due to continuous increase in the pace of automation. There is a non-stop inflow of new programming languages, new technologies and skills required for effective use of the same. We can easily conclude that continuous learning is becoming part of today’s work.

In such a world, the most important skill becomes the ability to keep learning – as constant need to upskill is becoming the reality.

New skills alone have the potential to see us through an uncertain future!

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