EdTech uses digital technology to improve students' performance and facilitate learning. Learn about EdTech tools and how to use them effectively.
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Sam Fecich, Ph.D., has been an associate professor of education for seven years. She is the author of "EduMagic: A Guide for Preservice Teachers" and "EduMagic Shine On: A Guide for New Teachers." She is a certified instructional technologist in K-12...
Updated May 5, 2022
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- EdTech allows teachers to create customized lessons and increase classroom participation.
- Educational technology uses hardware, software, and other IT tools to advance learning.
- Teachers may use EdTech to automate repetitive tasks and help with grading and attendance.
- A Gallup survey found that 65% of teachers used digital learning tools every day.
A survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics during the 2019-20 school year found that 49% of schools felt teachers wanted to use technology for teaching but only 18% were sufficiently trained in its use. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, schools closed, and education technology, or EdTech, became a lifeline.
An influx of education technology is creating new avenues of learning, enabling teachers to develop more personalized lesson plans, boost classroom participation, and connect with students worldwide. Many of the most in-demand education careers rely on EdTech, enabling teachers to use new strategies for teaching online and in the classroom.
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What Is EdTech?
EdTech utilizes hardware, software, and other IT tools to increase engagement and help teachers prepare lesson plans, conduct online classes, and perform everyday tasks like grading and attendance. EdTech's uses increase almost daily and benefit teachers and students at the K-12 grade levels and those in higher education.
How Does EdTech Work?
Teachers and schools can integrate educational technology into a classroom in numerous ways. Educational software, or computer-assisted learning, enables teachers to customize lessons. It also shows tremendous opportunities to improve students' learning outcomes, especially in math. Gamifying problem-solving increases engagement and helps make learning fun.
Automated text message homework reminders can increase family involvement, and hybrid learning models that combine online and in-person instruction can create digital, accessible classrooms that students can access at any time. Teachers also use EdTech to help with routine tasks, like automated grading for objective assignments.
15 EdTech Terms to Know
- Adaptive Learning: Adaptive learning — or custom learning — programs use software and artificial intelligence to create a personalized learning path for each student.
- Asynchronous Learning: This learning format allows students to access pre-recorded lectures and assignments online, enabling self-paced learning from anywhere.
- Blended Learning: Blended or hybrid learning combines online and in-person instruction. Students may view lectures or supplemental material online and use class time to complete exercises.
- BYOD: This initialism stands for "bring your own device." As a school policy, it allows students to use their laptops, tablets, or smartphones in the classroom.
- CMS: Content management systems allow users to create, publish, and share online content. These systems may provide online course delivery and gauge learning progress.
- Differentiated Instruction: This responsive teaching method considers the unique characteristics of each student and designs curricula to accommodate these differences.
- Digital Badge: Digital badges are awarded to students for their learned skills, positive qualities, or achievements. Companies like IBM and Google also offer digital badges, which indicate that an individual has completed a certain course or training program.
- Distance Education: Distance learning enables students to receive instruction via online classes, video recordings and conferencing, and other technology.
- Flipped Learning: In a flipped classroom, students watch lectures and other presentations online before class and then spend time at school collaborating with peers and working with teachers.
- Instructional Technology: Instructional tech creates effective and engaging learning experiences through software, hardware, and other digital tools.
- LMS: Learning management systems are software applications that track students' progress and deliver learning materials, including textbooks, assignments, and online quizzes.
- MOOC: Massive online open courses allow anyone to enroll and access free online courses. Instruction material may include video lessons, readings, and interactive lessons with user forums.
- SIS: A student information system is a web-based platform that keeps track of a student's performance and progress by recording grades, test scores, and attendance.
- Synchronous Learning: This learning format occurs online in real time. The student and teacher experience is similar to a traditional classroom, except it occurs online via a virtual classroom or video conferencing.
- Webinar: Webinars use video conferencing technology and software to present live or pre-recorded information on select topics. Live webinars enable participants to submit questions and comments.
Pros and Cons of Using EdTech
Online learning using games and apps can facilitate student engagement and increase collaboration.
Computer-assisted learning programs can provide targeted instruction and customized activities for each student.
Automated text messaging can provide homework reminders and encourage engagement from a student's family.
