At this year’s SXSW education conference in Austin, Texas, the presence of technology in the education industry was hotly debated. Technology is widely believed to be the future, and on the whole it’s had a positive reception from educators. The fusion of the terms ‘Technology’ and ‘Education’ to form ‘EdTech’ has become commonplace for entrepreneurs in the education space, or ‘edupreneurs’. As tech is evolving every industry, education is no exception, but should there be more focus on ‘education’ or ‘technology’.
Michele Moinar has stressed the importance of keeping the focus on teachers in her article ‘Tech-Supported Learning is a Focus of SXSWedu Conference’ on Education Week Blog:
‘Is the term “ed tech” a dinosaur? While it defines a delivery system for education, it also has become fraught with nuances of meaning—advancing learning, making money, requiring devices, stretching budgets, and challenging the traditional teaching model.’
There has been doubt over the quality of education delivered by technology startups - shouldn’t educators be leading the way? They have the experience and know-how so technology should be an addition to this process, not a replacement. Tech makes education flexible and more widely available but scaling back the teacher to student interaction can be harmful to progress.
Michele quotes Jamie Casap, Google evangelist for education:
The important thing is to “take technology and innovate, looking at education in a completely different way,” Casap said. “My fear is if we don’t … all we’re doing is taking bad education and making it faster and more efficient.”
At CareerFoundry we are doing everything we can to innovate the learning process with the wonders of technology, using our online platform to make expert mentors available to students across the globe. Their relationship is the most important part of the process, and all the technology we use is directed at enhancing that.
Michele lastly quotes Jeffry Tambor, an actor on the show Arrested Development, after he received an update from his son’s teacher that they would be using an iPad to help him develop his writing skills:
“The revolution is here,” Tambor said. “Take advantage. It’s for us. Not against us. We just need to be intuitive. Use the technology that is available to us.”
The technology revolution is certainly here and we want to make sure we use it intuitively so that soon EdTech will become just fantastic education that is available to all on demand. Thinking about getting involved? Have a look at our website for online training in Web Development and UX & UI Design.