Education has witnessed great advancement in its approach. The COVID-19 phase has incorporated and reformed the educational system. Educational technology or Ed-tech is a term referring to a variety of digital tools and methods to enhance the teaching-learning styles. These tools has brought schools in the homes of the students and helped in connecting with them in times of adverse conditions when the world experienced complete lockdown in all respect. The teachers devised methods and approaches to reach out to their children and abridge the gap in the crucial learning years.
It helps the teachers design instructions, device ways of engaging the learners, track data based on student learning, reflect and make data-based decisions. Educational technology is a tool that acts as a medium to enhance the teaching-learning process and making it effective. The Interactive white board connected to a computer and a projector,3-D printing ,virtual reality headsets, podcasts are some of the examples of educational technology.The basic aim of educational technology is to improve upon the quality of education and further enhance the learning process. It improves the efficiency of an individual.
The five components of educational technology are design, development , utilization ,management and evaluation. Each domain of Instructional technology includes a body of knowledge based on research and experience as well. Some of the best Ed-tech tools of 2021 are the ones that are user -friendly and in turn enrich learning for e.g.,Kahoot!,Minecraft education Edition , PearDeck , FlipGrid ,Storybird ,Edpuzzle , Google Expeditions and Virtual Tours ,Prodigy, TED Ed ,PollEverywhere ,Youtube etc.
There are some of the software applications to engage children and promote learning. Some of the game apps for the classroom are Kahoot! , Quizizz ,GooseChase ,Quizlet ,Gimkit , Flippity . These enable fun-learning activities through their application. There are a number of apps for engaging with students like Mentimeter ,VoiceThread ,Polleverywhere.com , Remind App , Nearpod ,Flipgrid etc. Educational technology is the combined use of Computer Hardware , Software and educational theory and practice to foster learning in the best possible way.
It is not restricted to high technology but it describes anything that supplements or enhances classroom learning in blended, face-to-face or online mode. It encompasses e-learning ,instructionaltechnology,Information and communication Technology(ICT) in education,Learning technologies , Multimedia learning , Technology enhanced learning (TEL),Computer-based instruction (CBI) ,Computer-based training (CBT),Computer-aided instruction (CAI),Online education ,Networked learning, Virtual-learning environments(VLE) etc. Each one has its own potential and features that offer opportunities to students to connect classroom contents to real world situation.
In the article “Shift happens :online education as a new paradigm in learning” , Linda Harasimfocusses onthe History of online education as well as the framework for understanding the type of need it addresses. The online education exuberates the power of teaching ,developing medium wherein the instructor and the student can interact virtually in real time.
Various free tech tools for teachers are available to suit the learning needs. The teachers are now thinking out of the box and has designed varied approaches to redefine their perspective ,enabling the students to be creative and critical thinkers .