94 percent of teachers claim that the modern student has started to equate the concept of research with a Google search or with looking up a Wikipedia entry, according to a study conducted by Pew Research in conjunction with College Board. In recent years, EdTech is shaping up to be one of the most modern and most competitive industries due to how developments in the field intersect with technological applications and marketplace dynamics.
Such a setup creates massive opportunities for innovation in tech to supplement cutting-edge learning advancements, especially in education. One company, Studypool, has grabbed hold of these new possibilities in delivering convenient and individualized learning plans and resources for pupils.
The Digital Age of Learning
After the advent of the mobile phone and its quick dissemination, the integration of information into our lives has become more and more prevalent. For instance, statistics taken from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) indicate that student access to digital learning has ballooned from 25% to 89% over the five year period of 2010 to 2015.
Of course, this means that students are exploring study strategies and learning methods that focus on having constant, instantaneous information available at their fingertips. A description given by Georgia’s Government Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) notes that the importance of the quality and specific nature of online learning must be taken into consideration: “Digital learning is more than just providing students with a laptop. Digital learning requires a combination of technology, digital content and instruction.”
Instead of spending a majority of their time worrying about keeping track of notes and page numbers – though this is still a concern for any serious student – students nowadays have more accessible resources. Therefore, the most appealing educational resources have changed from those that are most available, to those with the greatest volume of accurate information, to those that offer the most personalized experience for learning.
Think about it, students know that the information for a formula can be found on multiple websites. For instance, if you’re looking for an important chemistry equation like the Henry-Hasselbalch equation or the Nernst equation, you might Google for the term. However, how do these sites distinguish themselves if they are all offering the same solutions?
The Importance of Personalized Experiences in Online Learning
Of course, you’ll come across maybe five to seven different, reputable sources which all offer accurate explanations, so now the problem for these companies shifts to who can give the simplest and most intuitive explanation. If we assume that people will follow the “path of least resistance,” it makes sense that students will begin to prioritize and favor sites that give them more individualized study regimens or plans, rather than simply a general explanation that is accurate but requires effort to unpack.
For instance, consider the presence of Wikipedia. A case may be made that the explanations given on Wikipedia more or less contain the most relevant and essential information. But you’re going to hear much more often that people have gotten a meaningful education from looking at lectures from MIT’s OpenCourseWare project rather than spending hours and days reading and committing facts from Wikipedia to memory.
Despite the fact that Wikipedia is free, this illustrates the basic principle of why sites offering different learning experiences are at a competitive advantage. Online learning is becoming increasingly common as a class format as well. NPR reported a significant increase in the proportion of students taking at least one online course from the turn of the century to 2012, noting that online enrollment constituted one-third, or 33.5% of total academic enrollment in 2012.
Studypool’s New Take on Distance or Online Learning
When it comes to exploring new territory in the efficacy of online learning methods through personalization, Studypool is spearheading the effort. One demographic finding trouble adjusting to the fast-changing pace of online education and making full use of all educational resources available to them are people who have been out of school for a few years and want to improve their job prospects by getting some post-graduate degree.
Studypool has begun looking into adopting tailored, specialized lessons through its tutors to accommodate the needs of these individuals. Such individuals often struggle with reconciling the demands of a digital learning, research, and composition with staying afloat in their real-world obligations: rent, student loan debt, and working hours at their job.
In explaining the customization the platform offers, Studypool CEO Richard Werbe remarks: “Our Q&A marketplace gives clients a 100% personalized experience as each question is catered to completely by a dedicated tutor. We also offer diverse educational tools that meet the individual needs of different student’s learning styles. This allows us to cater to and retain a broad audience. ”
Studypool’s foray into EdTech represents a paradigm shift in the industry from a set of businesses aiming at offering the most accurate and voluminous amounts of information, to one that is client-centered and focuses on how to deliver information so that the individual understands it with the least amount of effort on their part.