Teachers can create podcasts and videos of their classes that students can view when preparing for a test or if they miss class.
Classes can connect with students worldwide, fostering global student engagement while teaching them about geography or history.
Digital tools can automate repetitive tasks, such as grading and tracking the performance and attendance of students.
Technology issues can arise, such as poor internet connection, trouble installing programs, or incompatible apps.
- (Video) What is the future for Education Technology
Education technologies could aggravate existing disparities and exacerbate inequality for those without access.
If used ineffectively, hard-to-use programs can lead to student and teacher frustration.
Digital technology can interfere with socialization, and smartphones, tablets, and laptops can distract students from their lessons.
A BYOD school policy may increase the risk of cyberattacks on school networks.
Students who complete unsupervised quizzes or tests may be more tempted to cheat.
EdTech Tools to Use in the Classroom
The following list describes some free, popular, easy-to-use tools that teachers can apply to an array of content areas. The EdTech tools listed below may be used in traditional, hybrid, or virtual learning spaces.
Screencast-O-Matic allows teachers to record content for students who were late to class or had to miss a lesson. Video recordings are great because students can review them at their convenience. Learners can fast forward, pause, and rewind lessons.
Padlet is a virtual bulletin board that enables digital content sharing. Students can post images, text, videos, links, GIFs, drawings, recordings, and more to share with their peers. This is a fun tool that allows students to facilitate and actively participate in their own learning. Using Padlet, teachers can discover what students already know about a topic.
Canva for Education
There are many resources for teachers in Canva, such as presentation templates, virtual backgrounds, flashcards, posters, agendas, infographics, and lesson plans.
Nearpod and Pear Deck
Teachers can create engaging presentations by adding interactive content such as quizzes, videos, 3D options, virtual reality tours, drag-and-drop activities, collaborative boards, polls, and fill-in-the-blank questions. Teachers can create content from scratch or save time by uploading presentations or PDFs. Both tools also have interactive libraries that teachers can reference and use in their lessons.
This classroom management tool offers features such as a calendar, timers, a traffic light, work symbols, drawing options, QR codes, a sound level checker, and random name pickers. Teachers can use this multipurpose tool to showcase learning objectives with the text feature or have students navigate straight to a website via a QR code.
Blooklet is a formative assessment tool that teachers can use to check students' understanding during a lesson. Using Blooket, teachers can create a quiz from scratch or upload it from Quizlet. Students can work on their own or play games together.
Some of the most popular games offered by Blooket include Gold Quest, Cafe, and Tower of Defense.
Available in Google Drive, this tool is a digital whiteboard in which students can draw, add pictures, write on sticky notes, and more. Jamboard allows up to 20 frames (or slides) and 50 distinct users on a board at one time.
Jamboard is also useful for collaboration. For example, at the beginning of a lesson, teachers might ask students to respond to a prompt by placing sticky notes on the board with their answers.
How to Use EdTech Effectively
With so many tools available, using EdTech can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips to keep in mind while using educational technology in the classroom.
- Select a tool that reflects your desired learning outcome.
- The EdTech tool should never drive the lesson — rather, it should complement the pedagogy and material.
- Don't use educational technology just for the sake of using it. Paper and pencil can be just as effective sometimes.
- Take small steps in learning the technology. Don't get overwhelmed with learning many tools at once. Instead, learn one tool and master it.
- Ask your students for help. Chances are, your students know how to use technology and might be able to help you. Asking for assistance also demonstrates to students that you're a learner yourself.
- Get to know a tool. Don't just choose the newest tool without considering how you can use it to enhance your lessons or engage your students. Begin by asking yourself, "How can I use this tool to support my students and my teaching?"
Frequently Asked Questions About Educational Technology
What is the main purpose of educational technology?
EdTech uses digital technology to facilitate student learning, increase student engagement, and improve student performance. It can streamline and personalize lesson planning and help keep tabs on students' progress. For students, technology can create greater participation, allow them to study at their own pace, and make learning a little more fun.
Schools and teachers use numerous types of technologies in the classroom. Examples include virtual classrooms for online learning, interactive whiteboards, virtual bulletin boards, and content management systems. A survey conducted by Gallup in 2019 found that 65% of teachers used digital learning tools to teach every day.
