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Monday, February 25, 2019

Technology and Education

We often hear that growth is the answer to all our problems. However, growth alone will not suffice. Resolving the current challenges society is facing is not just about economic vigour: it is about elevating the human condition. In a world increasingly driven by behavioural economics, we must leverage big data analytics for inclusive growth, so everyone can make contributions toward growth and all sectors of society can benefit from the dividends and sense of purpose that result.

Economic growth corresponds to an increase in GDP. However, to avoid leaving part of the population— indeed the entire population of the Global South (Africa, Central and Latin America, and large parts of Asia)— out of the growth equation, we must add a qualitative measure that we describe by using the term inclusive. In considering what inclusive growth looks like, we note that it encompasses three essential components:
  • Education that allows people to participate in disruptive industries and expanding markets, particularly data-driven services, whereby entirely new skill sets will be the catalysts to redeploy traditional ones.
  • Jobs created by the free movement of goods, services, capital, data, and people, with all sectors of society able to add value to the economy.
  • Well-being, consisting of prosperity, good health, and longevity, in an environment of public health and safety, sound policymaking, and prudent allocation of taxpayer resources for the public good without fraud, waste, or abuse.
The three pillars of inclusion are highly interdependent: we need a higher proportion of the population contributing to society, and to achieve this we need to improve education and well-being while simultaneously creating more jobs. Fortunately, technology is an enabler, a catalyst, and a propelling force that makes it possible to take action. We can now process huge volumes of data, and we now have enough affordable processing capacity to build the complex models that allow us to ask previously unimaginable questions as well as to answer those that were not previously answerable. The combination of these abilities — big data analytics — makes truly inclusive growth a genuine possibility for the first time in history.

Expanding Access to Education

Is technology causing education to improve over time or have we just been catching up with the trend of educational technology? There were a huge number of positives and negatives to education technology. But, gradually as technology is being embraced by educational institutes, the importance of technology in education is being realized. Its positives outvoted the negatives and now, with technology, education has taken a whole new meaning that it leaves us with no doubt that our educational system has been transformed owing to the ever-advancing technology. Technology and education are a great combination if used together with the right reason and vision.

Educational technology is the new trend, now! 

Educational technology is "the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources".
Educational Technology basically deals with both physical hardware as well as theories. It circumscribes several domains; including learning theory, computer-based training, online learning, and where mobile technologies are used, m-learning.

In education, the tutelage decisions made by a professor to measure a student’s understanding of the concept or organise the structure of a course may possibly have the greatest impact on student learning. High-quality instructions may reduce the time a student takes to learn a certain concept, allow students to gain more information in the same amount of time and help students to make better decisions about what they should actually study.

This learning efficiency not only improves the experience of the student but can be beneficial to alleviating some of the demands of the professor. The most tool useful for supporting the flexible decision making that teachers need to increase the quality of the learning experience is (Big) Data Analytics. It gives pedagogues and students an edge in understanding where and how improvements can be made in the learning process. 

To ask the right questions, to make the best use of big data as a tool to support our decision making, it is important for pedagogues and students to understand how data analytics can support the learning process. Three ways which can benefit us from using Big Data are as follows:

·    Measure, Monitor, and Respond.

·       Personalize the learning experience.

·       Design new, interesting courses.

This use of large datasets to guide business decisions is important for the world of education and is applicable to every industry wanting to take advantage of the technological trends driving economic and social change.