In her advanced placement psychology class at Springfield High School in Holland, Ohio, teacher McKenna Reitz began using Google Classroom during the pandemic. She’s never looked back.
“Now I have the ability … to be in constant connection with my students. I can upload the online textbook to Google Slides. They’re able to turn in their homework that way,” she says. “The technology has taken education to a deeper level.”
Inspired by the need to connect remotely, and supported by $122 billion in educational funding in the American Rescue Plan, education technology, or edtech, has taken center stage in school systems across the country.
Tech giants have led the way with connectivity products like Zoom, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom, all of which powered remote learning in the early days of the pandemic. But it doesn’t stop there: Apps like Quizlet (a web-based tool that delivers flashcards and study aids) “smart board” interactive displays and learning systems like Canvas are changing the way the classroom operates.
“Teachers are much more tech-savvy now than they’ve ever been before. They’ve received a lot more professional development around technology,” says Adam Garry, Dell senior director of education strategy. “The pandemic probably accelerated this more than any other thing that we’ve ever tried in education.” A survey of more than 32,000 schools by The Learning Council, which is dedicated to researching the transition to digital curriculum, found 87 percent now issue students a personal computing device. And 54 percent of educators surveyed said they feel that technology is very useful, according to Dun & Bradstreet marketing division MDR.
Analysts predict a surge in demand for edtech, with the market expected to swell from $254.8 billion in 2021 to $604.4 billion by 2027.
The rise of learning management systems (LMS) has been especially impactful. These systems give teachers the ability to plan and deliver lesson content, monitor students’ participation in the work and assess performance.
“Educators are using LMS to make sure students have a more personalized approach to the process of learning,” Garry says.