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Education and Tech Giants' Enormous Impacts

The impact tech giants had made including the integration of digital learning tool, the service they provide for institution and students.
By Andy Nguyen | EnvZone Staff
on March 12, 2019 | 7 min read
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Education is important.

There is no doubt about that.

We learn along the path of our life. To have a steady and solid foot ground, tech titans have developed various platforms, software, and applications for their target user to conquer the path of education. Not only that, educators are paying more interest in applying digital learning software in teaching and advocate for the integration to be more advanced. In this article, we shall break down the achievements, as known as footprints, of tech giants over their nurturing the young generation's effort.

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Well, let's get started!

First of, let's take a look at

Facebook and Its Effort Towards Education

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I know what you are thinking!

How come a social network site deserves a spot here?

But it does.

Namely because of the effort in education for the future's growth of the young generation.

Mark and his wife, Priscilla Chan had launched an initiative called Chan Zuckerberg Initiative aiming to develop human capability in various settings ranging from scientific research, health to education in 2015. In the same year, Facebook has made a bold step by collaborating with Summit Public Schools to personalize lessons that fixed with student's need to let them go with the flow as comfortable as possible.

After the big scandal in 2018, Facebook has launched 'Facebook for Education' showcasing a more purposeful direction to retain reputation. One of the excellent resources on facebook's microsite is CodeFWD, which is nothing more than a digital learning platform, allows students to learn the fundamentals of computer science, basic coding, basic cloud computing, etc.

Next up, let's meet

Amazon - the Sleeping Giant

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Amazon has expanded its portfolio to many categories by offering a lot of advancing technology including the Kindle tablet, Fire Phone (though a failure but worth mentioned), virtual assistant Alexa, AWS - Amazon Web Services for businesses and one of the latest strategic moves is the acquisition of the Whole Food chain.

In term of education, Amazon has shown its interest in this field by acquiring many start-ups and small companies to its chain value. One noble example is the TenMarks company; a math digital learning platform for which Amazon integrated into its ecosystem in 2013. The tech giant also launched an education marketplace called Amazon Inspire in the summer of 2016.

Amazon Web Services has made lots of impressive progress by offering its service to various educational institutions and districts across the US. The Seattle-based company is providing students who are 14 years old and above an opportunity to learn about cloud computing for free with the AWS Educate Program. However, all of a sudden, Amazon decided that TenMarks shall be completely shut down after the 2018-2019 school year. Such disappointment and frustration spreaded through Twitter, one user expressed their feeling by tweeting:'' There is such a large body of work connected with TenMarks, to just close it down is such academic loss. How about making a grand gesture and make it all open source?''

Moreover, the open beta version of Amazon Inspire remains beta since its introduction. From business's perspective, is one of the largest e-commerce companies still waiting for the perfect opportunity to hit hard in edtech or Amazon has transitioned itself from education and let other tech titan stealing its pie?

The next tech titan we bring on the table is

Microsoft Is Not a New Face in Education Sector

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Microsoft has played a vital role in computing world since the beginning. Discussing its impact in education could be endless.

So...

What's a better way to understand the impact by looking at some statistics?

Microsoft's set of learning platform like OneNote, Word, Outlook, Edge Browser...has contributed to supporting reading and writing skills of many students. According to a research report by RTI institute, Mircosoft's digital learning tools have made impressive improvements in reading comprehension for elementary, English learner and special education. Specifically, students gained an average of 123.6 points over the school year while the comparison group gained an average of 89.2 points. In term of writing, one teacher enthusiastically said that her students’ writing drafts were better than she had seen in her four years of working on this capstone project.

It is undeniable that if lecturers kept sticking with the traditional method without the aid of learning software, student's reading and writing skill could not enhance at such ease.

And most recently, the Redmond Washington-based company has made a collaboration with Wayne State University as the first institution to come on board with the Microsoft Professional Program. They plan to start integrating Microsoft-made digital learning software into their teaching curriculum. The aim is to assist students with more soft skills, cloud computing, and cyber security using more advanced methods in the classroom to leverage student's competition on the labor's marketplace.

Another critical player on the market is

More Effort Need to Be Made by Apple in Education

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Apple is the first-ever company to reach a valuation of $1 trillion.

The company had experienced lots of up and down including its performance in the educational market.

Apple had made impacts over the years since its penetration into the education market in 1978. At that time, librarians were among the first group to integrate Apple's product to work. Fast forward to 2010 when Apple introduced iPad to the public, the device had received lots of attention for it limitless potential capabilities from consumers and educators. Ipad is believed to have the ability to replace expensive textbooks and be a perfect digital learning platform for all graders.

Despite such great effort, the performance of the company to date is not as glamour as its competitors in the market. According to FutureSource Consulting report in 2017, Apple is behind Google Chromebook and Microsoft Windows over the number of devices in the classroom, positioning itself as third place. To recover and compete with Google and Microsoft, Apple has recently hosted an event announcing its latest products for educators and students such as an Education iPad, Logitech Crayon Stylus, and Everyone Can Create....

However, according to Bradley Chamber, manager of Apple's devices at private school stated: "Education didn't need a faster iPad. Education didn't need Apple Pencil support. Those are great for a consumer-friendly iPad, but education needed a clearer signal from Apple that they understand how school districts operate around the country and around the globe."

Last but not least,

Google's Free-For-All Software Is in Favored by Student

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Google has made a broad impact for many internet users over a variety of their applications. In the education field, we have experienced many types of digital learning tools, most noticeably is the G suite for education that many institutions have integrated into their system.

To have a clearer picture of how Google makes their mark in education, let's take a look at some of the following statistics and findings.

According to a research report, more than 80 million lecturers and students are practicing G Suite for Education which allows them to use e-mail, compose the document, presentations, and student's most favored feature...be in control of the UNLIMITED storage capacity.

Another useful google drive management tool for instructors is google classroom, it allows teachers to upload assignments to the internet in advance and all students have to do is log in, hand in assignments and receive scores. In just under five years since 2012, the number of Chromebook laptop equipped for various institutions has reached 58% across the US alone.

Google's free-for-all software spread like wildfire and naturally, its competitor's market share shrinks: Apple's dropped 33% in 5 years since 2012, Microsoft's plunged 21%.

Google classroom and G suite for Education take over the market because they entirely free for users. Moreover, they are accessible anywhere, on any devices.

Related post: Educational Software and What You Need To Know

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