Technology just for technology’s sake serves no one and is generally in direct conflict with the aim of higher education– to assist students in meeting their career goals through the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary for the workforce. But higher education has become increasingly expensive over the years, and it’s hard to blame students who want to be sure they’re getting as much as they can out of their financial investment. There are several reasons why ed tech, in particular, is one way schools can help students achieve a better return on the time and money they commit to an academic program.

Higher Quality Learning

Course materials and the myriad ways to access them via ed tech fits seamlessly into how young adults already interact with their world electronically. These digital natives are already navigating Internet resources and social media; ed tech tools can harness the comfort and familiarity of that environment by making interactions with course materials more engaging. Studies suggest that higher rates of engagement have the potential to improve outcomes, not just in the retention of information but of student persistence in completing an academic program.

Differentiated Learning 

The traditional lecture-based teaching style doesn’t always fit a student’s learning profile. Ed tech facilitates differentiated learning in the classroom to ensure that all students have the opportunity to not only get the education they’re paying for but to excel academically. Students can acquire knowledge according to a variety of learning styles while working collaboratively with peers to benefit from each other’s strengths in tangible ways. 

A Higher Ed Experience Aligned with Student Values

Many of today’s college students are mindful of not only how much money they may be spending for an education but also how much of an environmental footprint their education might have. Instead of pricey printed textbooks, ed tech tools like Omega Notes supports responsible stewardship of natural paper resources, with the added benefit of saving students money; by accessing course materials online instead of buying printed textbooks, students could save some of the more than $1,100 in textbook costs they spend each year. 

Greater Accountability for Students

Faculty can establish ed tech parameters that enforce student accountability in completing work on-time, ensuring everyone progresses in keeping with the syllabus. And in cases where students aren’t able to keep pace, an educator can use ed tech tools and data analytics made possible by them to get a better understanding of how students are doing overall and revise curriculum accordingly or deploy early intervention strategies to reduce students falling behind and failing.

Virtually all students understand that earning a postsecondary education requires a significant investment of resources, and they’re ready and willing to make that commitment. But as the ones who are ultimately responsible for the time and money it takes to complete an academic program, it’s understandable that students would be aware of and concerned with maximizing the return on that time and money. With that goal in mind, colleges and universities can use ed tech as an effective tool to support students’ academic performance in a cost-conscious environment.

By Andrew Lang