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The 4 Ways Technology Increases Affordability and Availability in Education

While many question whether or not technology is having a positive effect on education, Jeremy Johnson provides four ways in which technology makes education more affordable and accessible to more people.

Improving access, overcoming cost, restructuring the classroom and skills training are the four ways Johnson, Founder and CEO, Andela; Co-Founder, 2U, believes that technology has made education more affordable and available, according to his article for Entrepreneur.

“Last year was a record year for the industry,” says Johnson. “A report from Ambient Insight found that global EdTech companies raised $2.34 billion in funding in 2014, up from $1.64 billion in 2013.”

With increased EdTech funding, the ability to reach more students is much easier. Improving access is the first positive effect that Johnson discusses.

“Educators around the world are using technology to increase access to education,” says Johnson. “Pencil, a nonprofit organization in New York City, is leveraging technology and community involvement to impact urban schools, paving the way for struggling school systems in cities worldwide.”

Pencil is a company that helps students reach their higher potential by combining individual needs, technology and business expertise.

In terms of overcoming cost, Johnson says that EdTech sites dedicated to helping educators raise money for supplies are a big help when it comes to cutting the cost of classroom expense for teachers.

“A survey of 946 U.S. teachers conducted in June 2014 by Sheer ID and Agile Education Marketing found that respondents spent an average of $513 of their own money on classroom supplies, resources, classroom books, and professional development during the 2013-14 school year,” reported Johnson.

In order to create less of a burden on educators, EdTech sites like DonorsChoose have been introduced to help teachers raise funds for classroom supplies.

DonorsChoose is essentially a Kickstarter Campaign for teachers. They can post their classroom project and the tools needed to complete it, then donors are able to choose they want to donate for the project.

Johnson insists that with tools like Pencil and DonorsChoose, education becomes less of a financial struggle and of easier access to students. With improved access, and overcoming cost being the base of technology’s positive effects, restructuring the classroom and skills training become the building blocks discuss by Johnson.

While technology has always been associated with efficiency and availability, Johnson provides ways in which these associations are adapted for educational needs.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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