Education technology, also known as edtech, is a field of technology used to enhance education in different parts of the world. This type of education is still at early ages but has already proved a positive result due to the unique learning pace and support of each individual learner.
According to Worldremit, edtech is changing the learning experience in many countries through mobile learning, cloud computing and gamification. Not only does edtech offer education in a digital form, but also creates business opportunities for those designing such technology tools. For example, edtech startups.
The uprise of edtech in Africa
Once technology started to develop more in Africa, many made use of radio and television as a learning method for students as well as training methods to teachers. This lasted until the computer arrived. Internationally many schools started using computers for students as a source of educating them through educational software.
Due to a lack of textbooks and other educational materials in schools over Africa, the tech educating method was used. The most significant progress occurred in South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda.1
As technology develops, the easier it gets to have access to different types of technology and edtech opportunities all over the world and especially in African countries. Mobile technology has particularly increased in Africa due to the big increase in mobile owners. This also leads to many using their mobile phones for educational reasons which is called “M-Learning”.
Edtech obstacles in Africa
Even though edtech provides African countries with many positive outcomes, there are unfortunately some obstacles to overcome first. Due to the lack of electricity and therefore a lack of internet access many people have to deal with in African countries, they cannot always make use of edtech. Around 800 million people all over Africa do not have access to the internet.2 Fortunately there has been a development in improving internet access in Africa. If the usage of mobile phones increases more, the internet usage in Africa’s could make up 12% of internet users all over the world by the end of 2020.3
Apart from the internet issue, there are still many people who also cannot afford the technology resources needed for this type of education in many parts of Africa.
The power of edtech
For those people who do have access to international educational resources, this allows everyone to learn much more than they would have in their local school. Through edtech, the learning management services offer an online space for students to access a wide variety of lesson materials. They have a much broader choice of lessons as well as access to other languages to increase their language skills. Due to this, international doors might open to students all over Africa and brings global opportunities for national economies.
It would be a big advantage and opportunity for African countries and its people if the edtech sector could be accessed by everyone in the near future and not just to those who can afford electricity and internet access.