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Why EdTech as an Alternative to Conventional Learning Didn’t Work

Technology and education are tightly interlinked in the modern world. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed EdTech adoption worldwide. It was almost like 10 years of progress had to fit into a couple of months. 

Today when the world is going back to normal, it is possible to see the results and make some conclusions about it. Although some people envisioned EdTech as a substitute for traditional learning, it is now clear that this is not the case. 

State of EdTech 

EdTech is a term used to describe all hardware and software used in the educational process. It is quite a broad field as it includes laptops and mobile apps as well as AI-based training centers. 

It has existed for quite some time. With the wide internet access, students got to work with a multitude of platforms and digital solutions. Now students can access scientific databases, online courses, and video materials easily. There are also a lot of helping websites and solutions that offer academic assistance.

For instance, college students that struggle with academic writing can find lots of tips, tricks, and examples of papers to learn from. And when a student thinks “I cannot do this paper on my own, I need WritePaper to write paper for me,” they can get instant help. This academic writing platform is a perfect example of what EdTech stands for – helping students to study better. Here they can collaborate with expert writers on their college assignments. 

This helps to train skills, gain a better understanding of requirements, and get excellent results at the same time. This is particularly important in a situation when all the lectures and seminars are online, and learners have no opportunity to reach out to their professors. 

EdTech offers lots of benefits, namely: 

  • More accessibility to education and opportunity for remote learning; 
  • Affordable opportunities (an online college degree costs less than a traditional one); 
  • More varied teaching and collaboration methods and forms; 
  • Self-paced and personalized curriculum; 
  • Easy collaboration between students with tools like Zoom or Trello.

At the same time, it is not a substitute for traditional processes. After two years of the pandemic, it is obvious that communication between a teacher and a student is a crucial part of the success here. Distance learning is a good option to have, but it will probably never replace a classroom for good. 

Students struggle and make mistakes in distance learning; in many cases, because there is little connection to peers and educators. 

Instead of replacing teachers from the process, EdTech should help them to be more productive in their work. 

Why EdTech is not an Alternative to Conventional Learning

It is worth noting that the point is not to underestimate the power of EdTech. It provides amazing opportunities and can significantly enhance the process. The point is that it cannot replace the traditional style effectively and comfortably. So the focus needs to shift to being a helping hand rather than an alternative. 

Here is why EdTech cannot be a substitute in this case. 

Students Do Not Like It

Surely, it is impossible to say for everyone. But the vast majority of learners that were forced to go online didn’t enjoy the experience. Although there is a multitude of distance learning tools and solutions, it is not the same. 

Zoom classes in small groups are ok as they give an option to communicate and collaborate. But watching pre-recorded lectures is quite different. It feels isolating, and there is no way to ask questions or engage in the process. 

This makes people passive learners instead of active, which significantly decreases the effectiveness of the curriculum. 

Too Many Distractions 

Another significant issue is that distance learning offers too many distractions. People that choose it consciously have the motivation to establish rules and routines. But when it is not one’s choice, it becomes even harder to do so. 

A laptop or smartphone is a major distraction as you are always one click away from something more fun than a lecture. It is easy to lose focus when you lie with a laptop on the couch or sit in a busy café. 

Also, the human brain thrives on routines. And having a set schedule is a routine. You have to wake up at a certain hour and go to classes. This period gives one time to go in a study mood and be ready to concentrate and work. But when there is no routine, it is much harder. 

It Doesn’t Fit All Ages

Studies proved that some age groups perform better with distance learning than others. The best results were among high-schoolers and college-goers. But young children very much struggled through this experience. 

They need more attention and more communication. It is easier for them to be in a group of peers and work with a teacher directly than sit in front of the screen. Remote learning requires a lot of discipline and sometimes it feels like teaching yourself. This is what young children cannot do because of their age and experience. 

Little Face-to-Face Contact

Humans are social creatures. Probably everyone has experienced a lack of direct communication in the years of the pandemic. It goes not only to daily life and work but to education as well. Learners need to communicate with peers and professors. Establishing healthy relationships keeps motivation up and allows you to feel more engaged. 

It is also crucial for any teamwork and collaboration. Surely, some of it can be done with digital tools, but it is not the same. 

Bottom Line

Technology is great, but it cannot replace everything. This is particularly obvious when considering the educational process. Tools and apps enhance processes and methods, but they will never be as effective as human interaction. 

Innovation should not exist for the mere reason that it can. If you use a laptop to take notes, you just digitalize the process that has always existed. There is no advancement here. However, when technology is used to solve other issues, it can be extremely powerful. Take AI-based training for pilots, surgeons, and teachers, for instance. This is what the main focus of EdTech should be – helping teachers instead of replacing them.