How To Make Technology in Education Actually Work
Advances in technology happen in the blink of an eye.
And as fast as innovations happen, the rush to incorporate them to disrupt the usual ways of doing things increases at the same pace.
But does technology always deliver the results that are promised?
In education, we’re told of revolutionary advances with every new invention. Tablets in the hand of every student to change how they access information. Remote learning to give opportunities to those who wouldn’t otherwise have them.
But while we’ve seen progress, the results haven’t been quite as revolutionary as predicted.
Because we’ve confused the end-game.
We don’t need technology in education because the technology is available. We need it to get better results. To provide better value for investment in education. To help create the next generation of creators, builders, thinkers and visionaries who will take our society forwards.
And the best way we can do this is by designing the user experience of education.
UX design teaches us that by understanding who the user is, the environment they’re in and what their goals are; we’re able to design and build products that are not only easy to use, but that people will WANT to use.
For education that means understanding not just who the students are, but also the teachers who plan and delivers the course; the administrators who manage it; and the families who support and guide the students. Anyone and everyone involved in delivering the educational experience.
By understanding their goals and behaviour, we can create products, systems and interfaces that are so easy to use a baby could figure them out (and the way things are going, it’s likely a baby could be using it!).
Education is a fundamental aspect of our societies. It has such a wide ranging and long-term impact that we do ourselves a disservice by not taking advantage of technology in education in the right way.
We need to get it right and we need to do it now.
With an ever increasing population, the education system in Saudi Arabia is being pushed to its limits to provide equal opportunities to everyone. In the last 10 years, the Saudi population under the age of 20 has grown by 52.88%. This has led to overcrowded classrooms that impact the quality of learning.
It’s against this backdrop that the need and demand for a more effective learning experience is gaining momentum. Whether it’s through online distance learning, or for more effective delivery of education in the classroom, a UX designed educational experience will ensure that technology can deliver an efficient and cost-effective solution.
The Saudi Ministry of Higher Education has established the National Centre of E-Learning & Distance Learning (ELC) to organise and push for exactly this type innovation.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein
At UXBERT, we believe that a user-centred approach to innovation and technology can have a hugely positive impact to society as a whole.
In education, this means more than making information easier to access, or products and software easier to use. It’s about making the whole experience of learning more efficient, effective and enjoyable.
We’re not the only ones in Saudi Arabia who think this way. We’re constantly meeting and working with private companies and government institutions who understand and believe in the value of UX design, even if they may not be familiar with the terminology.
With the increasingly advanced demands of the upcoming digital native generations, our goal at UXBERT is to help make Saudi Arabia’s incorporation of technology in education a user-centred approach.