Bridging The Digital Global Divide: Access To Emerging EdTech For Developing Nations

A designed face represent EdTech

Educational technology (EdTech) is all about finding new and better ways to help people learn.

Previously, it was about using things like pictures, charts, and maps in the classroom.

Nowadays, thanks to programmed instruction and self-learning materials, the focus is on tailoring the learning experience to each individual.

Technology is revolutionizing education by giving students ownership of their learning. This makes it relevant to their digital lives, and prepares them for the future.

It empowers educators to personalize learning and provides access to real time data, apps, and resources.

With technology, students become problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and creators. 

Along with that, educators create blended learning environments and leverage digital tools for assessments.

What is EdTech?

EdTech, or Educational Technology, is the use of technology to assist in teaching and learning.

It includes both fancy computers for online education, as well as theories of learning and research on effective teaching methods.

Although, EdTech isn’t just about playing games and watching videos. It also includes tools that make it easier for teachers to personalize learning for each student.

For example, machine learning and blockchain can help teachers create customized lesson plans and track student progress.

With EdTech devices like the Internet of Things (IoT), students can learn from anywhere – whether they’re in the classroom, on the bus, or at home.

The field has been around for decades, with early use of technology such as copy machines and training films.

The growth of online education and multimedia sources has made EdTech more accessible and effective.

In 2018, a research study was conducted by Ahmet Baytak, Bülent Tarman, and Cemalettin Ayas from the Gazi University in Turkey.

The study concluded that 86% of 8th grade teachers agreed that technology improves student performance, and 75% said it’s important to use technology in the classroom.

Why is Technology Important in Education?

Technology has greatly benefited the education system by making it more accessible and flexible.

With the rise of online education, technology makes it possible for students to learn at their own pace.

It also allows them to study on their own schedule and since students today are digital natives, they’re comfortable using technology and are more likely to enjoy learning with it.

Online degrees and mobile learning have become more popular, and physical boundaries have been removed. Professionals are also using technology to supplement their further education.

Teachers are using a wide range of tools such as Kahoot!, Trello, Prezi, and ClassDojo to enhance the classroom experience and motivate student engagement.

These tools make the learning process easier for students and teachers alike.

Students can also familiarize themselves with technological tools which are an impressive skill to their future employers.

Technology is also helpful for teachers to identify the needs of their students. They can also track their progress and adapt the curriculum accordingly.

Free educational tools available online have increased the accessibility of education around the world.

Online learning has now become an attractive option for students who are unable to commit to full-time academic requirements.

What is the Digital Divide?

The “digital divide” refers to the separation of the haves from the have-nots.

It is the gap between people who have access to the internet and those who do not. 2.7 billion people in the world, or about 1/3 of the population, do not have internet access.

So while some of us are busy liking our bestie’s image on Instagram, 2.5 billion people are left out in the digital abyss, longing for a connection.

The cost is a major barrier to access in many places, particularly in low-income countries.

Many organizations are working to connect the unconnected.

However, this remains a challenge due to lack of business incentives for the private sector to extend internet access to lower-income or rural areas.

Not only that, but even when people are connected, they may not use it because it is inadequate or unaffordable.

Even among those who are online, many are not “meaningfully connected” due to limitation.

A lot of them experience issues such as connection speeds, quality of content, and data privacy.

Sometimes, it feels like you’re trying to communicate through a tin can.

How is the Digital Divide affecting developing countries & how do we connect it?

The Digital Divide can have a significant impact on education as students who lack access to digital tools and connectivity.

They are more likely to miss out on up-to-date information, essential education milestones, and access to resources, tools, and edutainment.

This lack of access has the potential to affect children for the rest of their lives. This might alos limit their access to quality jobs as everyone else.

To bridge the gap between the tech-savvy and the not-so-tech-savvy in education, governments need to do a few things. 

First, they need to make sure digital resources don’t cost an arm and a leg, because students need those limbs to look up stuff on Google.

Next, they need to give schools, teachers, and students the tools and skills they need to navigate the digital world, because let’s face it, not everyone is a tech genius.

Third, they need to spread the word about the importance of digital literacy, because it’s not just about being able to send a text message, it’s about being able to survive in today’s world.

Finally, they need to make sure education content is available in local languages.

There also needs to be a collaboration that can also involve government agencies, non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders to provide funding, technical assistance, and other support.

The summary

Technology has greatly benefited the education system by making it more accessible and flexible, and has been found to improve student performance.

However, the digital divide separates those who have access to technology from those who do not. This can have a significant impact on education and can affect children for the rest of their lives.

To bridge the digital divide, governments need to make technology cheaper than a cup of coffee.

It’s important for them to give everyone knowledge about it, and make sure nobody is left behind in the tech-savvy world by spreading awareness. 

To learn more about how technology can be an important influence in the growth of education, visit the EDU Blog and read all about it.

Follow us

Top Articles

Share this article

The world is waiting to hear your voice!

EDU Blog is the perfect place to share your insights and experiences with the world. Apply to become a guest author today!

Related Articles