EdTech has transformed the areas of education at all levels, as well as training in business and beyond. While teaching and training techniques have followed fixed rules for more than a century, the last two decades have seen this activity reshaped to take advantage of new technologies.
The adoption of these new forms and methods has brought about a revolution in the way education is understood, as well as the possibility of broadening the audiences with access to certain educational content. In any case, we are currently experiencing a second transition in terms of the ability to offer educational content remotely. The first of these came with MOOCs and the development of eLearning.
Now, EdTech is presenting scalable solutions that really do bring online education closer to the standards of demand, guarantees and regulatory support that face-to-face education already provided. In this way, we can say that not only has it caught up with it, but in some cases it is capable of improving its proposal.
EdTech is the use of novel technologies in the education and training sector. The term is equivalent to "Education Technology" and is synonymous with the less commonly used EduTech. While this definition may seem simple, it is the broadest and most versatile, as EdTech in turn is divided into two branches:
That is to say, on the one hand we have the variant aimed at improving and optimizing the teaching we all know, giving it new tools to achieve objectives and overcome goals, and on the other, the EdTech part that is allowing the birth of new business typologies and ways of teaching that were unthinkable just a few years ago. These two approaches to educational technology have resulted in dozens of components within an ecosystem that has begun to develop strongly around the world.
It is important to understand that EdTech affects both curricular teaching and training. This area is transversal to all those activities related to education, corporate training, teambuilding, training or evaluations of any kind. Thus, we can see how EduTech has fully impacted on:
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, EdTech is moving into a new phase. We could go so far as to say that the first perspective initiated the first phase of digitization of the education and training sector, with the second perspective now taking the lead in this second phase.
However, the implementation of these solutions is very uneven and does not yet follow a clear pattern, with institutions and companies betting on these innovations and others that still have unfinished business, including some of those offering remote education.
One of the main challenges faced by EdTech in its first batch had to do with the guarantees provided by the organization that was issuing the certifications. It makes sense to think that an online course taught in an environment outside the educational institution (home, library, an affiliated center...) does not have the same characteristics and guarantees as one developed entirely in an official center. However, EduTech has managed to give the same normative, regulatory and educational support to online education as to face-to-face education.
A large part of this problem has to do with online identity fraud, student supervision during the school period or attempts to copy exams, as well as the issuance of diplomas under appropriate standards. Later we will see how KYS (Know Your Student), proctoring and other digital tools have responded to this challenge with solvency, guarantees and recognition by the institutions.
After years of entrepreneurship and development of solutions applicable to the education sector, the most innovative startups have taken the lead by offering companies and institutions in the industry tools that have made them not only grow, but also reach many more students and professionals.
The EdTech ecosystem is diverse and rich, demonstrating that there is not just one way to boost education and reinvent teaching methods. We can see how both large companies and SMEs have started to transform from very different points, but have been able to take advantage of all the benefits offered by the different players in this ecosystem.
In this way, we can say that there are a number of main categories of types of organizations that work along the same lines and come together to make up the entire EduTech ecosystem:
To conclude with this list, we can say that the area is still being composed and that sooner rather than later we will see how new categories are born and others converge. What is certain is that the trend is towards digital and scalable solutions. Companies and institutions no longer have to pay for expensive developments to obtain quality EdTech solutions that they can implement in days, without compromising their organizations and in pay-per-use formats (SaaS and PaaS).
While this system is inherited from the already widespread and standardized Know Your Customer (KYC) process, applied across industries and sectors to verify the identity of users, KYS has been developed so that content is delivered with the same guarantees as in a face-to-face location.
These systems are capable of registering a student for enrollment and identification in seconds and with greater accuracy and support than the traditional methods used by administrators at universities, institutions or assessment centers.
Not only does it incorporate the student into the database, but it also generates high-level credentials with facial biometrics and under SCA (Strong Authentication) standards so that the student has access to the platforms where he/she is going to study and always with the utmost rigor, guaranteeing that the person who is studying or receiving a certification is who he/she says he/she is.
In addition to this, certified communication allows you to send notifications to the student - e.g. of exam dates, changes in timetables or test results - with the greatest possible support.
With regard to evaluation, a key element in all curricular and extracurricular training, and with a view to obtaining qualifying certifications, proctoring tools make it possible to give full validity to examinations with dozens of controls before, during and after the test.
This is already being used by governments to test future civil servants for competitive examinations to get a job, as well as by training companies to perform PRL tests or while signing agreements with the company.
These systems include several technologies to reach an amazing level and, now, far exceed the guarantees of face-to-face examinations. In fact, many educational institutions that offer 100% face-to-face teaching have integrated this tool in their computers and devices so that their students can take the evaluations with an extra guarantee and legal support.
To conclude, we are going to unpack a series of key points regarding EdTech. These considerations are intended to function as a FAQ on this area that is so important for society, the economy and the future of our young students and professionals:
Proctoring and its methodologies are tried and tested. It is also perfectly legal and has the backing of the most demanding international and public organizations.