COVID-19 has changed how we live. While some things may go back to how they were post-pandemic, many of these changes are going to become part of our "new normal." Remote learning and reliance on education technology are changes that are here to stay.
In 2021, EdTech has grown into a record-breaking $268 billion industry and reached an unprecedented 5 percent of the global education market.
These skyrocketing numbers are primarily due to the global pandemic, but the fact is that COVID-19 simply accelerated long-term trends toward education technology and remote learning.
Why Online Learning is On Track To Overtake Traditional Learning
In general, online learning is already favored by demographics like college students and corporate education programs. In fact, 90 percent of corporations use online learning for employee education. However, the benefits of online learning extend beyond these two demographics.
Online learning offers convenience and freedom to learn at your own pace. This flexibility means that anyone of any age can study whenever and wherever is convenient. It gives children and adults the freedom to explore familiar topics more deeply or learn about related disciplines on their own time.
The pandemic forced many people to learn how to use online education platforms for the first time. However, now that students are accustomed to remote learning, many are now reliant on the technology. Teachers and professors are a bit more reticent to completely shift to online learning, however. Thus far, roughly half of professors approve of online learning.
Currently, at least 75 percent of schools plan to operate online, and the same percentage of schools plan to purchase additional technology for students. These numbers show that education is rapidly moving toward hybridizing online and offline learning.
Online education does something traditional classrooms cannot: It increases access to educational opportunities. Global EdTech market trends show that a paradigm shift is taking place in academia. Students have opportunities to thrive with a personalized curriculum and access to more digital education content. In addition, the increased demand for e-learning tools has created upward pressure for EdTech companies to provide higher-quality products and services.
How Emerging EdTech Companies Are Adopting and Adapting Remote Learning Trends
EdTech companies are seeing explosive growth in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent study, the EdTech market is projected to grow 20 percent over the next seven years.
Four main factors drive the unprecedented growth in this sector:
One of the biggest advantages of online learning is the availability of resources. Users now have a broad range of tools and services to choose from, so there is no room for companies to stagnate.
HolonIQ reported a global adoption of 3 to 5 years' worth of technology in just over a year. The same report showed that there was $10 billion of EdTech investment in the first half of 2021 alone.
This kind of demand forces new and established EdTech companies to consistently grow, innovate and produce the best possible user experience. Otherwise, they risk falling irreparably behind the curve.
Individualized, Data-driven Learning
A consistent problem of traditional classrooms is the lack of personalization. In these settings, it's nearly impossible for teachers to push students who are doing well and simultaneously help those who are struggling. E-learning gives teachers and students the flexibility to take a more individualized approach to curriculum, which can lead to increased information retention rates of 25 to 60 percent.
The most advanced EdTech companies use AI and data collection to identify the strengths and weaknesses of individual students to adapt the curriculum to better suit their needs. Not only does this support better overall outcomes, but it speeds the process of improving and refining the general curriculum.
Gamification is one of the best tools to come from e-learning. Instead of trying to engage students with traditional, time-consuming (and often dry) learning methods, they have a chance to combine enrichment with entertainment.
Implementing gaming features in an educational environment is a fast and easy way to actively engage students of any age. Earning points, unlocking achievements and receiving awards for completing tasks stimulates the reward system of the brain and leads to better learning outcomes.
This knowledge has EdTech companies striving to deliver increasingly innovative and effective ways to teach through gamification. This includes using competitive review games like Quizlet to foster healthy competition and motivation. Implementing small features like progress bars, personalized badges and prizes help students feel a sense of urgency and satisfaction when they complete a task.
Mobile App Availability
In the U.S., 95 percent of students have access to a smartphone. This is a segment that EdTech companies must take advantage of to stay relevant. Gamified language learning apps already dominate this field, so students are already accustomed to digital learning in this manner and primed for other subjects.
The rapid adoption of these types of learning apps, alongside factors like lowered data costs and affordable pricing plans, continues to support major growth in this sector.
Remote learning has been an invaluable tool during the pandemic, and it is only going to grow in popularity over time.
Online education has many advantages over traditional learning, such as flexibility, personalization and convenience. It also allows students to engage in gamified, AI-driven learning that is tailored to their unique needs.
In a post-COVID world, we can expect to see a hybrid learning environment that leans heavily on EdTech for student success.