The educational sector is currently going through major changes. The pandemic has made all education switch online for a while - and this was a wake-up call for many schools and universities to start investing in software for education.
It is evident that the whole education system is lagging behind when it comes to digital transformation. However, the pandemic kick-started the growth of the EdTech market, which is expected to reach $404B by 2025.
In this article, we are going to explain what educational software refers to, why schools and universities should look into acquiring it for their staff and students, and what are the most prominent examples of software for education.
What is educational software?
Software for education refers to solutions that are used for educational purposes. This ranges from learning management systems and virtual classroom solutions to classroom management solutions and exam software.
Software for education is used in live classrooms as well as in digital education settings. Sometimes, educational software is also referred to as educational technology or EdTech.
Why should you use software for education?
It’s simple: educational software has numerous benefits. From enabling teachers to implement new teaching methods and strategies to allowing students to keep track of their progress, EdTech is a very welcome addition to any classroom.
Here are the biggest benefits of using software for education.
Better learning outcomes
A lot of educational software is designed to enhance teaching and learning. For example, software used in education allows teachers to use pictures, videos, and quizzes in their daily classes.
With more technology at their disposal, teachers can create engaging learning experiences and make sure their students learn in a more profound way.
Moreover, educational software allows students to learn at their own pace instead of having to follow their peers’ speed of learning. This all leads to better learning outcomes and a deeper understanding of the course subject.
More communication and collaboration
In a traditional setting, students could communicate with each other and their teachers only in the classroom. Also, younger students’ parents talked to teachers in parent-teacher conferences only.
On the other hand, software used in education often enables students to communicate outside the class and collaborate on group projects remotely. Also, teachers can more easily reach parents, and parents can check how their child is doing in school.
A lot of software for education is developed with the purpose of improving operational efficiency for teachers who have a lot of repetitive tasks. This is especially evident in exam software that saves teachers valuable time.
Software for education improves the efficiency of educational processes by eliminating manual work, storing data, and integrating with other systems.
10 examples of software in education
If you’re still unsure what educational software refers to, here are some examples of software used in schools and universities. We tried to provide a diverse portfolio of apps to show you how rich the EdTech landscape is - and how impactful can it be for the teachers and students using it!
Rocket.Chat is a software used for collaboration in and between educational institutions. Students, teachers, and external collaborators can discuss ongoing projects in teams, channels, and discussions.
With additional options such as live chat, universities can also answer frequent questions and drive more admissions on their website.
What makes Rocket.Chat especially applicable in education is its open source technology, which ensures data security and flexibility in adapting to complex IT infrastructure.
Canvas is a learning management system that supports schools and universities in delivering dynamic and engaging learning experiences.
Students can find all the curriculum and course information in one place and thus increase their productivity. With mobile accessibility and instant content delivery, this software for education is a must to include in your tech stack.
This student management system allows universities to capture the applicants’ interest on their website and smoothly convert them to students.
Moreover, their eLearning connectivity with automatic grading makes it easier for students and teachers alike to keep track of course progress and learning outcomes.
Dyknow is a classroom management system that allows teachers to gain real-time visibility of student screens in any environment.
It is aimed mostly at schools and enables teachers to keep their students engaged and remove any other distractions. And we all know, with technology in education, there are many!
Engaging learning experiences are easier to deliver with Kahoot!. Teachers love that it motivates students to learn with features such as games and podium presentations.
Interactive quizzes and tests make learning fun, and the tool itself fosters creativity and teamwork. Isn’t that something that all software for education should aim for?
PhotoMath is like the calculator from the future! This app helps students, parents, and teachers to solve complex math problems. Not only that - it explains the logic behind solving math problems, so it’s a great supportive tool for learning math on your own.
It works in a clever way by allowing you to scan the tricky math problem - no need to type anything in the app.
Just imagine how different the geography learning experience is with Google Earth in comparison to just a textbook and an atlas! Billions of images taken by satellite and aerial photography are modulated into an interactive 3D model that students can interact with.
For example, teachers can create time-lapses from three decades of satellite data to show changes in the environment. What an amazing way to use technology in education!
Quizlet says that 90% of students who use their tool report higher grades. This software for education uses explanations to show step-by-step approaches to solving tough problems. Moreover, their flashcards help students easily prepare for exams.
With subjects ranging from arts and humanities to arts, Quizlet is a great tool for students learning a wide array of topics.
This adaptive flashcards solution is helping students learn easily - and learn wherever they are. Trainers can author and disperse content at ease. At the same time, students can access their flashcards anytime and anywhere, on multiple devices.
Studies that Brainscape did showed that students score two times higher on exams if they use Brainscape instead of paper flashcards or books. A good reason to look into their features some more!
Studypool is a tutoring platform that helps students connect with a suitable tutor. However, tutoring lessons can range from just answering questions to full video tutorials.
The subjects that Studypool covers range from rocket science to music theory. With tutors that hold bachelors, Masters, and PHDs, students can rest assured that they are getting the most professional help possible.
Potential challenges with educational software
Educational software has many advantages. However, there are some challenges in implementing and maintaining such software in schools and universities.
This is the reason why many educational institutions opt for open source software. Due to its specific advantages, open source software is perfectly suited to the educational sector.
Data privacy and security
Maintaining data privacy is a big issue, especially for EU-based schools and universities. Moreover, data security is becoming a bigger issue for educational institutions. Namely, they rarely allocate enough resources to data protection solutions.
Therefore, many institutions opt for self-hosted solutions that allow them complete data sovereignty. Moreover, security features such as open source code and end-to-end encryption make it easier to data leaks and cyberattacks.
Difficult to adapt to IT infrastructure
Schools and universities often have a complex IT infrastructure. This makes it difficult to introduce new software and fully utilize it, especially if the software at hand isn’t flexible and lacks customization options.
On the other hand, open source solutions are highly flexible and extremely adaptable to their environments. Therefore, they are the first choice for universities and schools with intricate base infrastructure.
It’s not a secret that the education sector is severely underfunded. Moreover, tech expenditure is not exactly first on the budget list for educational institutions.
With proprietary solutions’ costs being high, schools and universities often turn to open source software alternatives designed for education. Open source solutions are often free, and if not, they are less expensive than proprietary software.
Introduce secure educational software in your university’s tech stack
There are many benefits, but there are also challenges that universities and schools face when implementing educational software.
Since the digitization of the educational system is a much-needed initiative, educational institutions should prioritize acquiring secure, privacy regulations compliant, and flexible software.
That’s exactly what Rocket.Chat is. Our open source technology and self-deployment options allowed universities to include Rocket.Chat into their complex systems without any security risks.
We’ve been supporting more than 700 universities across the world in providing seamless collaboration experiences. Get in touch with the experts from Rocket.Chat to see how we can help you successfully drive digital transformation initiative at your university.