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Home  /  News  /  Why Is Education Important? The Power Of An Educated Society

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Why Is Education Important? The Power Of An Educated Society

Looking for an answer to the question of why is education important? We address this query with a focus on how education can transform society through the way we interact with our environment. 

Whether you are a student, a parent, or someone who values educational attainment, you may be wondering how education can provide quality life to a society beyond the obvious answer of acquiring knowledge and economic growth. Continue reading as we discuss the importance of education not just for individuals but for society as a whole. 

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Harness the power of education to build a more sustainable modern society with a degree from  Unity Environmental University .

How Education Is Power: The Importance Of Education In Society

Why is education so important? Nelson Mandela famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” An educated society is better equipped to tackle the challenges that face modern America, including:

  • Climate change
  • Social justice
  • Economic inequality

Education is not just about learning to read and do math operations. Of course, gaining knowledge and practical skills is part of it, but education is also about values and critical thinking. It’s about finding our place in society in a meaningful way. 

Environmental Stewardship

A  study from 2022 found that people who belong to an environmental stewardship organization, such as the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, are likely to have a higher education level than those who do not. This suggests that quality education can foster a sense of responsibility towards the environment.

With the effects of climate change becoming increasingly alarming, this particular importance of education is vital to the health, safety, and longevity of our society. Higher learning institutions can further encourage environmental stewardship by adopting a  framework of sustainability science .

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The Economic Benefits Of Education

Higher education can lead to better job opportunities and higher income. On average, a  person with a bachelor’s degree will make $765,000 more  in their lifetime than someone with no degree. Even with the rising costs of tuition, investment in higher education pays off in the long run. In 2020, the return on investment (ROI) for a college degree was estimated to be  13.5% to 35.9% . 

Green jobs  like environmental science technicians and solar panel installers  have high demand projections for the next decade. Therefore, degrees that will prepare you for one of these careers will likely yield a high ROI. And, many of these jobs only require an  associate’s degree or certificate , which means lower overall education costs. 

Unity  helps students maximize their ROI with real-world experience in the field as an integral part of every degree program. 

10 Reasons Why School Is Important

Education is not just an individual pursuit but also a societal one.  In compiling these reasons, we focused on the question, “How does education benefit society?” Overall, higher education has the power to transform:

  • Individuals’ sense of self
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Social communities
  • Professional communities

Cognitive Development

Neuroscience research  has proven that the brain is a muscle that can retain its neuroplasticity throughout life. However, like other muscles, it must receive continual exercise to remain strong. Higher education allows people of any age to improve their higher-level cognitive abilities like problem-solving and decision-making. This can make many parts of life feel more manageable and help society run smoothly. 

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is key to workplace success.  Studies  show that people with emotional intelligence exhibit more:

  • Self-awareness
  • Willingness to try new things
  • Innovative thinking
  • Active listening
  • Collaboration skills
  • Problem-solving abilities

By attending higher education institutions that value these soft skills, students can improve their emotional intelligence as part of their career development in college.

Technological Literacy

Many careers in today’s job market use advanced technology. To prepare for these jobs, young people likely won’t have access to these technologies to practice on their own. That’s part of why so many STEM career paths require degrees. It’s essential to gain technical knowledge and skills through a certified program to safely use certain technologies. And, educated scientists are  more likely to make new technological discoveries .

Cultural Awareness

Education exposes individuals to different cultures and perspectives. Being around people who are different has the powerful ability to foster acceptance. Acceptance benefits society as a whole. It increases innovation and empathy. 

College also gives students an opportunity to practice feeling comfortable in situations where there are people of different races, genders, sexualities, and abilities. Students can gain an understanding of how to act respectfully among different types of people, which is an important skill for the workplace. This will only become more vital as our world continues to become more globalized.

Ethical and Moral Development

Another reason why school is important is that it promotes ethical and moral development. Many schools require students to take an ethics course in their general education curriculum. However, schools can also encourage character development throughout their programs by using effective pedagogical strategies including:

  • Class debates and discussions
  • Historical case studies
  • Group projects

Unity’s distance learning programs  include an ethical decision-making class in our core curriculum. 

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Communication Skills

Effective written and verbal communication skills are key for personal and professional success. Higher education programs usually include at least one communication course in their general education requirements. Often the focus in these classes is on writing skills, but students can also use college as an opportunity to hone their presentation and public speaking skills. Courses such as  Multimedia Communication for Environmental Professionals  provide many opportunities for this. 

Civic Engagement

According to a  Gallup survey , people with higher education degrees are:

  • More likely to participate in civic activities such as voting and volunteering
  • Less likely to commit crimes
  • More likely to get involved in their local communities

All these individual acts add up to make a big difference in society. An educated electorate is less likely to be swayed by unethical politicians and, instead, make choices that benefit themselves and their community. Because they are more involved, they are also more likely to hold elected officials accountable.

Financial Stability

The right degree can significantly expand your career opportunities and improve your long-term earning potential. Not all degrees provide the same level of financial stability, so it’s important to research expected salary offers after graduation and job demand outlook predictions for your desired field. Consider the return on investment for a degree from an affordable private school such as  Unity Environmental University .

Environmental Awareness

We have already discussed why education is important for environmental stewardship. Education can also lead to better environmental practices in the business world. By building empathy through character education and ethics courses, institutions can train future business leaders to emphasize human rights and sustainability over profits. All types and sizes of businesses can incorporate sustainable practices, but awareness of the issues and solutions is the first step.

Lifelong Learning

The reasons why education is important discussed so far focus on institutional education. However, education can happen anywhere. Attending a university that values all kinds of learning will set students up with the foundation to become lifelong learners.  Research  demonstrates that lifelong learners tend to be healthier and more fulfilled throughout their lives. When societies emphasize the importance of education, they can boost their overall prosperity.

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The Role Of Unity Environmental University In Society

Environmentally conscious education is extremely valuable and should be accessible to all.   Unity Environmental University  offers tuition prices that are comparable to public universities, and financial aid is available to those who qualify. Courses last five weeks so that students can focus on only one class at a time. This ensures all learners are set up for academic success. 

Unity believes in supporting students holistically to maximize the power of education. This includes mental health services,  experiential learning opportunities , and  job placement assistance . Students in our  hybrid programs  can take classes at several field stations throughout Maine and enjoy the beautiful nature surrounding the campus for outdoor recreation.

Sustainable Initiatives

Some highlights from Unity Environmental University’s many sustainable initiatives:

  • All programs include at least one sustainability learning outcome
  • All research courses are focused on sustainability research
  • Reduced building energy use by 25% across campus
  • 100% of food waste is recycled into energy 
  • Campus features a  net-zero LEED Platinum-certified classroom/office building

While many schools value sustainability, Unity stands out because  everything  we do is about sustainability. We also recognize our responsibility to model how a sustainable business can operate in a manner that’s fiscally viable and socially responsible.

Make An Impact At Unity Environmental University

While the phrase ‘education is power’ may sound cliche, it is also resoundingly true. Higher education has the power to transform individuals and societies. Unity Environmental University understands its power to make a positive impact on the world. That’s why we were the first university to divest from fossil fuels. 

This year, we celebrated our  largest incoming class ever , showing that students want an education system that aligns with their values. In addition to our commitment to sustainability, we offer flexibility to students with start dates all year round for our  online degree programs .

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What Is Education For?

Read an excerpt from a new book by Sir Ken Robinson and Kate Robinson, which calls for redesigning education for the future.

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What is education for? As it happens, people differ sharply on this question. It is what is known as an “essentially contested concept.” Like “democracy” and “justice,” “education” means different things to different people. Various factors can contribute to a person’s understanding of the purpose of education, including their background and circumstances. It is also inflected by how they view related issues such as ethnicity, gender, and social class. Still, not having an agreed-upon definition of education doesn’t mean we can’t discuss it or do anything about it.

We just need to be clear on terms. There are a few terms that are often confused or used interchangeably—“learning,” “education,” “training,” and “school”—but there are important differences between them. Learning is the process of acquiring new skills and understanding. Education is an organized system of learning. Training is a type of education that is focused on learning specific skills. A school is a community of learners: a group that comes together to learn with and from each other. It is vital that we differentiate these terms: children love to learn, they do it naturally; many have a hard time with education, and some have big problems with school.

Cover of book 'Imagine If....'

There are many assumptions of compulsory education. One is that young people need to know, understand, and be able to do certain things that they most likely would not if they were left to their own devices. What these things are and how best to ensure students learn them are complicated and often controversial issues. Another assumption is that compulsory education is a preparation for what will come afterward, like getting a good job or going on to higher education.

So, what does it mean to be educated now? Well, I believe that education should expand our consciousness, capabilities, sensitivities, and cultural understanding. It should enlarge our worldview. As we all live in two worlds—the world within you that exists only because you do, and the world around you—the core purpose of education is to enable students to understand both worlds. In today’s climate, there is also a new and urgent challenge: to provide forms of education that engage young people with the global-economic issues of environmental well-being.

This core purpose of education can be broken down into four basic purposes.

Education should enable young people to engage with the world within them as well as the world around them. In Western cultures, there is a firm distinction between the two worlds, between thinking and feeling, objectivity and subjectivity. This distinction is misguided. There is a deep correlation between our experience of the world around us and how we feel. As we explored in the previous chapters, all individuals have unique strengths and weaknesses, outlooks and personalities. Students do not come in standard physical shapes, nor do their abilities and personalities. They all have their own aptitudes and dispositions and different ways of understanding things. Education is therefore deeply personal. It is about cultivating the minds and hearts of living people. Engaging them as individuals is at the heart of raising achievement.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights emphasizes that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” and that “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.” Many of the deepest problems in current systems of education result from losing sight of this basic principle.

Schools should enable students to understand their own cultures and to respect the diversity of others. There are various definitions of culture, but in this context the most appropriate is “the values and forms of behavior that characterize different social groups.” To put it more bluntly, it is “the way we do things around here.” Education is one of the ways that communities pass on their values from one generation to the next. For some, education is a way of preserving a culture against outside influences. For others, it is a way of promoting cultural tolerance. As the world becomes more crowded and connected, it is becoming more complex culturally. Living respectfully with diversity is not just an ethical choice, it is a practical imperative.

There should be three cultural priorities for schools: to help students understand their own cultures, to understand other cultures, and to promote a sense of cultural tolerance and coexistence. The lives of all communities can be hugely enriched by celebrating their own cultures and the practices and traditions of other cultures.

Education should enable students to become economically responsible and independent. This is one of the reasons governments take such a keen interest in education: they know that an educated workforce is essential to creating economic prosperity. Leaders of the Industrial Revolution knew that education was critical to creating the types of workforce they required, too. But the world of work has changed so profoundly since then, and continues to do so at an ever-quickening pace. We know that many of the jobs of previous decades are disappearing and being rapidly replaced by contemporary counterparts. It is almost impossible to predict the direction of advancing technologies, and where they will take us.

How can schools prepare students to navigate this ever-changing economic landscape? They must connect students with their unique talents and interests, dissolve the division between academic and vocational programs, and foster practical partnerships between schools and the world of work, so that young people can experience working environments as part of their education, not simply when it is time for them to enter the labor market.

Education should enable young people to become active and compassionate citizens. We live in densely woven social systems. The benefits we derive from them depend on our working together to sustain them. The empowerment of individuals has to be balanced by practicing the values and responsibilities of collective life, and of democracy in particular. Our freedoms in democratic societies are not automatic. They come from centuries of struggle against tyranny and autocracy and those who foment sectarianism, hatred, and fear. Those struggles are far from over. As John Dewey observed, “Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife.”

For a democratic society to function, it depends upon the majority of its people to be active within the democratic process. In many democracies, this is increasingly not the case. Schools should engage students in becoming active, and proactive, democratic participants. An academic civics course will scratch the surface, but to nurture a deeply rooted respect for democracy, it is essential to give young people real-life democratic experiences long before they come of age to vote.

Eight Core Competencies

The conventional curriculum is based on a collection of separate subjects. These are prioritized according to beliefs around the limited understanding of intelligence we discussed in the previous chapter, as well as what is deemed to be important later in life. The idea of “subjects” suggests that each subject, whether mathematics, science, art, or language, stands completely separate from all the other subjects. This is problematic. Mathematics, for example, is not defined only by propositional knowledge; it is a combination of types of knowledge, including concepts, processes, and methods as well as propositional knowledge. This is also true of science, art, and languages, and of all other subjects. It is therefore much more useful to focus on the concept of disciplines rather than subjects.

Disciplines are fluid; they constantly merge and collaborate. In focusing on disciplines rather than subjects we can also explore the concept of interdisciplinary learning. This is a much more holistic approach that mirrors real life more closely—it is rare that activities outside of school are as clearly segregated as conventional curriculums suggest. A journalist writing an article, for example, must be able to call upon skills of conversation, deductive reasoning, literacy, and social sciences. A surgeon must understand the academic concept of the patient’s condition, as well as the practical application of the appropriate procedure. At least, we would certainly hope this is the case should we find ourselves being wheeled into surgery.

The concept of disciplines brings us to a better starting point when planning the curriculum, which is to ask what students should know and be able to do as a result of their education. The four purposes above suggest eight core competencies that, if properly integrated into education, will equip students who leave school to engage in the economic, cultural, social, and personal challenges they will inevitably face in their lives. These competencies are curiosity, creativity, criticism, communication, collaboration, compassion, composure, and citizenship. Rather than be triggered by age, they should be interwoven from the beginning of a student’s educational journey and nurtured throughout.

From Imagine If: Creating a Future for Us All by Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D and Kate Robinson, published by Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2022 by the Estate of Sir Kenneth Robinson and Kate Robinson.

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Top 10 Reasons Why Is Education Important

Updated: February 1, 2024

Published: April 15, 2020

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Most of us have grown up being taught the importance of education. But why is education important? Through your frustrating school years, you may have thought that it was a waste of time, or was just something that you needed to do in order to get a job. Truth be told, however, education goes so much beyond just getting a job and making your parents happy. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful tools out there.

What Is Education?

Education means studying in order to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of a variety of subjects to be applied to daily life. Education is not limited to just knowledge from books, but can also be obtained through practical experiences outside of the classroom.

Top 10 Reasons: Why Is Education Important?

There are many different understandings and definitions of what education is, but one thing can be universally agreed upon, which is the importance of education — and here’s why.

1. Provides Stability

Education provides stability in life, and it’s something that no one can ever take away from you. By being well-educated and holding a college degree , you increase your chances for better career opportunities and open up new doors for yourself.

2. Provides Financial Security

On top of stability, education also provides financial security, especially in today’s society. A good education tends to lead to a higher paying job, as well as provide you with the skills needed to get there. Educated and well-informed individuals also know how to use money-saving tactics. They are more likely to use coupon websites like EMUCoupon while shopping online to save their hard-earned money.

3. Needed For Equality

In order for the entire world to really become equal, it needs to start with education. If everyone was provided with the same opportunities to education , then there would be less gaps between social classes. Everyone would be able to have an equal chance at higher paying jobs — not just those that are already well-off.

4. Allows For Self-Dependency

The importance of education is evident when it comes to being self-dependent. If we are we educated, then it’s something that belongs to us, and only us, allowing us to rely on no one else other than ourselves. It can allow you to not only be financially independent, but also to make your own choices.

5. Make Your Dreams Come True

If you can dream it, you can achieve it. An education is the most powerful weapon you can possibly have, and with it, you can make all of your dreams come true. There are of course certain exceptions, depending on what you’re aiming for, but generally an education will take you as far as you’re willing to go.

6. A Safer World

Education is something that’s not only needed on a personal level, but also on a global level, as it’s something that keeps our world safe and makes it a more peaceful place. Education tends to teach people the difference between right and wrong, and can help people stay out of risky situations.

7. Confidence

Being self-confident is a major part of being successful in life. And what better way to gain that confidence than with an education? Your level of education is often considered a way to prove your knowledge, and it can give you the confidence to express your opinions and speak your mind.

8. A Part Of Society

In today’s society, having an education is considered a vital part of being accepted by those around you. Having an education is believed to make you a useful part of society, and can make you feel like a contributing member as well.

