Evolution of Education: How Interactive Technologies Reshaped Learning

Since the beginning of the pandemic, education is moving online, and students are starting to feel the lack of communication with teachers and peers. Interactive learning technologies have the power to immerse students in the familiar classroom atmosphere without leaving their homes.

Interactive Learning Technologies

In 186 countries across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic deprived 1.2 billion children [1] of the traditional school experience. This unexpected upheaval has forced teachers and parents to come up with reasonable, safe, and educational alternatives to brick-and-mortar schools. This is especially challenging for younger kids who can’t learn on their own. Educators are turning to online learning to substitute the classroom experience. The concept of educational technology was gaining popularity even before COVID-19.

Last year, Research and Markets estimated the global online education market could reach $350 billion in 2025 [2] (up from $18.66 billion in 2019). This expected growth is attributed to the positive effects of eLearning technologies. Research suggests that online learning increases information retention by 25-60% [3] compared to conventional classroom settings and minimizes time spent on education by up to 60%.

Online learning tools seemed successful back when their role was just to complement the conventional classroom. However, now they are emerging as the main method of education and there is a very real possibility that distance learning will persist even after the pandemic.

Will online learning in its current shape be sufficient? Or will kids start missing interactions with classmates and face-to-face experiences with the teacher? Can incorporating interactivity into online educational platforms present a solution to these problems?

Online Education Trends

Online education trends for 2020 show that part of the market is leaning toward interactive digital learning, such as game-based learning, VR, and AR technologies. While others will require interactivity to be successful, like hybrid homeschooling (explained below).

Game-Based Learning

The idea of learning through play dates back to the mid-19th century. Game-based learning relies on games specifically designed to educate using highly interactive and engaging content that is aligned with the curriculum.

Games have been used to learn a variety of subjects, including:

  • Typing, with software like TypingClub: a game featuring different keyboard layouts and finger positions. The game stores a user’s results and compares them to past performances.
  • Math, with games such as Math Snacks: this game includes a series of activities that support math curriculum. It addresses aspects such as scale factor, ratio, measurement, etc.
  • History, as exemplified in Mission US: an adventure-style game where players assume the role of people during various critical points of US history.

These games are popular as they offer a safe environment to attempt something new and fail. For some children, it can be frightening to fail in public settings like the classroom, while failing in a game has comparatively low stakes.

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