The Design Trend You Shouldn’t Be Ignoring: How Educational Technology or “EdTech” is Making New Technologies Work for Our Children

June 27th, 2024

Unlocking the Future: The Untapped Potential of Educational Technology

 

In a recent episode of BBC’s The Apprentice, viewers witnessed the fusion of augmented reality (AR) with children’s cereal, sparking curiosity and perhaps scepticism about integrating technology into every facet of a child’s life. This raises the question: should we welcome these innovations, or do they pose a threat to our children’s well-being?

The prevalent image of parents reluctantly handing over iPads to keep their children occupied may give the impression that introducing new technologies, such as AR, is unwarranted or even dangerous. In a recent survey by Internet Matters, 57% of parents expressed concern about the impact of screen time on their child’s sleep, and 63% believed it negatively affected their health.

Many paediatricians and child psychologists also warn about the dangers of children becoming addicted to screen time. Misused technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and AR can significantly impact children’s safety online and development.

The Positive Potential of Emerging Technologies

However, there is good news. The key lies in channelling these groundbreaking technologies to support and enrich children’s lives rather than causing harm. Despite the warnings, doctors also see significant benefits in interactive games integrating AR and AI. The most obvious use is in creating unique and personalised learning pathways tailored to each child’s needs. AR technology can transform mundane activities into engaging experiences.

The recent collaboration with The Apprentice highlights the potential for technology to revolutionise children’s hygiene, safety, and education. As Lord Sugar pointed out, children’s cereal is a significant market. When considering children’s health and education, integrating emerging technologies becomes a strategic rather than whimsical move. In recent years, there has been a surge in the convergence of emerging technologies and the children’s sector, offering opportunities to address pressing issues such as obesity, dental hygiene, and education standards.

The Growth of the EdTech Sector

EdTech is a swiftly growing sector dedicated to the intersection of education and technology.  2021, EdTech only accounted for a small portion, around 3.3%, of the global education market. However, according to GlobalData forecasts, this figure will grow to 6.2% by 2025. This growth will be driven by recent technological advancements such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 5G, which have the potential to be game-changers for the industry..

One notable example is from an earlier Series of The Apprentice, where Innovate Design helped candidates develop prototypes for a new smart toothbrush aimed at children aged six to eight.

EdTech such as this has the power to transform traditional learning experiences into captivating adventures. Educational games can make acquiring knowledge more enjoyable, fostering a positive attitude toward learning from an early age. The toothbrush project included sensors that connected to an app, allowing children to see areas they missed while brushing, teaching them good daily habits in a fun way.

Products like MEL Science and Nearpod VR exemplify the successful integration of technology in education. MEL Science offers interactive science kits that combine AR and VR to make learning science engaging and hands-on. Nearpod VR provides immersive virtual field trips and interactive lessons, transforming traditional classroom experiences and engaging students in novel ways.

nearpod
nearpod

The Future of EdTech

As we navigate an era where the government seeks to combat the obesity epidemic, improve dental hygiene, and elevate education standards, incorporating emerging technologies becomes not only a forward-thinking strategy but a moral imperative.

This is a growing market with plenty of room for ideas from new innovators .  There is a great opportunity to create impactful and innovative solutions that can shape the future of education and children’s well-being.

It’s time to recognise the potential of EdTech and invest in a brighter future for the next generation.

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