9. Economic Growth On A National Level

An educated society is crucial for economic growth. We need people to continue to learn and research in order to constantly stay innovative. Countries with higher literacy rates also tend to be in better economic situations. With a more educated population, more employment opportunities are opened.

10. Can Protect You

Education can protect you more than you know, not only on a financial level, but it can help prevent you from being taken advantage of by knowing how to read and write, such as knowing not to sign any bogus documents.

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Education is important for children.

Children are the future of our world, making education crucial for them. Their knowledge is what’s going to keep our world alive and flourishing.

At Childhood

During the childhood development stages, the importance of education is stronger than ever. It’s a time for children to learn social and mental skills that will be crucial for their growth and success in the future. Education at childhood also offers a chance for self-discovery and to learn about their unique interests.

The importance of education in our lives goes far beyond what we can read in a textbook. Education also provides childhood with knowledge such as how to produce artwork and make music. Education allows us to analyze what’s in front of us, and even learn from our mistakes.

Goal Building

By learning from a young age, children are given the chance to start building goals for themselves. Education means having the logic to set your mind to something and achieve it.

Importance Of Education In Society

For a modern society, education is of utmost importance. There are so many influences coming from all directions, and education can help us decipher what we should take as true, and what we should take with a grain of salt. Education can mold people into functional members of society with the right kinds of values.

Productivity

Education is needed for a productive society. Our population only continues to increase, and in turn, so do our needs. We need a strong and efficient workforce of educated people to provide us with the services we need for everyday life.

Why Is Education Important For a Nation?

The importance of education is seen in every aspect of life, and is especially crucial for the growth of a nation.

The Impact Education Has On The World

With education, people can become better citizens, knowing right from wrong, allowing for a better society where laws are followed. An educated nation knows about the importance of voting, doing so with the knowledge not blindly, but also having an understanding of what their party truly stands for. Education can also help people get jobs, which is what a nation thrives on.

Inspiring Quotes On What Education Truly Is

Why is education important, and what is it exactly? While every person has a different understanding of its true meaning, here are some of the most inspiring quotes by some legendary people.

  • “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela
  • “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” — Malcolm X
  • “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” — Benjamin Franklin
  • “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” — John Dewey

What Are Some Other Reasons Why Education Is Important?

There are endless reasons why education is so important, especially since it also has endless connotations and meanings.

Mind And Body

Our mind and bodies are connected more than we know. With a powerful, well-educated mind, so too are our bodies.

We can not only know how to best take care of ourselves, but we can feel confident and good about ourselves, which will likely have a positive effect on our physical well-being . Education has even been proven to add years to our life . To be exact, each additional year of education was found to add as much as 1.7 years to our lives at the age of 35.

Personal Growth

The importance of education even extends itself to our personal growth. By constantly educating ourselves, asking questions and wanting to know more, we can move forward and achieve things we never imagined before.

Get To Know Yourself

Education can allow us to get to know ourselves better than ever. We can learn things about ourselves, whether it be through books, courses, or even consulting with a professional.

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Worldwide value.

Education is the best way to ensure a positive world value and view. Without a proper education, how else do we know what’s considered appropriate and how to behave?

While world peace may unfortunately seem like a far-fetched concept, with education we can get closer to this goal than we know. Education can teach us about our place in this world, and about our responsibility to humanity.

Teaches Values

Values are taught through education! Education exists far beyond the classroom or an exam. It’s taught at home, through what our parents and peers show us, and although not necessarily written down somewhere, such a teaching method is still a large aspect of what education entails.

Sharpens Your Thinking

Education is needed to think sharply and clearly!

Makes You Informed

Education makes you informed about the world around you, what’s going on and what kind of people are around you. Education can help you be more self-aware about your strengths and weaknesses, showing you were to shift your focus.

Logical Reasoning

When in an argument, if you aren’t well educated and don’t have your facts straight, then you aren’t likely to win. If you get upset about something, then being educated can also help you logically work through the situation and make sense of it, understanding all aspects.

Stay Focused

Education can help you stay focused and on track in the right direction by knowing what the right path is for you.

Allows For Innovation And Creativity

When it comes to being creative, in any way, shape, or form, the mind can only really reach its full potential if it’s been fed with the knowledge it needs to think outside the box.

Develop Life Skills

Education is the foundation of basic life skills and street smarts. While education might sound like a fancy technical term, it’s really everything we learn in life about how to best conduct ourselves from day to day.

Education can be the most freeing and empowering thing in the entire world!

Live Life To The Fullest

Truly living life to the fullest means being well-educated and holding a vast amount of knowledge about the world around us. It also means we continue to learn every day in all kinds of forms, whether it be from the people around us, newspapers, experiences, research, or traditional classes.

Breaks Barriers

Education breaks barriers between people, and allows people from across the globe to be empowered.

University of the People, a tuition-free , online university, is one powerful example of how education is being revolutionized – they offer students of all socio-economic backgrounds an equal chance at education.

Once upon a time, such a thing wouldn’t have been possible, but today such places like UoPeople have proven that these barriers truly can be broken through to receive higher education.

You Become Your Highest You

Education can allow you to become the best, fullest version of yourself, learning about what interests you, what you’re good at, becoming self-aware and conscious about the world around you. It can help you establish your place in this world, and feel complete.

Education In The Modern World

Education today is more important than ever before, and has reached new heights with new understandings of what it truly entails. Ask yourself “Why is education important?” and it will surely not be the same as anyone else’s answer.

While in modern society, holding a college degree is considered to be highly beneficial for a successful career and to be socially accepted, it is not the only means of education. Education is all around us in everything that we do, so use it wisely!

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The World Bank

The World Bank Group is the largest financier of education in the developing world, working in 94 countries and committed to helping them reach SDG4: access to inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030.

Education is a human right, a powerful driver of development, and one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty and improving health, gender equality, peace, and stability. It delivers large, consistent returns in terms of income, and is the most important factor to ensure equity and inclusion.

For individuals, education promotes employment, earnings, health, and poverty reduction. Globally, there is a  9% increase in hourly earnings for every extra year of schooling . For societies, it drives long-term economic growth, spurs innovation, strengthens institutions, and fosters social cohesion.  Education is further a powerful catalyst to climate action through widespread behavior change and skilling for green transitions.

Developing countries have made tremendous progress in getting children into the classroom and more children worldwide are now in school. But learning is not guaranteed, as the  2018 World Development Report  (WDR) stressed.

Making smart and effective investments in people’s education is critical for developing the human capital that will end extreme poverty. At the core of this strategy is the need to tackle the learning crisis, put an end to  Learning Poverty , and help youth acquire the advanced cognitive, socioemotional, technical and digital skills they need to succeed in today’s world. 

In low- and middle-income countries, the share of children living in  Learning Poverty  (that is, the proportion of 10-year-old children that are unable to read and understand a short age-appropriate text) increased from 57% before the pandemic to an estimated  70%  in 2022.

However, learning is in crisis. More than 70 million more people were pushed into poverty during the COVID pandemic, a billion children lost a year of school , and three years later the learning losses suffered have not been recouped .  If a child cannot read with comprehension by age 10, they are unlikely to become fluent readers. They will fail to thrive later in school and will be unable to power their careers and economies once they leave school.

The effects of the pandemic are expected to be long-lasting. Analysis has already revealed deep losses, with international reading scores declining from 2016 to 2021 by more than a year of schooling.  These losses may translate to a 0.68 percentage point in global GDP growth.  The staggering effects of school closures reach beyond learning. This generation of children could lose a combined total of  US$21 trillion in lifetime earnings  in present value or the equivalent of 17% of today’s global GDP – a sharp rise from the 2021 estimate of a US$17 trillion loss. 

Action is urgently needed now – business as usual will not suffice to heal the scars of the pandemic and will not accelerate progress enough to meet the ambitions of SDG 4. We are urging governments to implement ambitious and aggressive Learning Acceleration Programs to get children back to school, recover lost learning, and advance progress by building better, more equitable and resilient education systems.

Last Updated: Mar 25, 2024

The World Bank’s global education strategy is centered on ensuring learning happens – for everyone, everywhere. Our vision is to ensure that everyone can achieve her or his full potential with access to a quality education and lifelong learning. To reach this, we are helping countries build foundational skills like literacy, numeracy, and socioemotional skills – the building blocks for all other learning. From early childhood to tertiary education and beyond – we help children and youth acquire the skills they need to thrive in school, the labor market and throughout their lives.

Investing in the world’s most precious resource – people – is paramount to ending poverty on a livable planet.  Our experience across more than 100 countries bears out this robust connection between human capital, quality of life, and economic growth: when countries strategically invest in people and the systems designed to protect and build human capital at scale, they unlock the wealth of nations and the potential of everyone.

Building on this, the World Bank supports resilient, equitable, and inclusive education systems that ensure learning happens for everyone. We do this by generating and disseminating evidence, ensuring alignment with policymaking processes, and bridging the gap between research and practice.

The World Bank is the largest source of external financing for education in developing countries, with a portfolio of about $26 billion in 94 countries including IBRD, IDA and Recipient-Executed Trust Funds. IDA operations comprise 62% of the education portfolio.

The investment in FCV settings has increased dramatically and now accounts for 26% of our portfolio.

World Bank projects reach at least 425 million students -one-third of students in low- and middle-income countries.

The World Bank’s Approach to Education

Five interrelated pillars of a well-functioning education system underpin the World Bank’s education policy approach:

  • Learners are prepared and motivated to learn;
  • Teachers are prepared, skilled, and motivated to facilitate learning and skills acquisition;
  • Learning resources (including education technology) are available, relevant, and used to improve teaching and learning;
  • Schools are safe and inclusive; and
  • Education Systems are well-managed, with good implementation capacity and adequate financing.

The Bank is already helping governments design and implement cost-effective programs and tools to build these pillars.

Our Principles:

  • We pursue systemic reform supported by political commitment to learning for all children. 
  • We focus on equity and inclusion through a progressive path toward achieving universal access to quality education, including children and young adults in fragile or conflict affected areas , those in marginalized and rural communities,  girls and women , displaced populations,  students with disabilities , and other vulnerable groups.
  • We focus on results and use evidence to keep improving policy by using metrics to guide improvements.   
  • We want to ensure financial commitment commensurate with what is needed to provide basic services to all. 
  • We invest wisely in technology so that education systems embrace and learn to harness technology to support their learning objectives.   

Laying the groundwork for the future

Country challenges vary, but there is a menu of options to build forward better, more resilient, and equitable education systems.

Countries are facing an education crisis that requires a two-pronged approach: first, supporting actions to recover lost time through remedial and accelerated learning; and, second, building on these investments for a more equitable, resilient, and effective system.

Recovering from the learning crisis must be a political priority, backed with adequate financing and the resolve to implement needed reforms.  Domestic financing for education over the last two years has not kept pace with the need to recover and accelerate learning. Across low- and lower-middle-income countries, the  average share of education in government budgets fell during the pandemic , and in 2022 it remained below 2019 levels.

The best chance for a better future is to invest in education and make sure each dollar is put toward improving learning.  In a time of fiscal pressure, protecting spending that yields long-run gains – like spending on education – will maximize impact.  We still need more and better funding for education.  Closing the learning gap will require increasing the level, efficiency, and equity of education spending—spending smarter is an imperative.

  • Education technology  can be a powerful tool to implement these actions by supporting teachers, children, principals, and parents; expanding accessible digital learning platforms, including radio/ TV / Online learning resources; and using data to identify and help at-risk children, personalize learning, and improve service delivery.

Looking ahead

We must seize this opportunity  to reimagine education in bold ways. Together, we can build forward better more equitable, effective, and resilient education systems for the world’s children and youth.

Accelerating Improvements

Supporting countries in establishing time-bound learning targets and a focused education investment plan, outlining actions and investments geared to achieve these goals.

Launched in 2020, the  Accelerator Program  works with a set of countries to channel investments in education and to learn from each other. The program coordinates efforts across partners to ensure that the countries in the program show improvements in foundational skills at scale over the next three to five years. These investment plans build on the collective work of multiple partners, and leverage the latest evidence on what works, and how best to plan for implementation.  Countries such as Brazil (the state of Ceará) and Kenya have achieved dramatic reductions in learning poverty over the past decade at scale, providing useful lessons, even as they seek to build on their successes and address remaining and new challenges.  

Universalizing Foundational Literacy

Readying children for the future by supporting acquisition of foundational skills – which are the gateway to other skills and subjects.

The  Literacy Policy Package (LPP)   consists of interventions focused specifically on promoting acquisition of reading proficiency in primary school. These include assuring political and technical commitment to making all children literate; ensuring effective literacy instruction by supporting teachers; providing quality, age-appropriate books; teaching children first in the language they speak and understand best; and fostering children’s oral language abilities and love of books and reading.

Advancing skills through TVET and Tertiary

Ensuring that individuals have access to quality education and training opportunities and supporting links to employment.

Tertiary education and skills systems are a driver of major development agendas, including human capital, climate change, youth and women’s empowerment, and jobs and economic transformation. A comprehensive skill set to succeed in the 21st century labor market consists of foundational and higher order skills, socio-emotional skills, specialized skills, and digital skills. Yet most countries continue to struggle in delivering on the promise of skills development. 

The World Bank is supporting countries through efforts that address key challenges including improving access and completion, adaptability, quality, relevance, and efficiency of skills development programs. Our approach is via multiple channels including projects, global goods, as well as the Tertiary Education and Skills Program . Our recent reports including Building Better Formal TVET Systems and STEERing Tertiary Education provide a way forward for how to improve these critical systems.

Addressing Climate Change

Mainstreaming climate education and investing in green skills, research and innovation, and green infrastructure to spur climate action and foster better preparedness and resilience to climate shocks.

Our approach recognizes that education is critical for achieving effective, sustained climate action. At the same time, climate change is adversely impacting education outcomes. Investments in education can play a huge role in building climate resilience and advancing climate mitigation and adaptation. Climate change education gives young people greater awareness of climate risks and more access to tools and solutions for addressing these risks and managing related shocks. Technical and vocational education and training can also accelerate a green economic transformation by fostering green skills and innovation. Greening education infrastructure can help mitigate the impact of heat, pollution, and extreme weather on learning, while helping address climate change. 

Examples of this work are projects in Nigeria (life skills training for adolescent girls), Vietnam (fostering relevant scientific research) , and Bangladesh (constructing and retrofitting schools to serve as cyclone shelters).

Strengthening Measurement Systems

Enabling countries to gather and evaluate information on learning and its drivers more efficiently and effectively.

The World Bank supports initiatives to help countries effectively build and strengthen their measurement systems to facilitate evidence-based decision-making. Examples of this work include:

(1) The  Global Education Policy Dashboard (GEPD) : This tool offers a strong basis for identifying priorities for investment and policy reforms that are suited to each country context by focusing on the three dimensions of practices, policies, and politics.

  • Highlights gaps between what the evidence suggests is effective in promoting learning and what is happening in practice in each system; and
  • Allows governments to track progress as they act to close the gaps.

The GEPD has been implemented in 13 education systems already – Peru, Rwanda, Jordan, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sierra Leone, Niger, Gabon, Jordan and Chad – with more expected by the end of 2024.

(2)  Learning Assessment Platform (LeAP) : LeAP is a one-stop shop for knowledge, capacity-building tools, support for policy dialogue, and technical staff expertise to support student achievement measurement and national assessments for better learning.

Supporting Successful Teachers

Helping systems develop the right selection, incentives, and support to the professional development of teachers.

Currently, the World Bank Education Global Practice has over 160 active projects supporting over 18 million teachers worldwide, about a third of the teacher population in low- and middle-income countries. In 12 countries alone, these projects cover 16 million teachers, including all primary school teachers in Ethiopia and Turkey, and over 80% in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Vietnam.

A World Bank-developed classroom observation tool, Teach, was designed to capture the quality of teaching in low- and middle-income countries. It is now 3.6 million students.

While Teach helps identify patterns in teacher performance, Coach leverages these insights to support teachers to improve their teaching practice through hands-on in-service teacher professional development (TPD).

Our recent report on Making Teacher Policy Work proposes a practical framework to uncover the black box of effective teacher policy and discusses the factors that enable their scalability and sustainability.

