What Is EdTech and How Does It Empower Both Aspiring Professionals and Small Businesses?
Have you heard? EdTech will change the world! But how exactly? At WAcademy, we leverage EdTech to provide equal opportunities in education for all.
EdTech, or Educational Technology, refers to the fusion between technology and the traditional educational approach to enhance the learning experience. Whether to expand our understanding of the world, broaden our perspective or advance our careers, there are plenty of reasons to gain knowledge and skills. If we understand what is EdTech, we can accelerate our knowledge and skill building.
Today, with the rapid advancements in digital technology, EdTech has eliminated several barriers associated with traditional learning methods. Learning is now more engaging, accessible and effective for people of all ages and backgrounds. If you’re looking to pick up new skill sets, it’s never been a better time. Whether you want to deepen the skills you already have, pick up new languages or try something new completely, EdTech can help.
So, let’s delve into the evolution of educational technology and the benefits of EdTech for business owners and aspiring professionals.
- Educational technology boosts learning capabilities and helps increase student engagement by making learning more effective and accessible.
- The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the evolution of the EdTech industry, leading to the adoption of new learning models on a large scale.
- Artificial intelligence, Web3, augmented reality and other innovations power EdTech, which enables aspiring professionals to gain skills and small businesses to access skilled talent globally.
The history of educational technology
Over the years, technology has introduced a series of progressive developments in how students learn. From online courses and educational apps to interactive whiteboards, an array of digital learning tools are now available at our disposal to help students learn.
To understand how EdTech has transformed the education sector, we have to consider key historical periods that revolutionized educational theory and the entire learning process.
1940s-1950s: The electronic revolution
The introduction of sophisticated media equipment in the 1900s revolutionized the education system. For example, the United States of America pioneered using educational films and other media materials in training World War II soldiers.
Soon, the concept was introduced on a wide scale to improve student learning and boost classroom participation by delivering a visual presentation of instructional learning materials.
Due to this, by the end of the century, audio-visual aids like TVs and projectors were widely used to supplement traditional teaching methods.
1960s-1970s: The age of computer
In the 1960s, the creation of computer hardware and technology led to the invention of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) programs. With CAI programs, instructors and teachers could create individualized lesson plans, and students could learn at their own pace while receiving immediate feedback.
Further improvements to the self-instructional educational software resulted in the development of computer-managed instruction (CMI) systems in the 1970s. They offered personalized instruction and allowed online students to track progress more effectively.
1980s-2000s: The internet era
The emergence of the internet in the early 1990s prompted the development of new EdTech tools and technologies that allowed educators and learners to collaborate more effectively. One significant milestone in this period was the facilitation of online education and remote learning for the benefit of student engagement.
Web-based learning systems and e-learning platforms, such as Blackboard and WebCT, emerged, and students could access online course materials and access instructional learning anywhere in the world, at any time.
In the early 2000s, mobile devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones became widely available. This further led to the development of mobile learning (m-learning) applications that provided a more interactive learning experience and allowed students to learn on the go.
2020-2023: The Covid-19 pandemic
The EdTech industry was expanding rapidly before Covid-19. However, the stay-at-home norm of the pandemic certainly accelerated things. The reality of this period was a catalyst that forced the industry to evolve far more rapidly and adopt new instructional technology on a large scale.
For instance, distance learning via a virtual classroom was already a learning possibility before Covid, but it was not widely adopted. Once worldwide lockdowns halted in-person classroom attendance, many educational institutions had no choice but to integrate technology and EdTech resources to keep classes running. At this time, video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Teams and Google Meet were some of the popular tools that facilitated online classes during Covid.
The world has learned to cope with Covid; however, new learning models continue evolving at rapid speeds with the help of AI, Web3, virtual reality, augmented reality and other technological advancements. Adaptive learning is the new big thing, and it combines machine learning algorithms to create personalized lesson plans, analyze student performance and adjust the learning difficulty in real-time.
Students who prefer self-paced learning can receive personalized feedback on assessments and focus on areas in which they need the most help. In short, in the post-pandemic world, we approach education differently, and we are no longer bound by the physical classroom. This has empowered many people, including those with learning disabilities, who may find learning at their own pace more effective than following traditional education models.
The power of EdTech, online courses and internships
Educational technology has transformed how we live and work today. Not only can we now collaborate online but learning has become easily accessible and much more effective with EdTech tools. Here are the benefits of EdTech for both aspiring professionals and businesses.
Education technology benefits for aspiring professionals
- Access to virtual internships: Internship opportunities were previously limited to people who lived locally and could work on-site. Thanks to EdTech, it is now possible to gain practical experience required for a successful digital career regardless of the geographical location. With virtual internships, you can advance your career remotely with nothing more but a computer and internet connection.
