Technology is increasingly playing a critical, often foundational role in virtually every industry, and education is no different. In fact, it is overhauling the very nature of teaching and learning.
More and more companies are investing in edtech solutions to meet the needs of both students and educators, and with the demand for education solutions comes the need to hire software developers who are capable of creating them.
From digital textbooks to homework study apps, here are 11 ways software development is transforming education.
1. Mobile technology
Previously, teachers may have banned cell phones from their classrooms, believing them to be a distraction to students. Now, however, many educators are embracing them as teaching tools. They might ask students to conduct research via apps, take digital polls, or have students create flashcards on their mobile devices. Students can also use them for educational purposes outside of the classroom — there are plenty of apps for studying.
2. Virtual reality
Companies in numerous industries are looking to hire software developers to help them incorporate virtual reality (VR) into their products and services, and it’s especially relevant to education. Students can become immersed in lessons across subjects such as history and science, “experiencing” a previously inaccessible world firsthand. Educators can also use VR in demonstrations, such as performing a biology experiment without using actual resources.
Situated in schools, libraries, labs, and other designated educational spaces, makerspaces allow students to work with supplies and materials related to lessons. While they aren’t necessarily technological innovations in and by themselves, they are often equipped with high-tech tools such as 3D printers and more.
4. Assistive technology
Students with special needs and disabilities can benefit from assistive technology in the classroom and beyond. For example, text-to-speech (TTS) software translates text into audio, helps students with dyslexia and visual impairments and others.
5. Social media
Some educators are experimenting with having students contribute to discussions on social media platforms like Twitter, facilitating meaningful dialogues online. While edtech companies don’t necessarily need to hire development teams dedicated to facilitating the use of social media in the classroom, they can work on devising ways to incorporate social media into their products.
6. Digital media
Some educators are asking students to use video recording and other devices to create projects, such as conducting interviews or research. This gives them the opportunity to explore and get outside their comfort zone.
7. Artificial intelligence (AI)
As schools and academic institutions are using AI to provide feedback, deliver smart content through platforms like videoconferencing, and personalize the learning experience, edtech companies seek to hire software developers to make these solutions possible. These programs can help all students, including those who are struggling.
Video games aren’t just for fun — they also teach students a variety of skills and competencies, including critical thinking and problem solving. Increasingly, instructors are using educational games in the classroom and even having students develop their own, honing their creativity, innovation, and technology skills.
9. Cloud computing
Cloud technology makes resources such as video lessons and assignments accessible from anywhere, saving both students and instructors the hassle of transporting materials to and from school and eliminating the risk of misplacing them.
Facial and voice recognition software, eye tracking devices, and other tools are enabling instructors to keep the cheating at bay and better understand how students learn and take in information. Biometrics can also be used to track and record attendance and keep students safe by authenticating their identities when they enter school premises.
11. Interactive textbooks
eBooks are increasingly replacing physical textbooks, but digital text isn’t the only improvement: many textbooks are now interactive, equipped with animations, videos, quizzes, and other content to enhance the lessons on the page. Plus, students no longer have to lug heavy backpacks to school anymore — all the material is on their lighter-weight devices.
The future of software development innovation for education
The landscape of education is ever-changing and evolving thanks to new technologies. As these and other tools become increasingly common in schools, academic institutions, and beyond, edtech must keep up with the growing demand. This means they need to hire software developers capable of innovating to meet the needs of students and educators. As education faces different hurdles, software companies must provide solutions that augment teaching and learning, allowing students to grow and learn in new ways.