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UniSA Partners on EduTech

mage Credits: UniSA, Press Release

Combining music, computing and neuroscience to improve educational outcomes for South Australia’s young children will be the focus of a new research partnership that was recently announced between the University of South Australia (UniSA) and a Singaporean early education company. The partnership was formalised on 23 August 2022 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at UniSA’s City West campus in Adelaide.

UniSA’s researchers in cognitive neuroscience and virtual and augmented reality, at the Australian Research Centre for Interactive and Virtual Environments (IVE), will collaborate with the international early education provider to help improve music, literacy and numeracy among pre-school-aged children in South Australia.

The education company has developed a performing arts-based curriculum specifically for pre-school-aged children, which will be analysed for its effectiveness by UniSA cognitive neuroscientist Professor Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky and the IVE laboratory using a range of techniques.

This work will be supplemented by Professor Mark Billinghurst and Dr Gun Lee from IVE’s Empathetic Computing Laboratory, who will develop augmented reality technology that empowers children to learn remotely from expert teachers with minimal impact on children’s screen time.

The Founder, CEO and Chairman of the edtech firm stated that the company is “thrilled to partner with the University of South Australia to help make a significant difference to the educational outcomes of young children”.

Meanwhile, the UniSA Vice Chancellor noted that the university is pleased to support cutting-edge research into early childhood education. He said that by leveraging the expertise of cognitive neuroscience and empathetic computing researchers with an established global early education provider, UniSA looks forward to seeing some tangible results that can be applied in pre-school settings.

Recent research notes that the global education technology market size was valued at US$ 106.46 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5% from 2022 to 2030. Education technology (EdTech) includes hardware and software technology used to educate students on a virtual level to improve learning in classrooms and enhance students’ education outcomes.

EdTech platforms help students overcome challenges to obtain comprehensive education by using technology for learning and teaching. Nowadays, learners are increasingly shifting toward eBooks that can be accessed online from anywhere across the globe.

Comparatively, digital content is easier to generate than printed content, which tends to incur higher production costs. Digital books are available in different languages and can be easily translated and retrieved by a wider user base. Moreover, learners, especially those with physical disabilities, can listen to the educational content in an audio format to improve their vocabulary and encourage better interpretive reading.

EdTech solutions are expected to evolve in line with the advances in the latest technologies, such as IoT, AI, and AR/VR, and contribute significantly to the market’s growth. The integration of AR and VR in EdTech solutions helps offer an interactive experience to the learners. It allows learners to explore and seamlessly connect with abstract concepts subsequently driving student engagement.

It was noted that the K-12 segment led the market in 2021, accounting for over 40% share of the global revenue. The high share can be attributed to the growing trend of game-based learning in the K-12 sector. Most teachers in the K-12 sector support gamification initiatives to develop the students’ math learning skills with the integration of practical, project-based work in schools. Additionally, incorporating technologies in this sector enables immersive content and provides experiences, such as virtual field trips and complex lab-based experiments, resulting in an engaging learning experience.

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