Today, we live in a world of rapid change and innovation. One way of staying ahead is to anticipate the future and choose your response now.
One area where this principle applies very well is education. Nowadays, learning is not just to store information diluted after five years. The objective is to enable students to acquire relevant skills in their job market and be essential throughout their lives.
One way of enabling future-proof education is by developing software adapted to students’ needs. This article proposes a new framework for building educational software using object-oriented programming techniques.
This article will focus on a special kind of educational software: adaptive learning systems. These systems have been developed over this century and have become very light, small programs that can run even on smartphones.
Increasing Popularity Of Online And Distance Learning
The increasing popularity of online and distance learning has led to a boom in this kind of educational software. it seems that one day all education will be conducted solely through software, and it is clear why:
- Software can adapt itself to the student’s needs, unlike teachers who, by definition, must teach everyone in the same manner.
- Software never has a bad day when it gets sick or has personal issues.
- Software is always available for learning 24/7.
These are compelling reasons that can forever change how we look at education. However, some obstacles must be overcome before software completely takes over education.
First, students need to be comfortable with their educational software and gain confidence in using them. The second one is that software needs to be developed with an educational purpose in mind, which means it has to be built from the ground up, keeping the end-user in mind. In other words, we cannot just import a bunch of existing video games into education and expect students to enjoy them! Lastly, teachers should see the benefits of using educational software in the classroom.
Benefits Of Using Education Software Development Tools
When someone speaks about software development for education or even adaptive learning systems in general, the reference is made to Scratch, a programming language developed by MIT students.
It was built with such simplicity that children as young as eight can start coding and creating interactive stories, games, and simulations. The primary purpose of building this language was to empower children to create a fun and easy way instead of learning how to use complex interfaces that require professional knowledge.
How Can Education Software Development Help Improve Student Outcomes
This question is twofold because it covers both the software itself and its use in the classroom.
First of all, educational software must be developed to match the needs of students. If you are dealing with children, for example, you would need a simple interface that can be navigated using touch gestures without using a mouse or keyboard. It should also be intuitive and easy-to-use so that children can discover its functions without much help from the teacher or another student.
In other words, it must be self-explanatory and built around user experience.
There are two types of this sort of software: remedial and adaptive.
Remedial educational software is used for students who need help in certain areas, while adaptive educational software can be used by any student regardless of age or skill level. For example, remedial software can have a strict sequence of lessons and exercises that must be followed to get all the help he or she needs.
On the other hand, adaptive educational software takes a more flexible approach because it uses machine learning algorithms to customise lessons based on each student’s progress. This is necessary because if a student needs more work on a particular subject or concept, this should be taken care of before moving on to other topics.
In short, educational software must be developed with both students and teachers in mind while considering the limitations that each platform has (computers, tablets, smartphones) and the unique features that each offers.
This will result in a product that can benefit teachers and students alike because it will be easy to use and support student success.