A whopping one in four students are enrolled in online classes, which showcases the rapid rise of distance and online education. Studies have shown that 98% of administrators also find the demand for online education has increased over the past few years. We can attribute much of this to the technological advances that have (and will continue) to make communicating from a distance a breeze, regardless of distance or location.
Advances in learning management systems, videoconferencing platforms and AV technology have helped to make connected classrooms more common. These connected classrooms offer more accessibility to those who may not be able to participate in a standard higher education experience, due to factors such as being a parent, a physical or mental disability, location, etc.
Types of Ed Tech
Learning management systems (LMSes) are software applications for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses or training programs. LMSes have seen many developments in recent years. Leaders in the space like Moodle, Canvas, BlueJeans, Blackboard and Panopto have developed industry-first technologies that allow teachers to connect with students, manage assignments and exams, and enhance the learning experience for anyone, anywhere.
Another key factor in conducting distance education successfully pertains to the videoconferencing platforms available for teachers and students to use. Universities utilize well-known platforms such as Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Join.me and Google Hangouts to engage and connect individual students or entire classrooms around the world. These platforms make it possible for students to seamlessly ask questions and participate in group conversations from afar.
Coupled with high-quality videoconferencing platforms is reliable, top-of-the-line AV technology that teachers and students can use to see and interact with one another. This includes various cameras, microphones, software add-ons, digital screens and more. Many solutions bundle many or all of these items into one (hint: PanaCast!) to streamline the technology so that anyone can use it with ease.
What we can expect
It’s no surprise that the above-mentioned industries are all on the rise. The learning management system market is expected to surpass $15 billion by year 2021 and the web conferencing service market is projected to hit $3.6 billion by 2020. Growing markets means that we will continue to see new industry-first technology that will help improve the distance and online education experience for both students and teachers.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are two areas that are gaining massive momentum in the education space (along with just about every other industry you can think of). Many believe we are on the cusp of a major breakthrough and that AI will soon be integrated into the majority of our actions and interactions throughout the day. We are already seeing this technology make an appearance in digital education. We can expect to see even more advancements in terms of robots being programmed to give full lessons, provide advice and feedback to students, help conduct science experiments, grade exams and assignments, and more.
The future of education technology has a lot in store. We are constantly working on proprietary technology to enhance this space and look forward to continuing to debut new products for students and educators around the world to use.