For centuries, education has been confined to the walls of schools, colleges, and institutions. Enter the education technology (edtech) boom since 2020 and the very ideology around teaching and learning has been revolutionized. Edtech has completely redefined how knowledge is imparted and how skills are acquired. Highlighted by the coronavirus shutdowns, edtech has emerged as a viable–arguably superior–alternative to traditional education systems. At the very least, the technology has well and truly earned its seat at the table of valuable education methods. The question is, what does the future of edtech look like, and how will this boom fit into our existing education system?
The edtech boom accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic is just the beginning of a paradigm shift in the ways we view education and work. In fact, the need for a genuinely 21st century education system that reflects the needs of the economy is long overdue. Edtech companies are offering solutions to many of the issues–such as skills gaps, inequality, and unemployment–that have troubled economies globally for the past decade or more.
In the USA, the curriculum followed by education establishments centers around subject study, with students gradually honing down interests and passions to follow a set career path. But is this process adequately equipping our young people with the skills they need for today’s job market, much less tomorrow’s? What if ultimately, students are ill-prepared to meet their full potential and offer meaningful value to the working world?
We are moving beyond the information society age into the impact or imagination society, where there is a digital layer across almost every aspect of our lives. Over the course of the next decade, with the rise of artificial intelligence and automated technology, increasing numbers of traditional, manual, and customer service-based roles will diminish and there will be a reduced need for this workforce when computers and machines can do the jobs equally well.