While the year 2020 has been challenging for people around the world, the digital sector has remained much more resilient.
Spurred by lockdowns, curfews, and in-person gathering restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic, digital transformation and innovation have become a necessity.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in schools being shut all across the world, impacting 1.2 billion school-aged children worldwide. Education, as a result, has changed dramatically with teaching undertaken remotely on digital platforms.
One example of the profound impact of this digitization has been in the education sector with Education technology, otherwise known as EdTech, paving new paths towards teaching and learning.
According to Kwasi Aggor, who works in the EdTech industry, “the global pandemic drove home the limitations and opportunities with EdTech and we are continuously striving to reach better outcomes”.
EdTech, a combination of education and technology, refers to hardware and software designed to enhance teacher and student learning in classrooms or remotely to continue to improve the quality of education for students.
In essence “EdTech is an attempt to provide education in a way that suits the user by pairing technology with traditional educational methods,” says Aggor.
Kwasi Aggor feels fortunate to be able to work in EdTech during the pandemic. He says this is a crucial juncture that has changed education for countless students and schools as they adopt and plan for a transition to online and distance-learning platforms. “It’s highly rewarding to be a part of the solution,” says Aggor.
Aggor says that during the pandemic he was able to help many districts that had no plans in place to provide their student body with remote learning opportunities.
Even though the process was not entirely without struggle, Aggor and his team were able to work with stakeholders to make sure students had access to the resources they needed to succeed at home.
“We strive to help mitigate some of the learning loss that was inevitable from such sudden measures.”
Aggor says that rather than just being an ad hoc COVID-induced measure, EdTech is here to stay to complement the in-person experience.
The seasoned tech worker is happy that schools are now equipped for the new learning environment.
Kwasi Aggor sees this as an opportunity for educators to create more engaging learning environments through the use of engagement tools and tactics.
One of these tactics is called adaptive practice, which uses technology to create individualized learning environments so students can thrive.
Another is called gamification, with the use of “nudges” to encourage timely task completion among students.
He says other applications such as virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed media are powerful tools with the potential to bring even more new opportunities to classrooms as well as more enriching learning experiences.
“There is technology today capable of transporting students back in time or to places around the world to experience and feel history, or to do a virtual experiment in a lab. Making these available and commonplace might just be a natural evolution of EdTech.”
Kwasi Aggor believes that each student is special and unique. He says EdTech has the capacity to help support those personalized student learning journeys, which is why the future of EdTech is so exciting.
“We want students to fully explore their potential and we are here to support that.”