What are the two branches of educational technology?
The first branch of educational technology is the "academic" area. It involves reviewing and analyzing the teaching and learning processes from the perspective of technology. The second branch is the "practical" area and incorporates the actual use of EdTech in educational settings.
Together, these topics focus on the application of technology to enhance learning. EdTech takes on various forms, including video conferencing, learning management systems, podcasts, online discussion forums, and educational apps and games. When used correctly, EdTech can increase student participation, creativity, and analytical thinking. In the coming years, virtual and augmented reality may contribute more to this growing industry.
What is educational technology 2 about?
EdTech 1 focuses on how technology can be used to facilitate better learning processes and environments. EdTech 2 is dedicated to integrating technology into the learning and teaching process. It includes hands-on applications and focuses on how to evaluate and integrate digital educational resources into the classroom.
Specific topics include using the internet for learning and exploring ways that IT can increase engagement and collaboration. Instructors looking to improve their teaching, lesson plans, and class management through digital technology may be interested in EdTech 2.
What is educational technology Short answer? ›
Educational Technology is the field of study that investigates the process of analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating the instructional environment, learning materials, learners, and the learning process in order to improve teaching and learning.What is educational technology quizlet? ›
Educational Technology. A combination of processes and tools involved in addressing educational needs and problems with an emphasis on applying the most current digital and information tools.What is educational technology and example? ›
Education ICT is the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for educational purposes. Examples of education ICT include using cloud-based learning software, apps, blogs or discussion boards, digital whiteboards, and other interactive online tools for students and teachers.What is the importance of EdTech in the field of education? ›
For instance, edtech robots, virtual reality lessons and gamified classroom activities make it easier for students to stay engaged through fun forms of learning. And edtech IoT devices are hailed for their ability to create digital classrooms for students, whether they're physically in school, on the bus or at home.What is educational educational technology? ›
Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.What is use of educational technology? ›
Technology provides students with easy-to-access information, accelerated learning, and fun opportunities to practice what they learn. It enables students to explore new subjects and deepen their understanding of difficult concepts, particularly in STEM.What is the latest definition of educational technology? ›
Definition. The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) has 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".What are the three 3 aspects of educational technology? ›
The latter type is called educational technology. It has three aspects. First, the most obvious one, is technology as a discipline for teaching and learning. The second aspect is the technology of learning, and the third one is the technology of teaching.What is types of educational technology? ›
There are three types of educational technology: Synchronous and Asynchronous, Linear learning, and Collaborative Learning.What are the 5 benefits of educational technology? ›
- Benefit #1: Makes Students More Engaged and Helps Them Retain Information.
- Benefit #2: Accommodates Multiple Learning Styles.
- Benefit #3: Encourages Collaboration.
- Benefit #4: Provides Instant Feedback for Teachers.
- Benefit #5: Prepares Students for the Future.
What makes an EdTech successful? ›
Solve a real student problem and not obsess over technology. Focus on content that is 10X of what competitors provide. Provide some human interaction to handhold them. Build a brand based on the trust that students can depend on you.Is EdTech the future of education? ›
Industry experts said edtech is not a fad but a reality, had witnessed phenomenal growth in the last two years. This is the reason which is why it has a bright future and would stay on course. “Pandemic opened up the avenue and accelerated the growth. There is a course correction which is good for the sector.Which is the best definition of educational technology PDF? ›
"Educational Technology is the application of scientific process to men's learning conditions." —Robert A. Cox. "Educational Technology is that branch of educational theory and practice concerned primarily with the design and use of massages which control the learning process." —E.E. Hadden.What are the four major components of educational technology? ›
Meaning, nature and scope of Educational Technology; Components of Educational Technology–hardware, software; Systems approach in Educational Technology; Multimedia approach in Educational Technology.What is the main form of educational technology? ›
Forms of Educational Technology: Teaching Technology, Instructional Technology, Behavioural Technology, Instructional Design Technology.What is the best definition of technology quizlet? ›
Technology is the way / humans extend their abilities / through their environment to meet wants and needs. Technology is the way. Technology is an action that involves a detailed progression called the Technological Design Process. Technology is also sometimes defined as human innovation in action.