 Supporting Education Finance Systems

Strengthening country financing systems to mobilize resources for education and make better use of their investments in education.

Our approach is to bring together multi-sectoral expertise to engage with ministries of education and finance and other stakeholders to develop and implement effective and efficient public financial management systems; build capacity to monitor and evaluate education spending, identify financing bottlenecks, and develop interventions to strengthen financing systems; build the evidence base on global spending patterns and the magnitude and causes of spending inefficiencies; and develop diagnostic tools as public goods to support country efforts.

Working in Fragile, Conflict, and Violent (FCV) Contexts

The massive and growing global challenge of having so many children living in conflict and violent situations requires a response at the same scale and scope. Our education engagement in the Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV) context, which stands at US$5.35 billion, has grown rapidly in recent years, reflecting the ever-increasing importance of the FCV agenda in education. Indeed, these projects now account for more than 25% of the World Bank education portfolio.

Education is crucial to minimizing the effects of fragility and displacement on the welfare of youth and children in the short-term and preventing the emergence of violent conflict in the long-term. 

Support to Countries Throughout the Education Cycle

Our support to countries covers the entire learning cycle, to help shape resilient, equitable, and inclusive education systems that ensure learning happens for everyone. 

The ongoing  Supporting  Egypt  Education Reform project , 2018-2025, supports transformational reforms of the Egyptian education system, by improving teaching and learning conditions in public schools. The World Bank has invested $500 million in the project focused on increasing access to quality kindergarten, enhancing the capacity of teachers and education leaders, developing a reliable student assessment system, and introducing the use of modern technology for teaching and learning. Specifically, the share of Egyptian 10-year-old students, who could read and comprehend at the global minimum proficiency level, increased to 45 percent in 2021.

In  Nigeria , the $75 million  Edo  Basic Education Sector and Skills Transformation (EdoBESST)  project, running from 2020-2024, is focused on improving teaching and learning in basic education. Under the project, which covers 97 percent of schools in the state, there is a strong focus on incorporating digital technologies for teachers. They were equipped with handheld tablets with structured lesson plans for their classes. Their coaches use classroom observation tools to provide individualized feedback. Teacher absence has reduced drastically because of the initiative. Over 16,000 teachers were trained through the project, and the introduction of technology has also benefited students.

Through the $235 million  School Sector Development Program  in  Nepal  (2017-2022), the number of children staying in school until Grade 12 nearly tripled, and the number of out-of-school children fell by almost seven percent. During the pandemic, innovative approaches were needed to continue education. Mobile phone penetration is high in the country. More than four in five households in Nepal have mobile phones. The project supported an educational service that made it possible for children with phones to connect to local radio that broadcast learning programs.

From 2017-2023, the $50 million  Strengthening of State Universities  in  Chile  project has made strides to improve quality and equity at state universities. The project helped reduce dropout: the third-year dropout rate fell by almost 10 percent from 2018-2022, keeping more students in school.

The World Bank’s first  Program-for-Results financing in education  was through a $202 million project in  Tanzania , that ran from 2013-2021. The project linked funding to results and aimed to improve education quality. It helped build capacity, and enhanced effectiveness and efficiency in the education sector. Through the project, learning outcomes significantly improved alongside an unprecedented expansion of access to education for children in Tanzania. From 2013-2019, an additional 1.8 million students enrolled in primary schools. In 2019, the average reading speed for Grade 2 students rose to 22.3 words per minute, up from 17.3 in 2017. The project laid the foundation for the ongoing $500 million  BOOST project , which supports over 12 million children to enroll early, develop strong foundational skills, and complete a quality education.

The $40 million  Cambodia  Secondary Education Improvement project , which ran from 2017-2022, focused on strengthening school-based management, upgrading teacher qualifications, and building classrooms in Cambodia, to improve learning outcomes, and reduce student dropout at the secondary school level. The project has directly benefited almost 70,000 students in 100 target schools, and approximately 2,000 teachers and 600 school administrators received training.

The World Bank is co-financing the $152.80 million  Yemen  Restoring Education and Learning Emergency project , running from 2020-2024, which is implemented through UNICEF, WFP, and Save the Children. It is helping to maintain access to basic education for many students, improve learning conditions in schools, and is working to strengthen overall education sector capacity. In the time of crisis, the project is supporting teacher payments and teacher training, school meals, school infrastructure development, and the distribution of learning materials and school supplies. To date, almost 600,000 students have benefited from these interventions.

The $87 million  Providing an Education of Quality in  Haiti  project supported approximately 380 schools in the Southern region of Haiti from 2016-2023. Despite a highly challenging context of political instability and recurrent natural disasters, the project successfully supported access to education for students. The project provided textbooks, fresh meals, and teacher training support to 70,000 students, 3,000 teachers, and 300 school directors. It gave tuition waivers to 35,000 students in 118 non-public schools. The project also repaired 19 national schools damaged by the 2021 earthquake, which gave 5,500 students safe access to their schools again.

In 2013, just 5% of the poorest households in  Uzbekistan  had children enrolled in preschools. Thanks to the  Improving Pre-Primary and General Secondary Education Project , by July 2019, around 100,000 children will have benefitted from the half-day program in 2,420 rural kindergartens, comprising around 49% of all preschool educational institutions, or over 90% of rural kindergartens in the country.

In addition to working closely with governments in our client countries, the World Bank also works at the global, regional, and local levels with a range of technical partners, including foundations, non-profit organizations, bilaterals, and other multilateral organizations. Some examples of our most recent global partnerships include:

UNICEF, UNESCO, FCDO, USAID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:  Coalition for Foundational Learning

The World Bank is working closely with UNICEF, UNESCO, FCDO, USAID, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as the  Coalition for Foundational Learning  to advocate and provide technical support to ensure foundational learning.  The World Bank works with these partners to promote and endorse the  Commitment to Action on Foundational Learning , a global network of countries committed to halving the global share of children unable to read and understand a simple text by age 10 by 2030.

Australian Aid, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, Echida Giving, FCDO, German Cooperation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Conrad Hilton Foundation, LEGO Foundation, Porticus, USAID: Early Learning Partnership

The Early Learning Partnership (ELP) is a multi-donor trust fund, housed at the World Bank.  ELP leverages World Bank strengths—a global presence, access to policymakers and strong technical analysis—to improve early learning opportunities and outcomes for young children around the world.

We help World Bank teams and countries get the information they need to make the case to invest in Early Childhood Development (ECD), design effective policies and deliver impactful programs. At the country level, ELP grants provide teams with resources for early seed investments that can generate large financial commitments through World Bank finance and government resources. At the global level, ELP research and special initiatives work to fill knowledge gaps, build capacity and generate public goods.

UNESCO, UNICEF:  Learning Data Compact

UNESCO, UNICEF, and the World Bank have joined forces to close the learning data gaps that still exist and that preclude many countries from monitoring the quality of their education systems and assessing if their students are learning. The three organizations have agreed to a  Learning Data Compact , a commitment to ensure that all countries, especially low-income countries, have at least one quality measure of learning by 2025, supporting coordinated efforts to strengthen national assessment systems.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS):   Learning Poverty Indicator

Aimed at measuring and urging attention to foundational literacy as a prerequisite to achieve SDG4, this partnership was launched in 2019 to help countries strengthen their learning assessment systems, better monitor what students are learning in internationally comparable ways and improve the breadth and quality of global data on education.

FCDO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:  EdTech Hub

Supported by the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the EdTech Hub is aimed at improving the quality of ed-tech investments. The Hub launched a rapid response Helpdesk service to provide just-in-time advisory support to 70 low- and middle-income countries planning education technology and remote learning initiatives.

MasterCard Foundation

Our Tertiary Education and Skills  global program, launched with support from the Mastercard Foundation, aims to prepare youth and adults for the future of work and society by improving access to relevant, quality, equitable reskilling and post-secondary education opportunities.  It is designed to reframe, reform, and rebuild tertiary education and skills systems for the digital and green transformation.

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Bridging the AI divide: Breaking down barriers to ensure women’s leadership and participation in the Fifth Industrial Revolution

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Common challenges and tailored solutions: How policymakers are strengthening early learning systems across the world

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Compulsory education boosts learning outcomes and climate action

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Collapse and Recovery: How the COVID-19 Pandemic Eroded Human Capital and What to Do About It

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Publication: Realizing Education's Promise: A World Bank Retrospective – August 2023

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What the Future of Education Looks Like from Here

  • Posted December 11, 2020
  • By Emily Boudreau

After a year that involved a global pandemic, school closures, nationwide remote instruction, protests for racial justice, and an election, the role of education has never been more critical or more uncertain. When the dust settles from this year, what will education look like — and what should it aspire to?

To mark the end of its centennial year, HGSE convened a faculty-led discussion to explore those questions. The Future of Education panel, moderated by Dean Bridget Long and hosted by HGSE’s Askwith Forums , focused on hopes for education going forward, as well as HGSE’s role. “The story of HGSE is the story of pivotal decisions, meeting challenges, and tremendous growth,” Long said. “We have a long history of empowering our students and partners to be innovators in a constantly changing world. And that is needed now more than ever.”

Joining Long were Associate Professor Karen Brennan , Senior Lecturer Jennifer Cheatham , Assistant Professor Anthony Jack, and Professors Adriana Umaña-Taylor and Martin West , as they looked forward to what the future could hold for schools, educators, and communities:

… After the pandemic subsides

The pandemic heightened existing gaps and disparities and exposed a need to rethink how systems leaders design schools, instruction, and who they put at the center of that design. “As a leader, in the years before the pandemic hit, I realized the balance of our work as practitioners was off,” Cheatham said. “If we had been spending time knowing our children and our staff and designing schools for them, we might not be feeling the pain in the way we are. I think we’re learning something about what the real work of school is about.” In the coming years, the panelists hope that a widespread push to recognize the identity and health of the whole-child in K–12 and higher education will help educators design support systems that can reduce inequity on multiple levels.

… For the global community

As much as the pandemic isolated individuals, on the global scale, people have looked to connect with each other to find solutions and share ideas as they faced a common challenge. This year may have brought everyone together and allowed for exchange of ideas, policies, practices, and assessments across boundaries.

… For technological advancements

As educators and leaders create, design, and imagine the future, technology should be used in service of that vision rather than dictating it. As technology becomes a major part of how we communicate and share ideas, educators need to think critically about how to deploy technology strategically. “My stance on technology is that it should always be used in the service of our human purpose and interest,” said Brennan. “We’ve talked about racial equity, building relationships. Our values and purposes and goals need to lead the way, not the tech.”

… For teachers

Human connections and interactions are at the heart of education. At this time, it’s become abundantly clear that the role of the teacher in the school community is irreplaceable. “I think the next few years hinge on how much we’re willing to invest in educators and all of these additional supports in the school which essentially make learning possible,” Umaña-Taylor said, “these are the individuals who are making the future minds of the nation possible.”

Cutting-edge research and new knowledge must become part of the public discussion in order to meaningfully shape the policies and practices that influence the future of education. “I fundamentally believe that we as academics and scholars must be part of the conversation and not limit ourselves to just articles behind paywalls or policy paragraphs at the end of a paper,” Jack said. “We have to engage the larger public.”

… In 25 years

“We shouldn’t underestimate the possibility that the future might look a lot like the present,” West said. “As I think about the potential sources of change in education, and in American education in particular, I tend to think about longer-term trends as the key driver.” Changing student demographics, access to higher education, structural inequality, and the focus of school leaders are all longer-term trends that, according to panelists, will influence the future of education. 

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Empowering Minds: The Transformative Power of Education

Empowering Minds: The Transformative Power of Education

Education, an age-old cornerstone of human progress, stands as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path towards a brighter future. Beyond mere classrooms and textbooks, it holds the power to transform lives, societies, and even the world. As we embark on this journey to understand the transformative power of education, we’ll explore how it unlocks minds, ignites potential, and fosters a spirit of lifelong learning . From ancient scholars to modern pioneers, the profound impact of education has shaped the course of history and continues to pave the way for human advancement.

Knowledge as the Key

At the heart of the transformative power of education lies knowledge. It serves as the key that unlocks the potential within each individual, revealing the boundless opportunities that lie ahead. Education empowers people to navigate life’s challenges, make informed decisions, and contribute actively to society by equipping minds with facts, skills, and critical thinking abilities . From basic literacy to advanced specialized fields, knowledge provides the foundation upon which dreams are built, and futures are shaped.

Igniting the Spark of Curiosity

Education goes beyond transmitting information; it fuels the eternal flame of curiosity within us. Encouraging questions, exploration, and wonder, sparks the desire to learn and discover. From the child’s insatiable thirst for knowledge to the scholar’s pursuit of groundbreaking research, curiosity drives intellectual growth. Embracing curiosity, we find ourselves continuously seeking answers, unearthing new perspectives, and evolving as individuals.

education is an important part of modern life

Empowerment Through Lifelong Learning

The transformative power of education does not end with formal schooling. Instead, it ignites a lifelong pursuit of learning. As we recognize that knowledge is boundless and ever-evolving, we embark on a journey of continuous growth. Lifelong learning enables us to adapt to a rapidly changing world, remain relevant in our fields, and contribute to our communities despite uncertainty. Embracing a growth mindset, we become empowered to overcome challenges and embrace new opportunities throughout our lives.

Shaping Global Citizens

Education transcends borders and cultures, fostering a sense of global citizenship. By exposing individuals to diverse perspectives, languages, and cultures, education nurtures empathy and understanding. In a world where interconnectedness is more apparent than ever, education plays a crucial role in promoting peace, tolerance, and cooperation among nations. Through education, we become catalysts for positive change, breaking down barriers and building bridges of harmony.

Tackling Societal Challenges

In the face of societal challenges, education stands as a powerful tool for progress and transformation. From combating poverty and inequality to addressing environmental issues, education empowers individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to create sustainable solutions. Education generates a network of change agents dedicated to making the world a better place for all by nurturing innovators, educators, and advocates.

Empowering Diversity and Inclusion

Education serves as an equalizer, breaking down barriers and fostering inclusivity. Education empowers individuals from various backgrounds to pursue their dreams and aspirations by embracing diversity in all its forms. In inclusive learning environments, students thrive as they celebrate their unique identities, share experiences, and collaborate on projects that drive meaningful change. As education embraces diversity and inclusion, it strengthens societies, nurturing a generation of compassionate leaders championing equity and social justice.

Education for Empowerment: Stories of Impact

The transformative power of education is best illustrated through stories of real-life impact. We share tales of individuals who defied the odds, accessed education against all challenges, and emerged as change-makers. Education has uplifted lives from impoverished communities to war-torn regions, breaking the cycle of poverty and despair. These stories are a testament to the enduring power of education, inspiring future generations to embrace its potential for personal growth and societal transformation.

Read more : Education Revolutionized: Embracing Innovative Approaches To Learning

Education’s Role in Personal Development

Education is not solely about acquiring academic knowledge; it also plays a pivotal role in personal development. Through the education journey, individuals learn valuable life skills such as time management, problem-solving, communication, and teamwork. These skills extend beyond the classroom, shaping individuals into well-rounded and confident individuals. Moreover, education fosters a sense of self-awareness, helping students discover their passions, strengths, and areas of improvement. As individuals grow and evolve through their educational experiences, they become better equipped to face life’s challenges and make meaningful contributions to their communities.

education is an important part of modern life

The Power of Educators

Behind every empowered mind is an inspiring educator. Teachers, professors, mentors, and facilitators hold the key to unlocking the potential of their students. Their dedication, passion, and guidance make a profound impact on shaping the lives of their learners. Beyond imparting knowledge, educators instil values, nurture curiosity, and encourage critical thinking. They create safe and inclusive learning environments where students feel empowered to freely express themselves and explore their ideas. As education relies on the power of human connections, educators make the transformative journey possible.

Transforming Industries and Economies

Education is not only instrumental in shaping individual lives but also in transforming industries and economies. Skilled and educated workforces drive innovation , economic growth, and sustainable development. By investing in education, societies create a pipeline of talented professionals who can spearhead research, technology, and advancements in various fields. Education becomes the backbone of thriving industries, generating employment opportunities and attracting global investment. As industries evolve, education ensures that individuals are equipped with the necessary skills to adapt and thrive in the ever-changing job market.