- Better career opportunities: Since EdTech has made remote internships possible, many companies seeking interns now advertise open roles online. Due to this, aspiring professionals are able to access internship opportunities on a global scale. This means they can pursue options that better align with their interests or career goals, improving their chances of success in their chosen field.
- Ability to build a professional network: EdTech also empowers to network with other professionals easier. For example, online learning platforms often give access to online discussion forums that facilitate group learning and allow users to exchange ideas, ask questions and network with peers.
- Access to leading experts: EdTech enables people to attend virtual meetings and online events via web conferencing tools to engage with the experts in their fields. This enables people to further expand their networks as well as deepen their knowledge and build relationships that can help advance professionally.
Education technology benefits for small businesses
- Access to a wider pool of skilled talent: Businesses need skilled talent to stay ahead of the curve in today’s competitive digital landscape. However, geographical constraints can be limiting when searching for trained professionals with the necessary skills and qualifications.
With the advancements in EdTech, businesses can now expand their search on a broader scale. They can utilize EdTech to attract highly motivated and skilled individuals around the globe. This allows hiring better-qualified candidates that will drive business growth.
- A cost-effective way of employee nurturing: The employees of today have so many opportunities to learn, gain skills and excel in their careers thanks to EdTech. Therefore, businesses looking to remain relevant must invest in upskilling their workforce.
Traditional classroom training or in-person workshops can be expensive. However, EdTech provides scalable and affordable means of professional training and development. With e-learning platforms and learning management systems (LMS), businesses can effectively train and assess employees without breaking the bank.
WAcademy and the vision of EdTech
At WAcademy, we firmly believe that EdTech is the future. We also believe EdTech can bridge the gap between those who require better learning opportunities and those who need the services of skilled professionals. This is why we started offering web, UX and graphic design internships back in 2017.
Our virtual internship program combines theoretical knowledge, skill building and practical work experience to train web/UX/graphic design professionals and help them get better employment opportunities in the future.
Of course, our mission goes beyond nurturing talented individuals. We are equally as passionate about supporting small and medium-sized businesses that wish to thrive in the digital world.
We understand high-quality websites can significantly benefit SMEs, but they may not have sufficient funds to establish their online presence just yet. To address this challenge, we have created a mutually beneficial relationship between WAcademy interns and SMEs.
With the help of the WAcademy internship program, inexperienced but motivated interns can help transform the lives of small business owners while gaining real-life work experience. How? Our SME clients trust our interns, and in return, we are able to offer free web design services.
To this date, WAcademy interns have created over 30,000 free web designs for small and medium businesses. We are proud to assist SMEs in launching their brands online while simultaneously providing valuable work experience to our interns.
How the WAcademy internship program works
We built the WAcademy internship program to provide individuals with comprehensive training that involves teaching the basics of web design and how to use some of the top web design tools. Most importantly, we focus on providing our interns with practical experience as they get to work on real-life projects provided by our SME partners.
Can education gained online be of high quality? We firmly believe that it can, and our internship program combines several stages to accomplish this objective. The first stage involves imparting theoretical knowledge, where our instructors teach web design basics and introduce interns to the latest web design trends.
During the second stage, we introduce our interns to industry-standard tools that enable them to develop practical skills. Simultaneously, we assess how our interns apply the knowledge and skills they acquire. This is the time we can course-correct and help interns reach the best possible outcome.
To ensure our interns get the support they need throughout the entire internship, we ensure that our instructors and, later on, project managers are accessible. This is crucial for the final stage of the internship, where interns work on real-life projects supplied by SMEs to gain hands-on experience in web, UX or graphic design.
An internship that benefits both aspiring web designers and SMEs
Upon completing the WAcademy web design internship, our interns receive certification validating their skills and experience. The skills gained and the certification received can significantly improve the interns’ chances of finding work in web design, UX and graphic design fields.
Benefits for interns
- Remote internship that’s inclusive of interns from across the globe
- Professional training supervised by experts
- Experience working with some of the most popular and advanced design development tools, including Adobe design tools, Sketch, Figma, etc.
- Practical experience working with real-life projects
- Professional portfolio and full certification
WAcademy also supports SMEs ready to bring their businesses online without covering high web design costs. The free web design services provided by our trained interns ensure that you get a custom design that does not require any slice of your budget. While domain name registration and website hosting are managed separately from WAcademy services, you can certainly save a lot on web design.
Benefits for SMEs
- Easy registration process
- Zero-cost web design services
- After-service support from an expert project manager
- Full website customization tailored to their unique needs
- Full ownership upon completion of the website
- Additional Web Services for added functionalities
Do you aspire to become a successful web, graphic or UX designer? Then wait no more to apply for the WAcademy internship program.
Are you interested in launching your brand online with a custom-made business website while helping a new generation of professionals? Then register for our free web design services today!