The education industry has long been one of the strongest, most positive industries in the world. Generation after generation, students sit in classes, take examinations, and strengthen their intellectual capacity. As time has gone on, however, the sector has found itself in a state of transition that it has not been entirely supportive of. After the rise of technology in industries like business and medicine, the world began to see the disruption of technology find its way into the education system. It began with simple changes like student submission procedures, college admissions, and even new business opportunities in the academic sector such as services going digital followed by the spread of digitization through education becoming more advanced.
It is important to note that while the education industry is evolving, the ways that we embrace education itself and learn are not likely to change. The disruptive technologies that have found their way into the education sector have only replaced the aspects of education that are severely outdated and no longer viable, and have gone on to strengthen the concepts that have proven to be useful. Technology eliminated the necessity for paper submissions, effectively allowing universities around the world to significantly limit their use of paper products. The same goes for traditional textbooks.
A classic example, however, of technology strengthening an existing aspect of education, is the development of online education. Instead of taking universities entirely online with no cause for students to enroll at traditional brick and mortar schools, technology simply created a platform that allowed individuals without access to education the chance to have it, through online education.
When entire schools began to take their programs online, the development of education technology (EdTech) rose to unprecedented heights, becoming more advanced and more intricate than many educators and institutions were expecting. History and tradition have made some more experienced educators and more established, prestigious schools wary of the inclusion of EdTech in their presence, but realistically it is the schools that are wholeheartedly welcoming the changes, that are becoming the leading institutions going forward into what is largely being hailed as an era reliant on technological advancement.
With the entirely planet going digital, technological advancement cannot and will not be stopped. We are well past the point of return, and the fact of the matter is that we are better off with technology than without it. Humanity has evolved and moulded with the revolution of technology too closely to back out now, and anyone that thinks otherwise needs to take a closer look at the world around them.
There are two reasons why education must embrace EdTech development and evolution. The first is inclusion – technology has allowed the entire world (for the most part) the chance to be a part of higher education, if they wish to. Without technological advancement, this kind of global inclusivity would not have been possible – period. And secondly, the entire world is going digital, and any industry’s refusal to realign and adapt to that fact is setting itself up for failure over time. Technology is the future – the time to jump on the bandwagon was yesterday. But you know what they say…better late than never.