Overcoming Educational Barriers

While education holds transformative potential, various barriers often obstruct access to quality learning. Socioeconomic disparities, gender discrimination, geographic isolation, and cultural norms can hinder the pursuit of education for many individuals, especially in marginalized communities. Governments, organizations, and societies must collaborate to break down these barriers and promote inclusive education for all. Investing in educational infrastructure, offering scholarships , and implementing policies that foster diversity and equality can create a more equitable learning landscape.

As we conclude this exploration of “Empowering Minds: The Transformative Power of Education,” we are reminded that education is not just a means to an end; it is a journey of enlightenment and empowerment. Through knowledge, curiosity, and lifelong learning, education opens doors, connects cultures, and fuels progress. As we continue to invest in education and champion its inclusivity, we pave the way for a world where empowered minds lead us towards a more just, sustainable, and prosperous future for all. Let us cherish and celebrate education as the catalyst for transformation it truly is.

education is an important part of modern life

Vasilis Bouronikos

Content & Communication Manager

[email protected]

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New advances in technology are upending education, from the recent debut of new artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots like ChatGPT to the growing accessibility of virtual-reality tools that expand the boundaries of the classroom. For educators, at the heart of it all is the hope that every learner gets an equal chance to develop the skills they need to succeed. But that promise is not without its pitfalls.

“Technology is a game-changer for education – it offers the prospect of universal access to high-quality learning experiences, and it creates fundamentally new ways of teaching,” said Dan Schwartz, dean of Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE), who is also a professor of educational technology at the GSE and faculty director of the Stanford Accelerator for Learning . “But there are a lot of ways we teach that aren’t great, and a big fear with AI in particular is that we just get more efficient at teaching badly. This is a moment to pay attention, to do things differently.”

For K-12 schools, this year also marks the end of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding program, which has provided pandemic recovery funds that many districts used to invest in educational software and systems. With these funds running out in September 2024, schools are trying to determine their best use of technology as they face the prospect of diminishing resources.

Here, Schwartz and other Stanford education scholars weigh in on some of the technology trends taking center stage in the classroom this year.

AI in the classroom

In 2023, the big story in technology and education was generative AI, following the introduction of ChatGPT and other chatbots that produce text seemingly written by a human in response to a question or prompt. Educators immediately worried that students would use the chatbot to cheat by trying to pass its writing off as their own. As schools move to adopt policies around students’ use of the tool, many are also beginning to explore potential opportunities – for example, to generate reading assignments or coach students during the writing process.

AI can also help automate tasks like grading and lesson planning, freeing teachers to do the human work that drew them into the profession in the first place, said Victor Lee, an associate professor at the GSE and faculty lead for the AI + Education initiative at the Stanford Accelerator for Learning. “I’m heartened to see some movement toward creating AI tools that make teachers’ lives better – not to replace them, but to give them the time to do the work that only teachers are able to do,” he said. “I hope to see more on that front.”

He also emphasized the need to teach students now to begin questioning and critiquing the development and use of AI. “AI is not going away,” said Lee, who is also director of CRAFT (Classroom-Ready Resources about AI for Teaching), which provides free resources to help teach AI literacy to high school students across subject areas. “We need to teach students how to understand and think critically about this technology.”

Immersive environments

The use of immersive technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality is also expected to surge in the classroom, especially as new high-profile devices integrating these realities hit the marketplace in 2024.

The educational possibilities now go beyond putting on a headset and experiencing life in a distant location. With new technologies, students can create their own local interactive 360-degree scenarios, using just a cell phone or inexpensive camera and simple online tools.

“This is an area that’s really going to explode over the next couple of years,” said Kristen Pilner Blair, director of research for the Digital Learning initiative at the Stanford Accelerator for Learning, which runs a program exploring the use of virtual field trips to promote learning. “Students can learn about the effects of climate change, say, by virtually experiencing the impact on a particular environment. But they can also become creators, documenting and sharing immersive media that shows the effects where they live.”

Integrating AI into virtual simulations could also soon take the experience to another level, Schwartz said. “If your VR experience brings me to a redwood tree, you could have a window pop up that allows me to ask questions about the tree, and AI can deliver the answers.”

Gamification

Another trend expected to intensify this year is the gamification of learning activities, often featuring dynamic videos with interactive elements to engage and hold students’ attention.

“Gamification is a good motivator, because one key aspect is reward, which is very powerful,” said Schwartz. The downside? Rewards are specific to the activity at hand, which may not extend to learning more generally. “If I get rewarded for doing math in a space-age video game, it doesn’t mean I’m going to be motivated to do math anywhere else.”

Gamification sometimes tries to make “chocolate-covered broccoli,” Schwartz said, by adding art and rewards to make speeded response tasks involving single-answer, factual questions more fun. He hopes to see more creative play patterns that give students points for rethinking an approach or adapting their strategy, rather than only rewarding them for quickly producing a correct response.

Data-gathering and analysis

The growing use of technology in schools is producing massive amounts of data on students’ activities in the classroom and online. “We’re now able to capture moment-to-moment data, every keystroke a kid makes,” said Schwartz – data that can reveal areas of struggle and different learning opportunities, from solving a math problem to approaching a writing assignment.

But outside of research settings, he said, that type of granular data – now owned by tech companies – is more likely used to refine the design of the software than to provide teachers with actionable information.

The promise of personalized learning is being able to generate content aligned with students’ interests and skill levels, and making lessons more accessible for multilingual learners and students with disabilities. Realizing that promise requires that educators can make sense of the data that’s being collected, said Schwartz – and while advances in AI are making it easier to identify patterns and findings, the data also needs to be in a system and form educators can access and analyze for decision-making. Developing a usable infrastructure for that data, Schwartz said, is an important next step.

With the accumulation of student data comes privacy concerns: How is the data being collected? Are there regulations or guidelines around its use in decision-making? What steps are being taken to prevent unauthorized access? In 2023 K-12 schools experienced a rise in cyberattacks, underscoring the need to implement strong systems to safeguard student data.

Technology is “requiring people to check their assumptions about education,” said Schwartz, noting that AI in particular is very efficient at replicating biases and automating the way things have been done in the past, including poor models of instruction. “But it’s also opening up new possibilities for students producing material, and for being able to identify children who are not average so we can customize toward them. It’s an opportunity to think of entirely new ways of teaching – this is the path I hope to see.”

education is an important part of modern life

How Education Helps In Building Presence

Did you know that Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani, one of India’s most successful businessmen is a college dropout? He dropped out…

How Education Helps In Building Presence

Did you know that Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani, one of India’s most successful businessmen is a college dropout? He dropped out of Stanford University to join his father’s business. Like him, many successful people across the world are college dropouts. They make us mull over the question—what is the importance of education in our life?

Education And Its Importance

Most of us are under the impression that the role of education is to help us gain knowledge from schools and colleges. However, the power of education isn’t limited to acquiring knowledge only from formal learning institutes. Earning a formal degree isn’t a necessary step to receiving an education. Learning can happen anywhere. In other words, education is the ability to think with or without the help of classrooms. It helps us apply the knowledge we’ve acquired in the world and understand the value of life.

The power of education is so strong that it can last a lifetime. Moreover, education is a lifelong process because there is no end to learning new things and acquiring new knowledge. The role of education is to help us build opinions and have different perspectives in our lives. It not only helps us improve our lives; it also helps us utilize our knowledge to improve the lives of others.

Power Of Education

Education forms character strengthens minds and makes us independent beings. It helps us exercise our intelligence and put our potential to optimal use. ( sapns2 ) By championing the importance of good education, we open doors to a better world. You learn how to stand out in a crowd and articulate your visions clearly. Education helps you create a unique purpose.

Harappa Education’s Building Presence course is designed to help you put your education skills to the best use. The ‘Building a Brand’ model will help you learn the benefits of creating and chasing your unique purpose. The TEA (Trust, Emotional Intelligence and Authenticity) Skills framework will help you communicate your ideas with people in a compelling way while exhibiting confidence.

Importance Of Education In Our Life

The role of education is to teach us how to conduct ourselves in life by giving us a conscience. It makes us more certain and confident about our long-term goals in life.

Here are a few facts highlighting the importance of good education:

1. Spreads Awareness

Education helps develop a conscience and often helps us differentiate between right and wrong. The role of education is to question everything and not take anything at its face value. An educated mind usually pursues the logic behind actions and decisions.

2. Drives Progress

It’s because of the power of education that we can access a variety of opportunities.  From the industrial revolution days to the present technologically advanced era, education has helped us make the leap. Discoveries, inventions, and all social/technological progress are proof of embracing the importance of education in our life.

3. Improves Lives

The role of education is to help us gain better control of our lives. If you want to change your life for the better, education helps you do that. For example, you decide to start your own company. The power of education will help you reach this realization. It gives you the confidence to use your knowledge and skill-sets.

4. Empowers People

Education improves our decision-making capabilities and gives us the courage to stand up for our beliefs. The importance of education in our life is rooted in real-time examples like women standing up against domestic violence or transgender communities fighting for civil rights.

5.  Changes The World

We’ve already established that education is not only helping us but also others around us. You’re better aware of your rights and responsibilities as a citizen. If you feel empowered, you’ll want to empower others. To make better judgments and use your skills to make the world a better place is the power of education and its importance.

They say, “Instruction ends in the schoolroom but education only ends in life”. Let’s keep reminding ourselves of the importance of education in our lives and continue making the world a better place.

Explore the skills & topics such as  Social Skills ,  How to Improve Social Skills ,  Conversation Skills  & Key  Skills for a Job  from our Harappa Diaries blog section and be workplace ready.

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Essay on Importance of Education for Students

500 words essay on importance of education.

To say Education is important is an understatement. Education is a weapon to improve one’s life. It is probably the most important tool to change one’s life. Education for a child begins at home. It is a lifelong process that ends with death. Education certainly determines the quality of an individual’s life. Education improves one’s knowledge, skills and develops the personality and attitude. Most noteworthy, Education affects the chances of employment for people. A highly educated individual is probably very likely to get a good job. In this essay on importance of education, we will tell you about the value of education in life and society.

essay on importance of education

Importance of Education in Life

First of all, Education teaches the ability to read and write. Reading and writing is the first step in Education. Most information is done by writing. Hence, the lack of writing skill means missing out on a lot of information. Consequently, Education makes people literate.

Above all, Education is extremely important for employment. It certainly is a great opportunity to make a decent living. This is due to the skills of a high paying job that Education provides. Uneducated people are probably at a huge disadvantage when it comes to jobs. It seems like many poor people improve their lives with the help of Education.

education is an important part of modern life

Better Communication is yet another role in Education. Education improves and refines the speech of a person. Furthermore, individuals also improve other means of communication with Education.

Education makes an individual a better user of technology. Education certainly provides the technical skills necessary for using technology . Hence, without Education, it would probably be difficult to handle modern machines.

People become more mature with the help of Education. Sophistication enters the life of educated people. Above all, Education teaches the value of discipline to individuals. Educated people also realize the value of time much more. To educated people, time is equal to money.

Finally, Educations enables individuals to express their views efficiently. Educated individuals can explain their opinions in a clear manner. Hence, educated people are quite likely to convince people to their point of view.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Importance of Education in Society

First of all, Education helps in spreading knowledge in society. This is perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Education. There is a quick propagation of knowledge in an educated society. Furthermore, there is a transfer of knowledge from generation to another by Education.

Education helps in the development and innovation of technology. Most noteworthy, the more the education, the more technology will spread. Important developments in war equipment, medicine , computers, take place due to Education.

Education is a ray of light in the darkness. It certainly is a hope for a good life. Education is a basic right of every Human on this Planet. To deny this right is evil. Uneducated youth is the worst thing for Humanity. Above all, the governments of all countries must ensure to spread Education.

FAQs on Essay on Importance of Education

Q.1 How Education helps in Employment?

A.1 Education helps in Employment by providing necessary skills. These skills are important for doing a high paying job.

Q.2 Mention one way in Education helps a society?

A.2 Education helps society by spreading knowledge. This certainly is one excellent contribution to Education.

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How Has Technology Changed Education?

Technology has impacted almost every aspect of life today, and education is no exception. Or is it? In some ways, education seems much the same as it has been for many years. A 14th century illustration by Laurentius de Voltolina depicts a university lecture in medieval Italy. The scene is easily recognizable because of its parallels to the modern day. The teacher lectures from a podium at the front of the room while the students sit in rows and listen. Some of the students have books open in front of them and appear to be following along. A few look bored. Some are talking to their neighbors. One appears to be sleeping. Classrooms today do not look much different, though you might find modern students looking at their laptops, tablets, or smart phones instead of books (though probably open to Facebook). A cynic would say that technology has done nothing to change education.

However, in many ways, technology has profoundly changed education. For one, technology has greatly expanded access to education. In medieval times, books were rare and only an elite few had access to educational opportunities. Individuals had to travel to centers of learning to get an education. Today, massive amounts of information (books, audio, images, videos) are available at one’s fingertips through the Internet, and opportunities for formal learning are available online worldwide through the Khan Academy, MOOCs, podcasts, traditional online degree programs, and more. Access to learning opportunities today is unprecedented in scope thanks to technology.

Opportunities for communication and collaboration have also been expanded by technology. Traditionally, classrooms have been relatively isolated, and collaboration has been limited to other students in the same classroom or building. Today, technology enables forms of communication and collaboration undreamt of in the past. Students in a classroom in the rural U.S., for example, can learn about the Arctic by following the expedition of a team of scientists in the region, read scientists’ blog posting, view photos, e-mail questions to the scientists, and even talk live with the scientists via a videoconference. Students can share what they are learning with students in other classrooms in other states who are tracking the same expedition. Students can collaborate on group projects using technology-based tools such as wikis and Google docs. The walls of the classrooms are no longer a barrier as technology enables new ways of learning, communicating, and working collaboratively.

Technology has also begun to change the roles of teachers and learners. In the traditional classroom, such as what we see depicted in de Voltolina’s illustration, the teacher is the primary source of information, and the learners passively receive it. This model of the teacher as the “sage on the stage” has been in education for a long time, and it is still very much in evidence today. However, because of the access to information and educational opportunity that technology has enabled, in many classrooms today we see the teacher’s role shifting to the “guide on the side” as students take more responsibility for their own learning using technology to gather relevant information. Schools and universities across the country are beginning to redesign learning spaces to enable this new model of education, foster more interaction and small group work, and use technology as an enabler.

Technology is a powerful tool that can support and transform education in many ways, from making it easier for teachers to create instructional materials to enabling new ways for people to learn and work together. With the worldwide reach of the Internet and the ubiquity of smart devices that can connect to it, a new age of anytime anywhere education is dawning. It will be up to instructional designers and educational technologies to make the most of the opportunities provided by technology to change education so that effective and efficient education is available to everyone everywhere.

You can help shape the influence of technology in education with an Online Master of Science in Education in Learning Design and Technology from Purdue University Online. This accredited program offers studies in exciting new technologies that are shaping education and offers students the opportunity to take part in the future of innovation.

Learn more about the online MSEd in Learning Design and Technology at Purdue University today and help redefine the way in which individuals learn. Call (877) 497-5851 to speak with an admissions advisor or to request more information.

education is an important part of modern life

  • August 22, 2022
  • Education Advice , Uncategorized

Why Education Is Important in Our Life

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We all hear the word “education” in our daily life. Our education begins at home when we are taught how to act, what to eat, what to wear, and many other life skills. Therefore, we receive our early education from our parents and then attend elementary school , where we are instructed in various subjects, manners, and what is and is not appropriate behavior.

At this point, you may be asking yourself why education is important. Well, we receive education in a variety of ways throughout our entire lives, and an uneducated society does not have a future in this world. So let’s get started immediately. The University of the Potomac has compiled a list of 16 reasons why education is crucial to assist you with its significance.

What Is Education?

So what exactly is education? Education is a complex concept with a wide range of definitions. Still, to put it simply, education is a powerful tool that educates people about their obligations to their families, friends, and most importantly, society.

There are three types of education : formal, informal, and non-formal.  Formal education usually occurs in classrooms where students learn academic or trade skills.  Informal education occurs daily in our homes by our parents teaching us manners, how to prepare a meal, ride a bike, and so on.  Non-formal education takes place outside the classroom, allowing anyone to obtain fundamental knowledge and practical skills.

