Company Connecting regularly reviews and publishes information on various aspects of technology. Our extensive research and engagement within the IT SME sector provides us with a view of what’s happening with technology in the small and micro companies rather than just tech in large institutions.
There is loads of information on ‘Fintech’ and its impact. However there are other areas where technology is making a very significant impact: e-learning / training, sometimes known as edtech, and healthcare or digital healthcare. Over the next few months we will be publishing articles on the impact of technology in these areas. This article is a general introduction to technology and potential of e-learning. Future articles will examine specific areas of technology in education e.g. use of augmented reality, STEM, distance learning within online / e-learning.
Company Connecting has identified 280+ companies involved in e-learning or training. This can be from the more traditional educational approach in schools and universities, to experiential e-learning via augmented and virtual reality.Many of the ‘new’ uses of technology are about making the learning experience easier e.g. to learn a language,helping dyslexics. The range of e-learning technologies these companies use is extensive, and it looks like things are changing quickly for training companies from traditional classroom style training to a blended style i.e. classroom and online e-learning depending on the course.
Non classroom based learning is not a new thing. It has not always been possible for people to travel and attend a classroom taught course - and in many areas this remains the case. In 1948, children in the Australian outback began to receive lessons via radio. Open University and correspondence courses came into being to satisfy the demand for people to learn outwith class room and standard college offerings. People can and do learn in many different ways.
Earlier this year Company Connecting published an article and an infographic on the 287 IT companies in its database working in e-learning, training and education. We received various comments, several of which alluded to the place of teachers within primary and secondary education i.e. face to face teaching is best. This may or may not be true - and undoubtedly an area in which many people are currently researching and publishing papers. E-learning and technology is another resource for teachers to use - or potentially the final straw for overloaded teachers.
There are numerous areas where technology can be used to enhance traditional education. One area in particular is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Can a traditional education curriculum keep up with the changes in technology? Are school subjects in the area of technology and engineering able to keep up to date with the rate of technological change? How can "e-learning" help?
Teachers may have the ‘right’ qualifications to teach these subjects but do they have a full in depth understanding in these subjects? Can they provide school pupils with a solid foundation rather than a rudimentary introduction? It must be extremely hard if not impossible, whilst restricted by a standard curriculum.
There are a number of organisations which have resources which can be complementary to the school curriculum e.g. STEM Learning along with its associate STEM Ambassadors. There are also an increasing number of online resources and games where children can learn in different ways. It means that children do not all have to learn in the same way i.e. the ability to use different forms of media such as auditory, visual, touch takes away a ‘one size fits all approach’.
The companies involved in e-learning, edtech and training on the Company Connecting are extremely varied. Some are working in education, others in helping move ‘traditional’ classroom based learning into a blended learning experience, and there there are those that are way out there doing totally different things.
Over the next few months we will be looking at the e-learning technology aspects in more details. In the meantime please contact us if you would like more information on companies involved in e-learning.