While technology is a fantastic tool for K-12 students and higher education, the cost of equipment and programs can add up quickly. Especially in inner city schools or rural areas, access to technology is not always simple, and children may struggle to keep up with their peers. Here, the educational technology professionals at SchoolMart provide an overview of how technology is bringing low-cost access to education for many students. 

COVID-19 Prompts Education Changes Amongst Parents

During the coronavirus pandemic, schools all across the country have closed, or moved to online schooling. While many school districts have adapted to these changes, students who have unique learning styles are often unable to adapt as easily, and if their school does not provide additional assistive technology, they may ultimately be unable to stay ahead. As a result, some parents are seeking out alternative schooling for their children that caters to their needs. According to a recent poll by Echelon Insights, they found that 63% of public school parents, regardless of their race or gender, are focused on rethinking how students are educated and seeking alternative options. While the coronavirus has prompted students to learn from home, alternatives including micro-schools and pods, or small groups of homeschooled students that meet up, are gaining popularity. Programs such as K12 and Connections Academy offer tuition free online public schooling options, as well as tuition-based private schooling and tutoring services to cater to the needs of a variety of students.

EdTech Startups Provide Individualized, Affordable Schooling Assistance

One of the largest benefits of educational technology is its ability to cater to the individualized needs of students. Whether this is by providing multiple versions of a lesson plan, or using artificial intelligence to adjust to student’s online behavior patterns, digital learning initiatives have seen exponential growth in recent years, at a fraction of the cost of traditional schooling. For example, DreamBox Learning is an online math program which uses adaptive learning technology, providing a progressive approach to mathematics that continuously calculates the student’s knowledge throughout each lesson and recalibrates to address their issues better, at the cost of only $20 per year. Additionally, e-learning programs are able to use technology to relate to students by using their passions to facilitate learning, such as music, active play or virtual reality. These programs allow students to use their favorite things on a daily basis, and tie it back to core subjects such as math, language and science. 

Innovative Digital Programs Help Special Needs Families Afford Quality Education

Finally, one of the distinctive factors of online learning and ed-tech is the affordability and quality access of education for special needs students. While there are many traditional institutions that focus on instruction for special needs children, it is not possible for instructors to cater to the different learning styles of each of their students in a single classroom, especially if these students have unique learning styles or delays. Digital learning during this time can be a difficult change for students with disabilities, as they are not able to communicate their needs as easily over programs such as Zoom or Google Meets. Programs such as Objective Ed and Education Modified work to provide assistance to teachers and free or low-cost access to students to help them reach their IEP, or individualized education program. These programs allow teachers to create a profile for their students, fill out their IEP goals, and have these programs send individualized lessons to students for additional education opportunities to help them stay on par with their peers. Programs such as these also send comprehensive reports that outline where students struggled or excelled, helping teachers adjust their lessons with ease and providing a low-cost solution to parents.

Learn More about K-12 Educational Technology Benefits With SchoolMart

At SchoolMart, our team understands the need for educational technology, especially during this time of the novel coronavirus. While there are many benefits to digital learning, we understand that not all lesson plans are created equal. Students with individualized learning styles or limited income may not have access to traditional online education programs. That is why we strive to provide resources for parents and educators regarding affordable, high-quality educational programs. From tuition-free fully online schooling, to low-cost supplemental learning programs for students with disabilities, K-12 education is taking a step in the right direction for accessibility to everyone. To learn more about ed-tech and affordable assistive programs, contact the team at SchoolMart today