Education improves people’s lives by motivating them to fight against specific issues, including violence, injustice, corruption, and much more. Another way to illustrate the value of education is to point out the several governments that make significant financial investments in it. 

They do this so that their country can advance and so that they can have a promising future since a well-educated person is a precious resource for the state.

16 Reasons Why Education Is Important

The impact of education on every corner of the world is unremarkable. Growth and development are what we want and what we can achieve with education by our side. Further, educated individuals will follow their families’ steps and educate their children on different aspects of life. Below, we have mentioned 16 reasons why education is essential. Let’s start with problem-solving skills.

Develops problem-solving skills

develops-problem-solving-skills

The most significant benefit of education is the improvement of our problem-solving abilities. We encounter various issues every day, and we typically approach their solution logically. Compared to someone without prior education, an educated individual will handle the circumstance easily. Since problem-solving abilities are necessary for employment, it’s a win-win situation for you to have your desired career and further add more skills.

Promotes gender equality

Gender equality is still a topic of discussion today. Women didn’t use to be able to attend a school or receive an education. Unfortunately, we can’t say this is no longer an issue because a few isolated instances indicate it still occurs. Education encourages gender equality; thus, a society that values education would also value gender equality. People with education, especially educated women, will fight to advance gender equality for the women who lack a voice through education.

Provides self-dependency

Self-dependency is taught by our parents first. That’s one of the most critical skills that everyone should possess. Education provides just that, whether that occurs in our homes, schools, or even streets. You have a voice; thus, you need to be able to act and talk for yourself and, most importantly, be independent.

Provides stability and financial security

provides-stability-and-financial-security

Stability in our lives is a result of education. You have to work for your job goals; education is the best way to achieve that. By doing so, you will have stability and won’t be concerned that you won’t have a job. On the other hand, education also has the advantage of ensuring financial security. Higher qualified people acquire the dream career they’ve wanted since they were young. So, with education, your future is secured.

Contributes to economic growth

Governments invest a lot of money in education so that their people can get an education and contribute to developing their nation’s economy. A nation’s GDP is based on the number of employed citizens, and since most jobs require a bachelor’s or master’s degree , education helps the economy thrive. You benefit your society and your country by educating yourself, your kids, and others as every state aspires to an educated society in the future.

It’s a way to give back to the community

Educated individuals always find ways to give back to the community, whether by investing in colleges so other students can educate themselves or by investing in the education system. Someone gave back to the community so you can be educated, and it’s your turn to do the same.

Creates more employment opportunities

creates-more-employment-opportuntities

Nowadays, obtaining a job is very hard. Education in your resume opens a door full of opportunities for you. Unfortunately, the lower your education, the lower the number of employment opportunities. In addition, your salary might not be as high as expected if you have a lesser education level. However, you will get that job position you have dreamed of if you have strong credentials and a solid educational foundation.

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Helps to get to know yourself

You come to know yourself better when you have education on your side. You learn more about your qualifications, your shortcomings, and what you want out of life. Your critical thinking and creativity continue to grow, which aids in your understanding of who you are as a person and what kind of person you want to be in the future.

Teaches values

Values as a word can be used in different scenarios, whether valuing your family, nation, friends, loved ones, and most importantly, yourself. Education can help you accomplish that by teaching you how to become more responsible and sensible, which leads to developing a solid relationship with those around you.

Develops critical thinking

Education helps in different ways, especially in developing critical thinking. By developing critical thinking, you will see that there is more than what meets the eye. You learn how to express your thoughts as well as ideas better. You tend to analyze the situation before saying or acting as a response as a result of education in your life.

Breaks barriers

By educating yourself, you dismantle the obstacles to education and ensure that other students have access to the chance to use education to better their lives and the community’s life. Educate yourself so that you can educate others and break the glaciers by changing the future of education for the better.

Develops life skills

Life skills are needed everywhere you go in life (trips, job interviews, etc.) and are also learned in all sets of circumstances. Education is a factor in developing life skills as everything you learn in school, on the job, or in the community helps you get through life and increases your chances of success.

Helps fulfill your dreams

Education can help you achieve your goals. By getting a job and working, you can support yourself and live the life you’ve always wanted. You dedicate four years of your life to earning a degree, and the realization of your dreams results from your hard work, persistence, and ambition. And education is where it all begins.

Allows for creativity

allows-for-creativity

Education supports innovative people with many good ideas, and it allows room for creativity. Creativity can look different depending on the field you focus on, whether business, fashion, architecture, or other.

Builds confidence

Through every step of the way, education helps you build confidence. You can discuss a topic without fear of what others may think or say. You will speak of what you consider suitable and not be afraid of judgment. So, education is the way to go to build your confidence.

Offers freedom

We’ve all thought of freedom at least once in our lives. You might ask, though, how education can promote independence. The key to freedom is education, which gives us all the required knowledge. If you are educated, you will accomplish everything with much greater confidence and carry a set of creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills with you wherever you go.

Whenever we hear the word education, we instantly think of hope. It offers you and your future family a significantly better future. We should encourage people to further their education to benefit themselves, their families, and their community. Now that you’ve learned 16 reasons why education is important, seize the opportunity !

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  • Published: 12 February 2024

Education reform and change driven by digital technology: a bibliometric study from a global perspective

  • Chengliang Wang 1 ,
  • Xiaojiao Chen 1 ,
  • Teng Yu   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-5198-7261 2 , 3 ,
  • Yidan Liu 1 , 4 &
  • Yuhui Jing 1  

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications volume  11 , Article number:  256 ( 2024 ) Cite this article

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  • Development studies
  • Science, technology and society

Amidst the global digital transformation of educational institutions, digital technology has emerged as a significant area of interest among scholars. Such technologies have played an instrumental role in enhancing learner performance and improving the effectiveness of teaching and learning. These digital technologies also ensure the sustainability and stability of education during the epidemic. Despite this, a dearth of systematic reviews exists regarding the current state of digital technology application in education. To address this gap, this study utilized the Web of Science Core Collection as a data source (specifically selecting the high-quality SSCI and SCIE) and implemented a topic search by setting keywords, yielding 1849 initial publications. Furthermore, following the PRISMA guidelines, we refined the selection to 588 high-quality articles. Using software tools such as CiteSpace, VOSviewer, and Charticulator, we reviewed these 588 publications to identify core authors (such as Selwyn, Henderson, Edwards), highly productive countries/regions (England, Australia, USA), key institutions (Monash University, Australian Catholic University), and crucial journals in the field ( Education and Information Technologies , Computers & Education , British Journal of Educational Technology ). Evolutionary analysis reveals four developmental periods in the research field of digital technology education application: the embryonic period, the preliminary development period, the key exploration, and the acceleration period of change. The study highlights the dual influence of technological factors and historical context on the research topic. Technology is a key factor in enabling education to transform and upgrade, and the context of the times is an important driving force in promoting the adoption of new technologies in the education system and the transformation and upgrading of education. Additionally, the study identifies three frontier hotspots in the field: physical education, digital transformation, and professional development under the promotion of digital technology. This study presents a clear framework for digital technology application in education, which can serve as a valuable reference for researchers and educational practitioners concerned with digital technology education application in theory and practice.

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Introduction.

Digital technology has become an essential component of modern education, facilitating the extension of temporal and spatial boundaries and enriching the pedagogical contexts (Selwyn and Facer, 2014 ). The advent of mobile communication technology has enabled learning through social media platforms (Szeto et al. 2015 ; Pires et al. 2022 ), while the advancement of augmented reality technology has disrupted traditional conceptions of learning environments and spaces (Perez-Sanagustin et al., 2014 ; Kyza and Georgiou, 2018 ). A wide range of digital technologies has enabled learning to become a norm in various settings, including the workplace (Sjöberg and Holmgren, 2021 ), home (Nazare et al. 2022 ), and online communities (Tang and Lam, 2014 ). Education is no longer limited to fixed locations and schedules, but has permeated all aspects of life, allowing learning to continue at any time and any place (Camilleri and Camilleri, 2016 ; Selwyn and Facer, 2014 ).

The advent of digital technology has led to the creation of several informal learning environments (Greenhow and Lewin, 2015 ) that exhibit divergent form, function, features, and patterns in comparison to conventional learning environments (Nygren et al. 2019 ). Consequently, the associated teaching and learning processes, as well as the strategies for the creation, dissemination, and acquisition of learning resources, have undergone a complete overhaul. The ensuing transformations have posed a myriad of novel issues, such as the optimal structuring of teaching methods by instructors and the adoption of appropriate learning strategies by students in the new digital technology environment. Consequently, an examination of the principles that underpin effective teaching and learning in this environment is a topic of significant interest to numerous scholars engaged in digital technology education research.

Over the course of the last two decades, digital technology has made significant strides in the field of education, notably in extending education time and space and creating novel educational contexts with sustainability. Despite research attempts to consolidate the application of digital technology in education, previous studies have only focused on specific aspects of digital technology, such as Pinto and Leite’s ( 2020 ) investigation into digital technology in higher education and Mustapha et al.’s ( 2021 ) examination of the role and value of digital technology in education during the pandemic. While these studies have provided valuable insights into the practical applications of digital technology in particular educational domains, they have not comprehensively explored the macro-mechanisms and internal logic of digital technology implementation in education. Additionally, these studies were conducted over a relatively brief period, making it challenging to gain a comprehensive understanding of the macro-dynamics and evolutionary process of digital technology in education. Some studies have provided an overview of digital education from an educational perspective but lack a precise understanding of technological advancement and change (Yang et al. 2022 ). Therefore, this study seeks to employ a systematic scientific approach to collate relevant research from 2000 to 2022, comprehend the internal logic and development trends of digital technology in education, and grasp the outstanding contribution of digital technology in promoting the sustainability of education in time and space. In summary, this study aims to address the following questions:

RQ1: Since the turn of the century, what is the productivity distribution of the field of digital technology education application research in terms of authorship, country/region, institutional and journal level?

RQ2: What is the development trend of research on the application of digital technology in education in the past two decades?

RQ3: What are the current frontiers of research on the application of digital technology in education?

Literature review

Although the term “digital technology” has become ubiquitous, a unified definition has yet to be agreed upon by scholars. Because the meaning of the word digital technology is closely related to the specific context. Within the educational research domain, Selwyn’s ( 2016 ) definition is widely favored by scholars (Pinto and Leite, 2020 ). Selwyn ( 2016 ) provides a comprehensive view of various concrete digital technologies and their applications in education through ten specific cases, such as immediate feedback in classes, orchestrating teaching, and community learning. Through these specific application scenarios, Selwyn ( 2016 ) argues that digital technology encompasses technologies associated with digital devices, including but not limited to tablets, smartphones, computers, and social media platforms (such as Facebook and YouTube). Furthermore, Further, the behavior of accessing the internet at any location through portable devices can be taken as an extension of the behavior of applying digital technology.

The evolving nature of digital technology has significant implications in the field of education. In the 1890s, the focus of digital technology in education was on comprehending the nuances of digital space, digital culture, and educational methodologies, with its connotations aligned more towards the idea of e-learning. The advent and subsequent widespread usage of mobile devices since the dawn of the new millennium have been instrumental in the rapid expansion of the concept of digital technology. Notably, mobile learning devices such as smartphones and tablets, along with social media platforms, have become integral components of digital technology (Conole and Alevizou, 2010 ; Batista et al. 2016 ). In recent times, the burgeoning application of AI technology in the education sector has played a vital role in enriching the digital technology lexicon (Banerjee et al. 2021 ). ChatGPT, for instance, is identified as a novel educational technology that has immense potential to revolutionize future education (Rospigliosi, 2023 ; Arif, Munaf and Ul-Haque, 2023 ).

Pinto and Leite ( 2020 ) conducted a comprehensive macroscopic survey of the use of digital technologies in the education sector and identified three distinct categories, namely technologies for assessment and feedback, mobile technologies, and Information Communication Technologies (ICT). This classification criterion is both macroscopic and highly condensed. In light of the established concept definitions of digital technology in the educational research literature, this study has adopted the characterizations of digital technology proposed by Selwyn ( 2016 ) and Pinto and Leite ( 2020 ) as crucial criteria for analysis and research inclusion. Specifically, this criterion encompasses several distinct types of digital technologies, including Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Mobile tools, eXtended Reality (XR) Technologies, Assessment and Feedback systems, Learning Management Systems (LMS), Publish and Share tools, Collaborative systems, Social media, Interpersonal Communication tools, and Content Aggregation tools.

Methodology and materials

Research method: bibliometric.

The research on econometric properties has been present in various aspects of human production and life, yet systematic scientific theoretical guidance has been lacking, resulting in disorganization. In 1969, British scholar Pritchard ( 1969 ) proposed “bibliometrics,” which subsequently emerged as an independent discipline in scientific quantification research. Initially, Pritchard defined bibliometrics as “the application of mathematical and statistical methods to books and other media of communication,” however, the definition was not entirely rigorous. To remedy this, Hawkins ( 2001 ) expanded Pritchard’s definition to “the quantitative analysis of the bibliographic features of a body of literature.” De Bellis further clarified the objectives of bibliometrics, stating that it aims to analyze and identify patterns in literature, such as the most productive authors, institutions, countries, and journals in scientific disciplines, trends in literary production over time, and collaboration networks (De Bellis, 2009 ). According to Garfield ( 2006 ), bibliometric research enables the examination of the history and structure of a field, the flow of information within the field, the impact of journals, and the citation status of publications over a longer time scale. All of these definitions illustrate the unique role of bibliometrics as a research method for evaluating specific research fields.

This study uses CiteSpace, VOSviewer, and Charticulator to analyze data and create visualizations. Each of these three tools has its own strengths and can complement each other. CiteSpace and VOSviewer use set theory and probability theory to provide various visualization views in fields such as keywords, co-occurrence, and co-authors. They are easy to use and produce visually appealing graphics (Chen, 2006 ; van Eck and Waltman, 2009 ) and are currently the two most widely used bibliometric tools in the field of visualization (Pan et al. 2018 ). In this study, VOSviewer provided the data necessary for the Performance Analysis; Charticulator was then used to redraw using the tabular data exported from VOSviewer (for creating the chord diagram of country collaboration); this was to complement the mapping process, while CiteSpace was primarily utilized to generate keyword maps and conduct burst word analysis.

Data retrieval

This study selected documents from the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) in the Web of Science Core Collection as the data source, for the following reasons:

(1) The Web of Science Core Collection, as a high-quality digital literature resource database, has been widely accepted by many researchers and is currently considered the most suitable database for bibliometric analysis (Jing et al. 2023a ). Compared to other databases, Web of Science provides more comprehensive data information (Chen et al. 2022a ), and also provides data formats suitable for analysis using VOSviewer and CiteSpace (Gaviria-Marin et al. 2019 ).

(2) The application of digital technology in the field of education is an interdisciplinary research topic, involving technical knowledge literature belonging to the natural sciences and education-related literature belonging to the social sciences. Therefore, it is necessary to select Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) as the sources of research data, ensuring the comprehensiveness of data while ensuring the reliability and persuasiveness of bibliometric research (Hwang and Tsai, 2011 ; Wang et al. 2022 ).

After establishing the source of research data, it is necessary to determine a retrieval strategy (Jing et al. 2023b ). The choice of a retrieval strategy should consider a balance between the breadth and precision of the search formula. That is to say, it should encompass all the literature pertaining to the research topic while excluding irrelevant documents as much as possible. In light of this, this study has set a retrieval strategy informed by multiple related papers (Mustapha et al. 2021 ; Luo et al. 2021 ). The research by Mustapha et al. ( 2021 ) guided us in selecting keywords (“digital” AND “technolog*”) to target digital technology, while Luo et al. ( 2021 ) informed the selection of terms (such as “instruct*,” “teach*,” and “education”) to establish links with the field of education. Then, based on the current application of digital technology in the educational domain and the scope of selection criteria, we constructed the final retrieval strategy. Following the general patterns of past research (Jing et al. 2023a , 2023b ), we conducted a specific screening using the topic search (Topics, TS) function in Web of Science. For the specific criteria used in the screening for this study, please refer to Table 1 .

