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What is EdTech and how is technology changing education

What if Education and Technology could converge, resulting in only one thing? The name of this fusion would be: EdTech! Actually, this has already happened, and it is precisely this junction and its evolution over the years that we’re going to discuss in this text.

EdTech is the abbreviation for educational technology and it represents the set of techniques that aim to facilitate education, promoting forms of teaching and learning integrated with various technological resources that are enabling new forms of access to knowledge.

Both formal and informal education have been transformed, not only with new technologies, but also with new teaching methodologies that have enabled the use of innovative tools, transforming old traditional practices into approaches that are more consistent with the interconnected world we live in today.

Education 4.0

We have already mentioned in previous texts how Industry 4.0, or the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution - driven by technologies such as AI, IoT, cloud and edge computing - has transformed all social segments in recent years, automating systems and inserting different sectors of society into one hyper-connected scenario. With Education it could not be different, Education 4.0 is here to stay, using the technologies mentioned above with a learning by doing approach, which brings the concept of learning through experimentation, projects, experiences and practice.

According to Nova Escola, the main platform for content and services for teachers in Brazil, there are no established ready-made models and new educational proposals can be built constantly, promoting the rupture of old decontextualized paradigms (based only on the transmission of knowledge in low-income environments conducive to the learning process).

In the United States, the Lifelong Kindergarten working group, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was created to think about early childhood education by exploring new models of play, seeking solutions using technology and various non-traditional materials.

With regard to academic or professional learning, teaching platforms with MOOC (massive open online courses), such as Coursera, edX, FutureLearn, Khan Academy, Udacity, Udemy, among others, have changed the face of distance learning.

Want to study at Harvard while living in Rio de Janeiro? It’s possible! Do you want to learn opera singing from an Italian teacher or Arabic lessons with a native speaker? All of this is possible with online teaching on platforms that have different resources, including interaction between students and teachers, as well as practical exercises and feedback delivery.

Even a trip to the museum or library today can be done with the support of database technology. Of course, face-to-face experience is still extremely important, but combining digital resources with face-to-face experience can be a great opportunity for democratizing access to knowledge.

But, how will it be possible to migrate from face-to-face to online, or hybrid forms? Who will provide the necessary solutions for schools, companies or independent tutors to work with the most modern and innovative teaching approaches?

That’s where the role of edtech comes into play!

EdTech: What is it?

You’ve probably heard all the possible names for startups or tech companies that work in the different sectors of our 4.0 society: Edtech, Fintech, Foodtech, Healthtech, etc. These various “techs” are nothing more than companies that apply technological resources to different sectors.

Edtechs, therefore, offer tools in technology for educational institutions, teachers, students and companies in general that are interested in an innovative and contemporary approach to education. These solutions can be of the most varied types and can be directed to online, hybrid or face-to-face teaching. Let’s look at some examples below:

  • Apps: can be both for storing content, as well as for gamification, online classes and interaction inside and outside the classroom;
  • Platforms and databases: just like apps, platforms can be used for content, games, interaction or can also become large libraries, enabling access to theoretical knowledge, or spaces for interactive practices in 3D.
  • Management systems: management tools for institutions, teachers and students, enabling monitoring of activities, attendance, programs and planning.
  • Robotics: for online, hybrid or face-to-face teaching modalities, it is applied with the help of computer engineering and artificial intelligence. Companies like LEGO Education, for example, work in partnership with edtechs that provide resources and training for teaching robotics from kindergarten to professional.

Challenges and solutions

We’ve discussed in our blog previously how Azion enables digital classrooms and the challenges of distance education. We can extend this discussion to the adoption of technology in education in general and to edtechs, which are responsible for providing the necessary tools for innovation in teaching and learning.

The challenges relate to developing solutions that are scalable on demand, that deliver an optimized quality of experience, are secure, have high availability and are able to use real-time data to bring insights to educational institutions and students.

Below, we look at some of these issues and what Azion can offer in return:

  • On-demand scalability: When deploying your code on our platform, let Azion run and scale it for you. Edge Functions abstract all of the underlying infrastructure, so you can focus on your code and build applications faster than ever.
  • Optimized user experience: By using Edge Caching, you accelerate content delivery by keeping copies cached at the edge of the network, closer to your users. Furthermore, it is possible to maintain a low latency between your solution and the user, ensuring a good performance and, consequently, a good experience.
  • Security: By utilizing Azion’s edge computing platform, we prevent threats from reaching the source infrastructure, ensuring systems stay online against DDoS attacks and other types of attacks.
  • High Availability: Maintain the highest quality of delivery and reliability through Azion’s edge network, covered by an SLA of 100% availability.
  • Real-time insights: Gain access to data to power your Big Data platform and deliver real-time insights that make your solution different.

At Azion we already have some clients in the education sector, such as educational institutions, which are leaders in distance learning, and edtechs that deliver resources quickly and safely. Whether you are an edtech or educational institution, Azion has solutions for you.

Check out our products page for all the details and sign up for a free account today to try out the services Azion offers.

In the next text in our education blog series, we’ll go into more details about the resources offered by edtechs today and how our edge computing solutions can work hand in hand to transform and innovate the education sector.