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Why institutions are embracing technology to make learning fair

Since the dawn of man, humans have found ways to teach one another how to survive. Sometimes these skills literally focused on survival methods, such as how to hunt or build fires, but as civilization advanced so did the methods and subjects being taught. Similarly, with the advent of computers and more recently the popularity of online learning, education has had to adapt to new technologies. Though institutions of higher learning aren’t typically known for early adoption of innovative technology, I have seen a newer generation of administrators that are trying to evolve not only the modalities offered to students but are also trying to ensure that students get tailored educational opportunities that fit their needs.

The concept of equitable instruction is not new and has been practiced in face-to-face learning modalities with students of all ages. When it relates to online learning, that level of engagement and personalization becomes difficult to scale. Universities, such as FIU Online have shifted their focus to really ensure student success and “incorporate a level of awareness in the course development that promotes an inclusive, diverse, and accessible experience” as Dr. Raquel Perez, one of their leading professors, has expressed. Luckily there’s an app for that, well many apps, actually.

Higher Education Technology is an industry that is anchored by major players such as McGraw Hill and Pearson, but also has seen many amazing startups enter the space as of late. Globally, the Higher Ed Tech market is expected to more than double from 77.66 billion in 2020 (35% of the market is based in North America) to 169.72 billion by 2028.

Within higher ed tech, there are adaptive learning tools that are specifically designed to promote equity in instruction. These tools employ machine learning to create alternate learning pathways that are tailored to each student’s ability.

In 2019, the global adaptive learning software market was worth $1.61 Billion is forecasted to reach almost $8 Billion by 2027. That is significant projected growth and I for one am thrilled to see more institutions embrace this kind of technology because no two students are the same.