Literature screening

Literature acquired through keyword searches may contain ostensibly related yet actually unrelated works. Therefore, to ensure the close relevance of literature included in the analysis to the research topic, it is often necessary to perform a manual screening process to identify the final literature to be analyzed, subsequent to completing the initial literature search.

The manual screening process consists of two steps. Initially, irrelevant literature is weeded out based on the title and abstract, with two members of the research team involved in this phase. This stage lasted about one week, resulting in 1106 articles being retained. Subsequently, a comprehensive review of the full text is conducted to accurately identify the literature required for the study. To carry out the second phase of manual screening effectively and scientifically, and to minimize the potential for researcher bias, the research team established the inclusion criteria presented in Table 2 . Three members were engaged in this phase, which took approximately 2 weeks, culminating in the retention of 588 articles after meticulous screening. The entire screening process is depicted in Fig. 1 , adhering to the PRISMA guidelines (Page et al. 2021 ).

figure 1

The process of obtaining and filtering the necessary literature data for research.

Data standardization

Nguyen and Hallinger ( 2020 ) pointed out that raw data extracted from scientific databases often contains multiple expressions of the same term, and not addressing these synonymous expressions could affect research results in bibliometric analysis. For instance, in the original data, the author list may include “Tsai, C. C.” and “Tsai, C.-C.”, while the keyword list may include “professional-development” and “professional development,” which often require merging. Therefore, before analyzing the selected literature, a data disambiguation process is necessary to standardize the data (Strotmann and Zhao, 2012 ; Van Eck and Waltman, 2019 ). This study adopted the data standardization process proposed by Taskin and Al ( 2019 ), mainly including the following standardization operations:

Firstly, the author and source fields in the data are corrected and standardized to differentiate authors with similar names.

Secondly, the study checks whether the journals to which the literature belongs have been renamed in the past over 20 years, so as to avoid the influence of periodical name change on the analysis results.

Finally, the keyword field is standardized by unifying parts of speech and singular/plural forms of keywords, which can help eliminate redundant entries in the knowledge graph.

Performance analysis (RQ1)

This section offers a thorough and detailed analysis of the state of research in the field of digital technology education. By utilizing descriptive statistics and visual maps, it provides a comprehensive overview of the development trends, authors, countries, institutions, and journal distribution within the field. The insights presented in this section are of great significance in advancing our understanding of the current state of research in this field and identifying areas for further investigation. The use of visual aids to display inter-country cooperation and the evolution of the field adds to the clarity and coherence of the analysis.

Time trend of the publications

To understand a research field, it is first necessary to understand the most basic quantitative information, among which the change in the number of publications per year best reflects the development trend of a research field. Figure 2 shows the distribution of publication dates.

figure 2

Time trend of the publications on application of digital technology in education.

From the Fig. 2 , it can be seen that the development of this field over the past over 20 years can be roughly divided into three stages. The first stage was from 2000 to 2007, during which the number of publications was relatively low. Due to various factors such as technological maturity, the academic community did not pay widespread attention to the role of digital technology in expanding the scope of teaching and learning. The second stage was from 2008 to 2019, during which the overall number of publications showed an upward trend, and the development of the field entered an accelerated period, attracting more and more scholars’ attention. The third stage was from 2020 to 2022, during which the number of publications stabilized at around 100. During this period, the impact of the pandemic led to a large number of scholars focusing on the role of digital technology in education during the pandemic, and research on the application of digital technology in education became a core topic in social science research.

Analysis of authors

An analysis of the author’s publication volume provides information about the representative scholars and core research strengths of a research area. Table 3 presents information on the core authors in adaptive learning research, including name, publication number, and average number of citations per article (based on the analysis and statistics from VOSviewer).

Variations in research foci among scholars abound. Within the field of digital technology education application research over the past two decades, Neil Selwyn stands as the most productive author, having published 15 papers garnering a total of 1027 citations, resulting in an average of 68.47 citations per paper. As a Professor at the Faculty of Education at Monash University, Selwyn concentrates on exploring the application of digital technology in higher education contexts (Selwyn et al. 2021 ), as well as related products in higher education such as Coursera, edX, and Udacity MOOC platforms (Bulfin et al. 2014 ). Selwyn’s contributions to the educational sociology perspective include extensive research on the impact of digital technology on education, highlighting the spatiotemporal extension of educational processes and practices through technological means as the greatest value of educational technology (Selwyn, 2012 ; Selwyn and Facer, 2014 ). In addition, he provides a blueprint for the development of future schools in 2030 based on the present impact of digital technology on education (Selwyn et al. 2019 ). The second most productive author in this field, Henderson, also offers significant contributions to the understanding of the important value of digital technology in education, specifically in the higher education setting, with a focus on the impact of the pandemic (Henderson et al. 2015 ; Cohen et al. 2022 ). In contrast, Edwards’ research interests focus on early childhood education, particularly the application of digital technology in this context (Edwards, 2013 ; Bird and Edwards, 2015 ). Additionally, on the technical level, Edwards also mainly prefers digital game technology, because it is a digital technology that children are relatively easy to accept (Edwards, 2015 ).

Analysis of countries/regions and organization

The present study aimed to ascertain the leading countries in digital technology education application research by analyzing 75 countries related to 558 works of literature. Table 4 depicts the top ten countries that have contributed significantly to this field in terms of publication count (based on the analysis and statistics from VOSviewer). Our analysis of Table 4 data shows that England emerged as the most influential country/region, with 92 published papers and 2401 citations. Australia and the United States secured the second and third ranks, respectively, with 90 papers (2187 citations) and 70 papers (1331 citations) published. Geographically, most of the countries featured in the top ten publication volumes are situated in Australia, North America, and Europe, with China being the only exception. Notably, all these countries, except China, belong to the group of developed nations, suggesting that economic strength is a prerequisite for fostering research in the digital technology education application field.

This study presents a visual representation of the publication output and cooperation relationships among different countries in the field of digital technology education application research. Specifically, a chord diagram is employed to display the top 30 countries in terms of publication output, as depicted in Fig. 3 . The chord diagram is composed of nodes and chords, where the nodes are positioned as scattered points along the circumference, and the length of each node corresponds to the publication output, with longer lengths indicating higher publication output. The chords, on the other hand, represent the cooperation relationships between any two countries, and are weighted based on the degree of closeness of the cooperation, with wider chords indicating closer cooperation. Through the analysis of the cooperation relationships, the findings suggest that the main publishing countries in this field are engaged in cooperative relationships with each other, indicating a relatively high level of international academic exchange and research internationalization.

figure 3

In the diagram, nodes are scattered along the circumference of a circle, with the length of each node representing the volume of publications. The weighted arcs connecting any two points on the circle are known as chords, representing the collaborative relationship between the two, with the width of the arc indicating the closeness of the collaboration.

Further analyzing Fig. 3 , we can extract more valuable information, enabling a deeper understanding of the connections between countries in the research field of digital technology in educational applications. It is evident that certain countries, such as the United States, China, and England, display thicker connections, indicating robust collaborative relationships in terms of productivity. These thicker lines signify substantial mutual contributions and shared objectives in certain sectors or fields, highlighting the interconnectedness and global integration in these areas. By delving deeper, we can also explore potential future collaboration opportunities through the chord diagram, identifying possible partners to propel research and development in this field. In essence, the chord diagram successfully encapsulates and conveys the multi-dimensionality of global productivity and cooperation, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the intricate inter-country relationships and networks in a global context, providing valuable guidance and insights for future research and collaborations.

An in-depth examination of the publishing institutions is provided in Table 5 , showcasing the foremost 10 institutions ranked by their publication volume. Notably, Monash University and Australian Catholic University, situated in Australia, have recorded the most prolific publications within the digital technology education application realm, with 22 and 10 publications respectively. Moreover, the University of Oslo from Norway is featured among the top 10 publishing institutions, with an impressive average citation count of 64 per publication. It is worth highlighting that six institutions based in the United Kingdom were also ranked within the top 10 publishing institutions, signifying their leading position in this area of research.

Analysis of journals

Journals are the main carriers for publishing high-quality papers. Some scholars point out that the two key factors to measure the influence of journals in the specified field are the number of articles published and the number of citations. The more papers published in a magazine and the more citations, the greater its influence (Dzikowski, 2018 ). Therefore, this study utilized VOSviewer to statistically analyze the top 10 journals with the most publications in the field of digital technology in education and calculated the average citations per article (see Table 6 ).

Based on Table 6 , it is apparent that the highest number of articles in the domain of digital technology in education research were published in Education and Information Technologies (47 articles), Computers & Education (34 articles), and British Journal of Educational Technology (32 articles), indicating a higher article output compared to other journals. This underscores the fact that these three journals concentrate more on the application of digital technology in education. Furthermore, several other journals, such as Technology Pedagogy and Education and Sustainability, have published more than 15 articles in this domain. Sustainability represents the open access movement, which has notably facilitated research progress in this field, indicating that the development of open access journals in recent years has had a significant impact. Although there is still considerable disagreement among scholars on the optimal approach to achieve open access, the notion that research outcomes should be accessible to all is widely recognized (Huang et al. 2020 ). On further analysis of the research fields to which these journals belong, except for Sustainability, it is evident that they all pertain to educational technology, thus providing a qualitative definition of the research area of digital technology education from the perspective of journals.

Temporal keyword analysis: thematic evolution (RQ2)

The evolution of research themes is a dynamic process, and previous studies have attempted to present the developmental trajectory of fields by drawing keyword networks in phases (Kumar et al. 2021 ; Chen et al. 2022b ). To understand the shifts in research topics across different periods, this study follows past research and, based on the significant changes in the research field and corresponding technological advancements during the outlined periods, divides the timeline into four stages (the first stage from January 2000 to December 2005, the second stage from January 2006 to December 2011, the third stage from January 2012 to December 2017; and the fourth stage from January 2018 to December 2022). The division into these four stages was determined through a combination of bibliometric analysis and literature review, which presented a clear trajectory of the field’s development. The research analyzes the keyword networks for each time period (as there are only three articles in the first stage, it was not possible to generate an appropriate keyword co-occurrence map, hence only the keyword co-occurrence maps from the second to the fourth stages are provided), to understand the evolutionary track of the digital technology education application research field over time.

2000.1–2005.12: germination period

From January 2000 to December 2005, digital technology education application research was in its infancy. Only three studies focused on digital technology, all of which were related to computers. Due to the popularity of computers, the home became a new learning environment, highlighting the important role of digital technology in expanding the scope of learning spaces (Sutherland et al. 2000 ). In specific disciplines and contexts, digital technology was first favored in medical clinical practice, becoming an important tool for supporting the learning of clinical knowledge and practice (Tegtmeyer et al. 2001 ; Durfee et al. 2003 ).

2006.1–2011.12: initial development period

Between January 2006 and December 2011, it was the initial development period of digital technology education research. Significant growth was observed in research related to digital technology, and discussions and theoretical analyses about “digital natives” emerged. During this phase, scholars focused on the debate about “how to use digital technology reasonably” and “whether current educational models and school curriculum design need to be adjusted on a large scale” (Bennett and Maton, 2010 ; Selwyn, 2009 ; Margaryan et al. 2011 ). These theoretical and speculative arguments provided a unique perspective on the impact of cognitive digital technology on education and teaching. As can be seen from the vocabulary such as “rethinking”, “disruptive pedagogy”, and “attitude” in Fig. 4 , many scholars joined the calm reflection and analysis under the trend of digital technology (Laurillard, 2008 ; Vratulis et al. 2011 ). During this phase, technology was still undergoing dramatic changes. The development of mobile technology had already caught the attention of many scholars (Wong et al. 2011 ), but digital technology represented by computers was still very active (Selwyn et al. 2011 ). The change in technological form would inevitably lead to educational transformation. Collins and Halverson ( 2010 ) summarized the prospects and challenges of using digital technology for learning and educational practices, believing that digital technology would bring a disruptive revolution to the education field and bring about a new educational system. In addition, the term “teacher education” in Fig. 4 reflects the impact of digital technology development on teachers. The rapid development of technology has widened the generation gap between teachers and students. To ensure smooth communication between teachers and students, teachers must keep up with the trend of technological development and establish a lifelong learning concept (Donnison, 2009 ).

figure 4

In the diagram, each node represents a keyword, with the size of the node indicating the frequency of occurrence of the keyword. The connections represent the co-occurrence relationships between keywords, with a higher frequency of co-occurrence resulting in tighter connections.

2012.1–2017.12: critical exploration period

During the period spanning January 2012 to December 2017, the application of digital technology in education research underwent a significant exploration phase. As can be seen from Fig. 5 , different from the previous stage, the specific elements of specific digital technology have started to increase significantly, including the enrichment of technological contexts, the greater variety of research methods, and the diversification of learning modes. Moreover, the temporal and spatial dimensions of the learning environment were further de-emphasized, as noted in previous literature (Za et al. 2014 ). Given the rapidly accelerating pace of technological development, the education system in the digital era is in urgent need of collaborative evolution and reconstruction, as argued by Davis, Eickelmann, and Zaka ( 2013 ).

figure 5

In the domain of digital technology, social media has garnered substantial scholarly attention as a promising avenue for learning, as noted by Pasquini and Evangelopoulos ( 2016 ). The implementation of social media in education presents several benefits, including the liberation of education from the restrictions of physical distance and time, as well as the erasure of conventional educational boundaries. The user-generated content (UGC) model in social media has emerged as a crucial source for knowledge creation and distribution, with the widespread adoption of mobile devices. Moreover, social networks have become an integral component of ubiquitous learning environments (Hwang et al. 2013 ). The utilization of social media allows individuals to function as both knowledge producers and recipients, which leads to a blurring of the conventional roles of learners and teachers. On mobile platforms, the roles of learners and teachers are not fixed, but instead interchangeable.

In terms of research methodology, the prevalence of empirical studies with survey designs in the field of educational technology during this period is evident from the vocabulary used, such as “achievement,” “acceptance,” “attitude,” and “ict.” in Fig. 5 . These studies aim to understand learners’ willingness to adopt and attitudes towards new technologies, and some seek to investigate the impact of digital technologies on learning outcomes through quasi-experimental designs (Domínguez et al. 2013 ). Among these empirical studies, mobile learning emerged as a hot topic, and this is not surprising. First, the advantages of mobile learning environments over traditional ones have been empirically demonstrated (Hwang et al. 2013 ). Second, learners born around the turn of the century have been heavily influenced by digital technologies and have developed their own learning styles that are more open to mobile devices as a means of learning. Consequently, analyzing mobile learning as a relatively novel mode of learning has become an important issue for scholars in the field of educational technology.

The intervention of technology has led to the emergence of several novel learning modes, with the blended learning model being the most representative one in the current phase. Blended learning, a novel concept introduced in the information age, emphasizes the integration of the benefits of traditional learning methods and online learning. This learning mode not only highlights the prominent role of teachers in guiding, inspiring, and monitoring the learning process but also underlines the importance of learners’ initiative, enthusiasm, and creativity in the learning process. Despite being an early conceptualization, blended learning’s meaning has been expanded by the widespread use of mobile technology and social media in education. The implementation of new technologies, particularly mobile devices, has resulted in the transformation of curriculum design and increased flexibility and autonomy in students’ learning processes (Trujillo Maza et al. 2016 ), rekindling scholarly attention to this learning mode. However, some scholars have raised concerns about the potential drawbacks of the blended learning model, such as its significant impact on the traditional teaching system, the lack of systematic coping strategies and relevant policies in several schools and regions (Moskal et al. 2013 ).

