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Saturday June 15, 2024

Ed-tech startups: Innovations shaping the future of education

By Dr Muhammad Nawaz Iqbal
June 08, 2024
A representational image of young people working in a company. — AFP/File
A representational image of young people working in a company. — AFP/File

Educational technology startups have revolutionised the learning landscape, harnessing technology to personalise education, engage students, and provide equitable access to knowledge. Through innovative methods like AI algorithms and gamified learning platforms, these companies have simplified teaching processes and ensured equal opportunities for all students, regardless of their financial backgrounds.

One of the major contributions of these startups is the development of customised learning platforms driven by AI algorithms. These platforms utilise artificial intelligence-driven programmes to analyse information about learners, thereby adapting teaching approaches to each learner's type and speed. The tutors split their lessons to suit individual needs, providing feedback to assist in understanding challenging questions and improve performance. Additionally, private tutors can identify specific areas where each student is weak and offer focused support throughout their learning journey.

Incorporating gaming techniques into educational materials has transformed the traditional teacher-centered learning system, making it more engaging and challenging. This approach has facilitated the development of learning applications where individuals earn points by competing against each other or providing precise answers. Platforms like Quizlet or Kahoot exemplify this trend, offering interactive experiences that enhance students' enthusiasm for learning through gamified activities. Younger children, in particular, benefit from these interactive games due to their natural inclination towards exploration and play.

Moreover, new entrants in the tech industry are leveraging virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to create immersive teaching sessions. AR and VR technologies transport students to various settings, historical eras, or even the human body, allowing for in-depth exploration of subjects. By making abstract concepts tangible, these technologies facilitate hands-on learning, particularly in disciplines such as science, history, and geography. The interactive nature of VR and AR enhances student engagement and retention, making teaching a dynamic and lively experience.

EdTech startups are also addressing the need for continuous professional development among educators. Their teaching materials aim to ensure that teachers stay updated with the latest technologies and methodologies. This is crucial as it enhances teaching practices and encourages the adoption of new technologies in classrooms. By developing instructors' skills, EdTech startups contribute to improving the quality of education. Moreover, EdTech offers interactive platforms that are revolutionising language learning. These platforms feature multimedia content, speech recognition and AI-based tutors, enhancing immersion in different environments. Through instantaneous feedback and personalised learning paths, these platforms help the students develop fluency easier and faster. Moreover, these platforms are globally accessible, allowing learners to interact with speakers of different languages and use language in real-life situations.

In addressing issues of equal access to knowledge, EdTech startups have developed learning forums tailored to meet diverse students' requirements. Students with disabilities or different learning styles receive necessary assistance through incorporated technologies featuring assistive learning resources and adaptive content. To further enhance education, EdTech startups leverage data analytics. By collecting and analysing large datasets, these youth-driven companies can understand student behaviour, information retention, and exam performance. Educators can then utilise this data-driven approach to carefully select and implement strategies aimed at improving student outcomes. Predictive analytics also enable early identification of students at risk of failure, allowing for timely interventions.

The success of students relies on the engagement of their guardians, and EdTech startups are developing instruments that facilitate better communication between parents and educators for successful learning experiences. These applications enable parents to access information on their children's progress, attendance as well as other school-related events through parent-teacher communication apps and portals. Parents can utilise these tools to support their child's learning and engage in meaningful conversations with teachers in a more effective way. Through enhancing the overall educational experience for students by strengthening the home-school connection, education technology startups are making significant strides in education.

Educational institutions' administrative dilemma finds solutions in many EdTech startups. School management systems, student information systems, and learning management systems play a crucial role in addressing administrative issues and improving operational efficiency. These systems enable tracking of student attendance, grading of papers, and scheduling tasks that would otherwise burden teachers with routine administrative functions. The potential benefits of these solutions are undeniable, as they streamline administrative processes and free up educators' time for more meaningful tasks. Small, innovative educational technology companies stand to greatly benefit educational institutions by enhancing their operational effectiveness and efficiency.

The integration of technology by startups has ushered in a new era of personalised, engaging, and easily accessible learning.

EdTech startup organisations promote global learning through partnerships and collaborations with world government and non-government organisations, and educational institutions worldwide. This collective effort can result in revolutionary changes in education that stand the test of time. All stakeholders can address commonly known challenges associated with the current education system by sharing knowledge and skills to develop comprehensive solutions. These joint efforts are crucial, highlighting the contribution of EdTech startups in leveraging innovation and technology to drive progress in education.

Ed-Tech startup organisations promote global learning through partnerships and collaborations with government and non-government organisations and educational institutions. Such collaborations help revolutionise education system globally