In a world of educational technology, the ultimate focus is often on one thing: money. It makes sense. Publishing is, after all, a business. Despite the noble goal of helping students get a quality education, professors and publishers still have to make a living! Fortunately, it is very possible to give back and make a profit at the same time. In today’s climate of social and technological change, businesses have a responsibility to adopt practices that support positive and sustainable social growth.
By using evolving technologies to create and improve opportunities for students and educators world-wide, we can achieve the best of the both worlds; a thriving ed-tech industry and a more sustainable and inclusive educational system.
Online Learning: Developing Solutions that Help Us All
Newly emerging digital publishing practices work so well because they have a positive affect in multiple areas. In addition to improving learning outcomes in colleges and universities, the right strategy can benefit educators, environmental protection, and international health. Here’s how your chance to pursue and advance socially-good EdTech that makes a difference.
EdTech Done Right Helps:
In 2019, putting yourself through college isn’t cheap. It’s hard enough for parents to cover the cost of a college education, and exponentially harder for students who are trying to earn a degree all on their own. In addition to soaring tuition costs, students are slammed with the cost of expensive textbooks each semester.
Online textbooks offer a much more affordable way of accessing the same learning material with added bonuses like convenience, portability, flexibility, and interactivity. Online learning serves the modern student better than any previous method of education. Beyond the game-like quality of online learning, many online learning solutions incorporate class message boards and built-in tools to help students collaborate and communicate with peers. In essence, online learning provides a personalized learning experience unmatched by traditional textbooks, and with a lower price tag!
Publishers can also make online learning even more appealing by offering less expensive, limited-time learning subscriptions, discounts for larger learning packages, and shorter courses to supplement learning without breaking the bank.
Accessibility is another big plus. Publishers now have the option to include audio versions of every textbook so that individuals with visual impairments or unique learning challenges can still learn independently. In 2019, inclusivity is really less of an option and more of a responsibility. By offering learning material that everyone can use, publishers can improve their own sales while simultaneously helping the greatest number of students possible.
The greatest benefit EdTech brings to educators is efficiency. Online learning enables them to provide a better education in less time. The use of online assessments makes for less time grading and more chances to notice struggling students before it’s too late to intervene. Lectures can also be pre-recorded for at-home study, and reused semester after semester! This frees up valuable class time for Q&A and hands-on learning.
Additionally, EdTech creates opportunities to teach or tutor from home, giving many teachers a chance to create a healthier work-life balance.
There’s little argument that education is the foundation of modern society. Sadly, many developing countries are held back by their lack of resources. Without education, it’s hard to lower poverty rates. With so much poverty, however, it’s nearly impossible to build schools and hire educated and experienced teachers. Online learning, however, is much less expensive and can help growing nations to flourish.
In areas with limited access to electricity and reliable internet, online learning is still out. Fortunately, many African cities and growing numbers in Latin America and Asia have seen the potential benefits of internet access. These areas, while still impoverished, have enough technological development to begin offering internet-based schooling.
From a general education to essential trade skills, access to online training sets the foundation of future social and economic growth. Several organizations have seen the great potential in online learning. eLearning Africa, for example, has set a goal of transforming the entire continent through digital learning opportunities. By offering affordable EdTech options to developing countries, publishers have a chance to expand their business, advance their philanthropic clout, and do their part to advance international development and world-wide health.
Education is rarely discussed as a factor in environmental health, but hundreds of thousands of students commute to school each day. Often, they have a lengthy drive for just one or two classes. eLearning reduces gas usage and, according to the Stockholm Environmental Institute, cuts pollution generated by student commutes by 90%. Additionally, online learning classes are done from home, reducing the need for larger schools to be built, maintained and heated, and thus conserving natural resources like gas, wood and metals.
The largest and most obvious environmental benefit of online learning is, without a doubt, the reduction of paper use. Online learning usually skips paper textbooks and workbooks entirely, and the majority of assignments can be completed digitally. This reduces the energy required to recycle the tens of tons of paper schools produce each year. Want to create a more environmentally-friendly publishing company? Digital is the way to go!
To Best Serve Your Business, Serve Others First
In summary, the best way EdTech companies can grow their business is by helping others first. When we provide affordable, sustainable learning opportunities, we improve international economic stability. That stability gives more students a chance to pursue an education, reducing poverty levels, fueling job growth, and increasing EdTech profits all in one go.
Join us and other like-minded educators by adopting a digital-first workflow for the greater good. We'll help you get started today.