2018.1–2022.12: accelerated transformation period

The period spanning from January 2018 to December 2022 witnessed a rapid transformation in the application of digital technology in education research. The field of digital technology education research reached a peak period of publication, largely influenced by factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic (Yu et al. 2023 ). Research during this period was built upon the achievements, attitudes, and social media of the previous phase, and included more elements that reflect the characteristics of this research field, such as digital literacy, digital competence, and professional development, as depicted in Fig. 6 . Alongside this, scholars’ expectations for the value of digital technology have expanded, and the pursuit of improving learning efficiency and performance is no longer the sole focus. Some research now aims to cultivate learners’ motivation and enhance their self-efficacy by applying digital technology in a reasonable manner, as demonstrated by recent studies (Beardsley et al. 2021 ; Creely et al. 2021 ).

figure 6

The COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as a crucial backdrop for the digital technology’s role in sustaining global education, as highlighted by recent scholarly research (Zhou et al. 2022 ; Pan and Zhang, 2020 ; Mo et al. 2022 ). The online learning environment, which is supported by digital technology, has become the primary battleground for global education (Yu, 2022 ). This social context has led to various studies being conducted, with some scholars positing that the pandemic has impacted the traditional teaching order while also expanding learning possibilities in terms of patterns and forms (Alabdulaziz, 2021 ). Furthermore, the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for teacher teaching and technological innovation, and this viewpoint has been empirically substantiated (Moorhouse and Wong, 2021 ). Additionally, some scholars believe that the pandemic’s push is a crucial driving force for the digital transformation of the education system, serving as an essential mechanism for overcoming the system’s inertia (Romero et al. 2021 ).

The rapid outbreak of the pandemic posed a challenge to the large-scale implementation of digital technologies, which was influenced by a complex interplay of subjective and objective factors. Objective constraints included the lack of infrastructure in some regions to support digital technologies, while subjective obstacles included psychological resistance among certain students and teachers (Moorhouse, 2021 ). These factors greatly impacted the progress of online learning during the pandemic. Additionally, Timotheou et al. ( 2023 ) conducted a comprehensive systematic review of existing research on digital technology use during the pandemic, highlighting the critical role played by various factors such as learners’ and teachers’ digital skills, teachers’ personal attributes and professional development, school leadership and management, and administration in facilitating the digitalization and transformation of schools.

The current stage of research is characterized by the pivotal term “digital literacy,” denoting a growing interest in learners’ attitudes and adoption of emerging technologies. Initially, the term “literacy” was restricted to fundamental abilities and knowledge associated with books and print materials (McMillan, 1996 ). However, with the swift advancement of computers and digital technology, there have been various attempts to broaden the scope of literacy beyond its traditional meaning, including game literacy (Buckingham and Burn, 2007 ), information literacy (Eisenberg, 2008 ), and media literacy (Turin and Friesem, 2020 ). Similarly, digital literacy has emerged as a crucial concept, and Gilster and Glister ( 1997 ) were the first to introduce this concept, referring to the proficiency in utilizing technology and processing digital information in academic, professional, and daily life settings. In practical educational settings, learners who possess higher digital literacy often exhibit an aptitude for quickly mastering digital devices and applying them intelligently to education and teaching (Yu, 2022 ).

The utilization of digital technology in education has undergone significant changes over the past two decades, and has been a crucial driver of educational reform with each new technological revolution. The impact of these changes on the underlying logic of digital technology education applications has been noticeable. From computer technology to more recent developments such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI), the acceleration in digital technology development has been ongoing. Educational reforms spurred by digital technology development continue to be dynamic, as each new digital innovation presents new possibilities and models for teaching practice. This is especially relevant in the post-pandemic era, where the importance of technological progress in supporting teaching cannot be overstated (Mughal et al. 2022 ). Existing digital technologies have already greatly expanded the dimensions of education in both time and space, while future digital technologies aim to expand learners’ perceptions. Researchers have highlighted the potential of integrated technology and immersive technology in the development of the educational metaverse, which is highly anticipated to create a new dimension for the teaching and learning environment, foster a new value system for the discipline of educational technology, and more effectively and efficiently achieve the grand educational blueprint of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (Zhang et al. 2022 ; Li and Yu, 2023 ).

Hotspot evolution analysis (RQ3)

The examination of keyword evolution reveals a consistent trend in the advancement of digital technology education application research. The emergence and transformation of keywords serve as indicators of the varying research interests in this field. Thus, the utilization of the burst detection function available in CiteSpace allowed for the identification of the top 10 burst words that exhibited a high level of burst strength. This outcome is illustrated in Table 7 .

According to the results presented in Table 7 , the explosive terminology within the realm of digital technology education research has exhibited a concentration mainly between the years 2018 and 2022. Prior to this time frame, the emerging keywords were limited to “information technology” and “computer”. Notably, among them, computer, as an emergent keyword, has always had a high explosive intensity from 2008 to 2018, which reflects the important position of computer in digital technology and is the main carrier of many digital technologies such as Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Assessment and Feedback systems (Barlovits et al. 2022 ).

Since 2018, an increasing number of research studies have focused on evaluating the capabilities of learners to accept, apply, and comprehend digital technologies. As indicated by the use of terms such as “digital literacy” and “digital skill,” the assessment of learners’ digital literacy has become a critical task. Scholarly efforts have been directed towards the development of literacy assessment tools and the implementation of empirical assessments. Furthermore, enhancing the digital literacy of both learners and educators has garnered significant attention. (Nagle, 2018 ; Yu, 2022 ). Simultaneously, given the widespread use of various digital technologies in different formal and informal learning settings, promoting learners’ digital skills has become a crucial objective for contemporary schools (Nygren et al. 2019 ; Forde and OBrien, 2022 ).

Since 2020, the field of applied research on digital technology education has witnessed the emergence of three new hotspots, all of which have been affected to some extent by the pandemic. Firstly, digital technology has been widely applied in physical education, which is one of the subjects that has been severely affected by the pandemic (Parris et al. 2022 ; Jiang and Ning, 2022 ). Secondly, digital transformation has become an important measure for most schools, especially higher education institutions, to cope with the impact of the pandemic globally (García-Morales et al. 2021 ). Although the concept of digital transformation was proposed earlier, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly accelerated this transformation process. Educational institutions must carefully redesign their educational products to face this new situation, providing timely digital learning methods, environments, tools, and support systems that have far-reaching impacts on modern society (Krishnamurthy, 2020 ; Salas-Pilco et al. 2022 ). Moreover, the professional development of teachers has become a key mission of educational institutions in the post-pandemic era. Teachers need to have a certain level of digital literacy and be familiar with the tools and online teaching resources used in online teaching, which has become a research hotspot today. Organizing digital skills training for teachers to cope with the application of emerging technologies in education is an important issue for teacher professional development and lifelong learning (Garzón-Artacho et al. 2021 ). As the main organizers and practitioners of emergency remote teaching (ERT) during the pandemic, teachers must put cognitive effort into their professional development to ensure effective implementation of ERT (Romero-Hall and Jaramillo Cherrez, 2022 ).

The burst word “digital transformation” reveals that we are in the midst of an ongoing digital technology revolution. With the emergence of innovative digital technologies such as ChatGPT and Microsoft 365 Copilot, technology trends will continue to evolve, albeit unpredictably. While the impact of these advancements on school education remains uncertain, it is anticipated that the widespread integration of technology will significantly affect the current education system. Rejecting emerging technologies without careful consideration is unwise. Like any revolution, the technological revolution in the education field has both positive and negative aspects. Detractors argue that digital technology disrupts learning and memory (Baron, 2021 ) or causes learners to become addicted and distracted from learning (Selwyn and Aagaard, 2020 ). On the other hand, the prudent use of digital technology in education offers a glimpse of a golden age of open learning. Educational leaders and practitioners have the opportunity to leverage cutting-edge digital technologies to address current educational challenges and develop a rational path for the sustainable and healthy growth of education.

Discussion on performance analysis (RQ1)

The field of digital technology education application research has experienced substantial growth since the turn of the century, a phenomenon that is quantifiably apparent through an analysis of authorship, country/region contributions, and institutional engagement. This expansion reflects the increased integration of digital technologies in educational settings and the heightened scholarly interest in understanding and optimizing their use.

Discussion on authorship productivity in digital technology education research

The authorship distribution within digital technology education research is indicative of the field’s intellectual structure and depth. A primary figure in this domain is Neil Selwyn, whose substantial citation rate underscores the profound impact of his work. His focus on the implications of digital technology in higher education and educational sociology has proven to be seminal. Selwyn’s research trajectory, especially the exploration of spatiotemporal extensions of education through technology, provides valuable insights into the multifaceted role of digital tools in learning processes (Selwyn et al. 2019 ).

Other notable contributors, like Henderson and Edwards, present diversified research interests, such as the impact of digital technologies during the pandemic and their application in early childhood education, respectively. Their varied focuses highlight the breadth of digital technology education research, encompassing pedagogical innovation, technological adaptation, and policy development.

Discussion on country/region-level productivity and collaboration

At the country/region level, the United Kingdom, specifically England, emerges as a leading contributor with 92 published papers and a significant citation count. This is closely followed by Australia and the United States, indicating a strong English-speaking research axis. Such geographical concentration of scholarly output often correlates with investment in research and development, technological infrastructure, and the prevalence of higher education institutions engaging in cutting-edge research.

China’s notable inclusion as the only non-Western country among the top contributors to the field suggests a growing research capacity and interest in digital technology in education. However, the lower average citation per paper for China could reflect emerging engagement or different research focuses that may not yet have achieved the same international recognition as Western counterparts.

The chord diagram analysis furthers this understanding, revealing dense interconnections between countries like the United States, China, and England, which indicates robust collaborations. Such collaborations are fundamental in addressing global educational challenges and shaping international research agendas.

Discussion on institutional-level contributions to digital technology education

Institutional productivity in digital technology education research reveals a constellation of universities driving the field forward. Monash University and the Australian Catholic University have the highest publication output, signaling Australia’s significant role in advancing digital education research. The University of Oslo’s remarkable average citation count per publication indicates influential research contributions, potentially reflecting high-quality studies that resonate with the broader academic community.

The strong showing of UK institutions, including the University of London, The Open University, and the University of Cambridge, reinforces the UK’s prominence in this research field. Such institutions are often at the forefront of pedagogical innovation, benefiting from established research cultures and funding mechanisms that support sustained inquiry into digital education.

Discussion on journal publication analysis

An examination of journal outputs offers a lens into the communicative channels of the field’s knowledge base. Journals such as Education and Information Technologies , Computers & Education , and the British Journal of Educational Technology not only serve as the primary disseminators of research findings but also as indicators of research quality and relevance. The impact factor (IF) serves as a proxy for the quality and influence of these journals within the academic community.

The high citation counts for articles published in Computers & Education suggest that research disseminated through this medium has a wide-reaching impact and is of particular interest to the field. This is further evidenced by its significant IF of 11.182, indicating that the journal is a pivotal platform for seminal work in the application of digital technology in education.

The authorship, regional, and institutional productivity in the field of digital technology education application research collectively narrate the evolution of this domain since the turn of the century. The prominence of certain authors and countries underscores the importance of socioeconomic factors and existing academic infrastructure in fostering research productivity. Meanwhile, the centrality of specific journals as outlets for high-impact research emphasizes the role of academic publishing in shaping the research landscape.

As the field continues to grow, future research may benefit from leveraging the collaborative networks that have been elucidated through this analysis, perhaps focusing on underrepresented regions to broaden the scope and diversity of research. Furthermore, the stabilization of publication numbers in recent years invites a deeper exploration into potential plateaus in research trends or saturation in certain sub-fields, signaling an opportunity for novel inquiries and methodological innovations.

Discussion on the evolutionary trends (RQ2)

The evolution of the research field concerning the application of digital technology in education over the past two decades is a story of convergence, diversification, and transformation, shaped by rapid technological advancements and shifting educational paradigms.

At the turn of the century, the inception of digital technology in education was largely exploratory, with a focus on how emerging computer technologies could be harnessed to enhance traditional learning environments. Research from this early period was primarily descriptive, reflecting on the potential and challenges of incorporating digital tools into the educational setting. This phase was critical in establishing the fundamental discourse that would guide subsequent research, as it set the stage for understanding the scope and impact of digital technology in learning spaces (Wang et al. 2023 ).

As the first decade progressed, the narrative expanded to encompass the pedagogical implications of digital technologies. This was a period of conceptual debates, where terms like “digital natives” and “disruptive pedagogy” entered the academic lexicon, underscoring the growing acknowledgment of digital technology as a transformative force within education (Bennett and Maton, 2010 ). During this time, the research began to reflect a more nuanced understanding of the integration of technology, considering not only its potential to change where and how learning occurred but also its implications for educational equity and access.

In the second decade, with the maturation of internet connectivity and mobile technology, the focus of research shifted from theoretical speculations to empirical investigations. The proliferation of digital devices and the ubiquity of social media influenced how learners interacted with information and each other, prompting a surge in studies that sought to measure the impact of these tools on learning outcomes. The digital divide and issues related to digital literacy became central concerns, as scholars explored the varying capacities of students and educators to engage with technology effectively.

Throughout this period, there was an increasing emphasis on the individualization of learning experiences, facilitated by adaptive technologies that could cater to the unique needs and pacing of learners (Jing et al. 2023a ). This individualization was coupled with a growing recognition of the importance of collaborative learning, both online and offline, and the role of digital tools in supporting these processes. Blended learning models, which combined face-to-face instruction with online resources, emerged as a significant trend, advocating for a balance between traditional pedagogies and innovative digital strategies.

The later years, particularly marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerated the necessity for digital technology in education, transforming it from a supplementary tool to an essential platform for delivering education globally (Mo et al. 2022 ; Mustapha et al. 2021 ). This era brought about an unprecedented focus on online learning environments, distance education, and virtual classrooms. Research became more granular, examining not just the pedagogical effectiveness of digital tools, but also their role in maintaining continuity of education during crises, their impact on teacher and student well-being, and their implications for the future of educational policy and infrastructure.

Across these two decades, the research field has seen a shift from examining digital technology as an external addition to the educational process, to viewing it as an integral component of curriculum design, instructional strategies, and even assessment methods. The emergent themes have broadened from a narrow focus on specific tools or platforms to include wider considerations such as data privacy, ethical use of technology, and the environmental impact of digital tools.

Moreover, the field has moved from considering the application of digital technology in education as a primarily cognitive endeavor to recognizing its role in facilitating socio-emotional learning, digital citizenship, and global competencies. Researchers have increasingly turned their attention to the ways in which technology can support collaborative skills, cultural understanding, and ethical reasoning within diverse student populations.

In summary, the past over twenty years in the research field of digital technology applications in education have been characterized by a progression from foundational inquiries to complex analyses of digital integration. This evolution has mirrored the trajectory of technology itself, from a facilitative tool to a pervasive ecosystem defining contemporary educational experiences. As we look to the future, the field is poised to delve into the implications of emerging technologies like AI, AR, and VR, and their potential to redefine the educational landscape even further. This ongoing metamorphosis suggests that the application of digital technology in education will continue to be a rich area of inquiry, demanding continual adaptation and forward-thinking from educators and researchers alike.

Discussion on the study of research hotspots (RQ3)

The analysis of keyword evolution in digital technology education application research elucidates the current frontiers in the field, reflecting a trajectory that is in tandem with the rapidly advancing digital age. This landscape is sculpted by emergent technological innovations and shaped by the demands of an increasingly digital society.

Interdisciplinary integration and pedagogical transformation

One of the frontiers identified from recent keyword bursts includes the integration of digital technology into diverse educational contexts, particularly noted with the keyword “physical education.” The digitalization of disciplines traditionally characterized by physical presence illustrates the pervasive reach of technology and signifies a push towards interdisciplinary integration where technology is not only a facilitator but also a transformative agent. This integration challenges educators to reconceptualize curriculum delivery to accommodate digital tools that can enhance or simulate the physical aspects of learning.

Digital literacy and skills acquisition

Another pivotal frontier is the focus on “digital literacy” and “digital skill”, which has intensified in recent years. This suggests a shift from mere access to technology towards a comprehensive understanding and utilization of digital tools. In this realm, the emphasis is not only on the ability to use technology but also on critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ethical use of digital resources (Yu, 2022 ). The acquisition of digital literacy is no longer an additive skill but a fundamental aspect of modern education, essential for navigating and contributing to the digital world.

Educational digital transformation

The keyword “digital transformation” marks a significant research frontier, emphasizing the systemic changes that education institutions must undergo to align with the digital era (Romero et al. 2021 ). This transformation includes the redesigning of learning environments, pedagogical strategies, and assessment methods to harness digital technology’s full potential. Research in this area explores the complexity of institutional change, addressing the infrastructural, cultural, and policy adjustments needed for a seamless digital transition.

Engagement and participation

Further exploration into “engagement” and “participation” underscores the importance of student-centered learning environments that are mediated by technology. The current frontiers examine how digital platforms can foster collaboration, inclusivity, and active learning, potentially leading to more meaningful and personalized educational experiences. Here, the use of technology seeks to support the emotional and cognitive aspects of learning, moving beyond the transactional view of education to one that is relational and interactive.

Professional development and teacher readiness

As the field evolves, “professional development” emerges as a crucial area, particularly in light of the pandemic which necessitated emergency remote teaching. The need for teacher readiness in a digital age is a pressing frontier, with research focusing on the competencies required for educators to effectively integrate technology into their teaching practices. This includes familiarity with digital tools, pedagogical innovation, and an ongoing commitment to personal and professional growth in the digital domain.

Pandemic as a catalyst

The recent pandemic has acted as a catalyst for accelerated research and application in this field, particularly in the domains of “digital transformation,” “professional development,” and “physical education.” This period has been a litmus test for the resilience and adaptability of educational systems to continue their operations in an emergency. Research has thus been directed at understanding how digital technologies can support not only continuity but also enhance the quality and reach of education in such contexts.

Ethical and societal considerations

The frontier of digital technology in education is also expanding to consider broader ethical and societal implications. This includes issues of digital equity, data privacy, and the sociocultural impact of technology on learning communities. The research explores how educational technology can be leveraged to address inequities and create more equitable learning opportunities for all students, regardless of their socioeconomic background.

Innovation and emerging technologies

Looking forward, the frontiers are set to be influenced by ongoing and future technological innovations, such as artificial intelligence (AI) (Wu and Yu, 2023 ; Chen et al. 2022a ). The exploration into how these technologies can be integrated into educational practices to create immersive and adaptive learning experiences represents a bold new chapter for the field.

In conclusion, the current frontiers of research on the application of digital technology in education are multifaceted and dynamic. They reflect an overarching movement towards deeper integration of technology in educational systems and pedagogical practices, where the goals are not only to facilitate learning but to redefine it. As these frontiers continue to expand and evolve, they will shape the educational landscape, requiring a concerted effort from researchers, educators, policymakers, and technologists to navigate the challenges and harness the opportunities presented by the digital revolution in education.

Conclusions and future research

Conclusions.

The utilization of digital technology in education is a research area that cuts across multiple technical and educational domains and continues to experience dynamic growth due to the continuous progress of technology. In this study, a systematic review of this field was conducted through bibliometric techniques to examine its development trajectory. The primary focus of the review was to investigate the leading contributors, productive national institutions, significant publications, and evolving development patterns. The study’s quantitative analysis resulted in several key conclusions that shed light on this research field’s current state and future prospects.

(1) The research field of digital technology education applications has entered a stage of rapid development, particularly in recent years due to the impact of the pandemic, resulting in a peak of publications. Within this field, several key authors (Selwyn, Henderson, Edwards, etc.) and countries/regions (England, Australia, USA, etc.) have emerged, who have made significant contributions. International exchanges in this field have become frequent, with a high degree of internationalization in academic research. Higher education institutions in the UK and Australia are the core productive forces in this field at the institutional level.

(2) Education and Information Technologies , Computers & Education , and the British Journal of Educational Technology are notable journals that publish research related to digital technology education applications. These journals are affiliated with the research field of educational technology and provide effective communication platforms for sharing digital technology education applications.

(3) Over the past two decades, research on digital technology education applications has progressed from its early stages of budding, initial development, and critical exploration to accelerated transformation, and it is currently approaching maturity. Technological progress and changes in the times have been key driving forces for educational transformation and innovation, and both have played important roles in promoting the continuous development of education.

(4) Influenced by the pandemic, three emerging frontiers have emerged in current research on digital technology education applications, which are physical education, digital transformation, and professional development under the promotion of digital technology. These frontier research hotspots reflect the core issues that the education system faces when encountering new technologies. The evolution of research hotspots shows that technology breakthroughs in education’s original boundaries of time and space create new challenges. The continuous self-renewal of education is achieved by solving one hotspot problem after another.

The present study offers significant practical implications for scholars and practitioners in the field of digital technology education applications. Firstly, it presents a well-defined framework of the existing research in this area, serving as a comprehensive guide for new entrants to the field and shedding light on the developmental trajectory of this research domain. Secondly, the study identifies several contemporary research hotspots, thus offering a valuable decision-making resource for scholars aiming to explore potential research directions. Thirdly, the study undertakes an exhaustive analysis of published literature to identify core journals in the field of digital technology education applications, with Sustainability being identified as a promising open access journal that publishes extensively on this topic. This finding can potentially facilitate scholars in selecting appropriate journals for their research outputs.

Limitation and future research

Influenced by some objective factors, this study also has some limitations. First of all, the bibliometrics analysis software has high standards for data. In order to ensure the quality and integrity of the collected data, the research only selects the periodical papers in SCIE and SSCI indexes, which are the core collection of Web of Science database, and excludes other databases, conference papers, editorials and other publications, which may ignore some scientific research and original opinions in the field of digital technology education and application research. In addition, although this study used professional software to carry out bibliometric analysis and obtained more objective quantitative data, the analysis and interpretation of data will inevitably have a certain subjective color, and the influence of subjectivity on data analysis cannot be completely avoided. As such, future research endeavors will broaden the scope of literature screening and proactively engage scholars in the field to gain objective and state-of-the-art insights, while minimizing the adverse impact of personal subjectivity on research analysis.

Data availability

The datasets analyzed during the current study are available in the Dataverse repository: https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/F9QMHY

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Zhejiang Provincial Social Science Planning Project, “Mechanisms and Pathways for Empowering Classroom Teaching through Learning Spaces under the Strategy of High-Quality Education Development”, the 2022 National Social Science Foundation Education Youth Project “Research on the Strategy of Creating Learning Space Value and Empowering Classroom Teaching under the background of ‘Double Reduction’” (Grant No. CCA220319) and the National College Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training Program of China (Grant No. 202310337023).

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Chengliang Wang, Xiaojiao Chen, Yidan Liu & Yuhui Jing

Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Malaysia

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Conceptualization: Y.J., C.W.; methodology, C.W.; software, C.W., Y.L.; writing-original draft preparation, C.W., Y.L.; writing-review and editing, T.Y., Y.L., C.W.; supervision, X.C., T.Y.; project administration, Y.J.; funding acquisition, X.C., Y.L. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. All authors have read and approved the re-submission of the manuscript.

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Wang, C., Chen, X., Yu, T. et al. Education reform and change driven by digital technology: a bibliometric study from a global perspective. Humanit Soc Sci Commun 11 , 256 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-024-02717-y

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education is an important part of modern life

What you need to know about the right to education

education is an important part of modern life

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that education is a fundamental human right for everyone and this right was further detailed in the Convention against Discrimination in Education. What exactly does that mean?

Why is education a fundamental human right?

The right to education is a human right and indispensable for the exercise of other human rights.

  • Quality education aims to ensure the development of a fully-rounded human being.
  • It is one of the most powerful tools in lifting socially excluded children and adults out of poverty and into society. UNESCO data shows that if all adults completed secondary education, globally the number of poor people could be reduced by more than half.
  • It narrows the gender gap for girls and women. A UN study showed that each year of schooling reduces the probability of infant mortality by 5 to 10 per cent.
  • For this human right to work there must be equality of opportunity, universal access, and enforceable and monitored quality standards.

What does the right to education entail?

  • Primary education that is free, compulsory and universal
  • Secondary education, including technical and vocational, that is generally available, accessible to all and progressively free
  • Higher education, accessible to all on the basis of individual capacity and progressively free
  • Fundamental education for individuals who have not completed education
  • Professional training opportunities
  • Equal quality of education through minimum standards
  • Quality teaching and supplies for teachers
  • Adequate fellowship system and material condition for teaching staff
  • Freedom of choice

What is the current situation?

  • About 258 million children and youth are out of school, according to UIS data for the school year ending in 2018. The total includes 59 million children of primary school age, 62 million of lower secondary school age and 138 million of upper secondary age.

155 countries legally guarantee 9 years or more of compulsory education

  • Only 99 countries legally guarantee at least 12 years of free education
  • 8.2% of primary school age children does not go to primary school  Only six in ten young people will be finishing secondary school in 2030 The youth literacy rate (15-24) is of 91.73%, meaning 102 million youth lack basic literacy skills.

education is an important part of modern life

  How is the right to education ensured?

The right to education is established by two means - normative international instruments and political commitments by governments. A solid international framework of conventions and treaties exist to protect the right to education and States that sign up to them agree to respect, protect and fulfil this right.

How does UNESCO work to ensure the right to education?

UNESCO develops, monitors and promotes education norms and standards to guarantee the right to education at country level and advance the aims of the Education 2030 Agenda. It works to ensure States' legal obligations are reflected in national legal frameworks and translated into concrete policies.

  • Monitoring the implementation of the right to education at country level
  • Supporting States to establish solid national frameworks creating the legal foundation and conditions for sustainable quality education for all
  • Advocating on the right to education principles and legal obligations through research and studies on key issues
  • Maintaining global online tools on the right to education
  • Enhancing capacities, reporting mechanisms and awareness on key challenges
  • Developing partnerships and networks around key issues

  How is the right to education monitored and enforced by UNESCO?

  • UNESCO's Constitution requires Member States to regularly report on measures to implement standard-setting instruments at country level through regular consultations.
  • Through collaboration with UN human rights bodies, UNESCO addresses recommendations to countries to improve the situation of the right to education at national level.
  • Through the dedicated online Observatory , UNESCO takes stock of the implementation of the right to education in 195 States.
  • Through its interactive Atlas , UNESCO monitors the implementation right to education of girls and women in countries
  • Based on its monitoring work, UNESCO provides technical assistance and policy advice to Member States that seek to review, develop, improve and reform their legal and policy frameworks.

What happens if States do not fulfil obligations?

  • International human rights instruments have established a solid normative framework for the right to education. This is not an empty declaration of intent as its provisions are legally binding. All countries in the world have ratified at least one treaty covering certain aspects of the right to education. This means that all States are held to account, through legal mechanisms.
  • Enforcement of the right to education: At international level, human rights' mechanisms are competent to receive individual complaints and have settled right to education breaches this way.
  • Justiciability of the right to education: Where their right to education has been violated, citizens must be able to have legal recourse before the law courts or administrative tribunals.

education is an important part of modern life

  What are the major challenges to ensure the right to education?

  • Providing free and compulsory education to all
  • 155 countries legally guarantee 9 years or more of compulsory education.
  • Only 99 countries legally guarantee at least 12 years of free education.
  • Eliminating inequalities and disparities in education

While only 4% of the poorest youth complete upper secondary school in low-income countries, 36% of the richest do. In lower-middle-income countries, the gap is even wider: while only 14% of the poorest youth complete upper secondary school, 72% of the richest do.

  • Migration and displacement

According to a 2019 UNHCR report, of the 7.1 million refugee children of school age, 3.7 million - more than half - do not go to school. 

  • Privatization and its impact on the right to education

States need to strike a balance between educational freedom and ensuring everyone receives a quality education.

  • Financing of education

The Education 2030 Agenda requires States to allocate at least 4-6 per cent of GDP and/or at least 15-20 per cent of public expenditure to education.

  • Quality imperatives and valuing the teaching profession

Two-thirds of the estimated 617 million children and adolescents who cannot read a simple sentence or manage a basic mathematics calculation are in the classroom.

  • Say no to discrimination in education! - #RightToEducation campaign

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Ruby Wax opens up about her battle with depression

How the comedian is helping others who are frazzled by modern life.

Ruby Wax opens up

Ruby Wax has made a career out of being funny, but behind the smiles and jokes, her life hasn’t always been a bundle of laughs. 

For decades, the comedienne has battled depression and bipolar disorder – something she successfully managed with medication for 12 years until an unexpected relapse two years ago, when she was staying in a monastery in Yorkshire.

“I thought I was possessed by the devil, so it wasn’t the most appropriate place for it to happen,” Ruby, 71, tells HELLO !  in this exclusive interview. “I said: ‘I’ve got to get out of here,’ and then I admitted myself to a psychiatric clinic.

“If you have depression, you go dead, but you’re awake,” she adds. “It’s not just being sad. It’s like somebody took your brain and it hurts to move.”

A regular on British TV since the 1980s, Ruby is now back on the road with a new play and book, both called I’m Not as Well as I Thought I Was, inspired by her time in the clinic, where she stayed for five weeks after travelling around the world in search of the meaning of life. 

The US star’s globetrotting adventures took her from helping refugees in Afghanistan to joining migrating whales in the Dominican Republic and a 30-day silent retreat in California. 

“You have to get up at 5.30 in the morning and then you meditate until ten at night and then you have to volunteer to clean the place,” she says. “There were gongs all the time and they were so loud, my cervix vibrated. 

“In the beginning, you go crazy. They take away your phone, there’s no reading, no distraction, and your thoughts are really giving you hell. But eventually, the thoughts give up, so you’ve got this open space. Food started to be delicious and I could watch nature for hours without getting bored.

“But then, when I got back out again, I went back to my normal routine of being egotistical and doing an ad for potato crisps.”

Ruby Wax helping others at the Frazzled Cafe

THE POWER OF TALKING

Ruby’s struggles led her to establish the charity Frazzled Café , an online community where people who feel overwhelmed by the stresses of modern life can share their thoughts and feelings.

“People have a chance to talk about what’s going on in their mind,” says Ruby. “I think we’re the only charity that catches people before they might get ill. Maybe we alleviate the early symptoms because to be heard is half the cure.”

It is one of the mental-health charities benefiting from the Kind2Mind campaign being run by Big Give , the UK’s most successful match-funding platform, which will match every donation pound for pound, until 28 May. 

Ruby and her daughters Maddy and Marina

Ruby’s family with her producer-director husband Ed Bye – son Max, who works in tech, and daughters Maddy and Marina, who return to this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe with their comedy act Siblings – know how to cope with her illness.

“I think they’re really wounded because they don’t want Mummy being that ill. But they understand it. They know I’ll get better.”

To have your charity donation doubled via Big Give’s Kind2Mind campaign, click below or visit  biggive.org  and search for Frazzled Cafe or your chosen charity.

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Who Was President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran?

Mr. Raisi had been seen as a possible successor to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as supreme leader, the highest political and religious position in the Islamic republic.

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By Emma Bubola

  • May 19, 2024

Ebrahim Raisi, 63, a hard-line religious cleric, was elected president of Iran in 2021. In his tenure as president, he oversaw a strategy to expand his country’s regional influence — backing militant proxies across the Middle East, expediting the country’s nuclear program and bringing Iran to the brink of war with Israel.

But in the same period, Iran experienced some of its largest antigovernment protests in decades and a severe economic downturn driven by international sanctions and high unemployment.

Mr. Raisi’s background

Mr. Raisi, born in the eastern city of Mashhad in 1960 to a devoutly religious family, was swept up in the fervor of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, which toppled the country’s monarchy in 1979.

As a religious scholar in Iran’s theocratic government and a protégé of Ayatollah Khamenei, Mr. Raisi climbed the ranks of the judiciary, serving as a prosecutor in several cities.

After being named Iran’s top judge, he was believed to have been part of a small committee that ordered the executions of thousands of political dissidents in 1988.

Accused of decades of human rights violations, Mr. Raisi had been the subject of punishing sanctions by the United States.

His presidency

During Mr. Raisi’s presidency, Iran faced large antigovernment protests after the death of a young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody. The authorities responded with a brutal crackdown that included killings and executions.

Tehran has also continued its uranium-enrichment program and has gone ahead with its ballistic missile program .

A yearslong shadow war with Israel burst into the open last month after Iran launched a salvo of hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel. That attack resulted from escalating tensions between the two countries after Hamas, an Iranian-backed militant group, raided Israel on Oct. 7.

In the same period, Iran has also emerged as Russia’s trusted foreign supplier of military drones . Last year Iran made a deal with Saudi Arabia and restored diplomatic relationships.

Emma Bubola is a Times reporter based in London, covering news across Europe and around the world. More about Emma Bubola

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