Technology continues to change the way we live our lives, disrupting everything from shopping to banking. It’s no surprise, therefore, that education is following suit. Many of today’s students are digital natives, and technology grants educators the opportunity to create more engaging and accessible learning materials.
With such changes in mind, below are the top EdTech trends to keep in mind next year.
Edtech Trend #1: Reliance on IoT
The world of IoT has increased connectivity by leaps and bounds, and that’s not expected to change any time soon. IoT for All notes that such connectivity can lead to an increase in remote learning, which can help teachers create more immersive field trips. Rather than a presentation in art class, students can bring their tablets to a museum and write down notes as they’re engaging with art in real time. Such immersion helps create learning experiences that stick. Our guide to How to Increase Student Engagement also suggests interactive polls and similar resources to make each class an engaging one.
Edtech Trend #2: Gamified learning
The concept of gamified learning took the education world by storm when it first debuted, promising a way to increase student engagement while ensuring that learning outcomes are still being met. Researchers from the University of Hong Kong found that students and teachers alike found higher levels of enthusiasm and interest in friendly competition once gamified e-quizzes were used as formative assessments. By incorporating these e-quizzes alongside traditional paper quizzes, teachers were able to introduce new elements to the learning process.
Edtech Trend #3: Online education
Online education is now regarded as being on-par with its real-life counterpart, which means that many students are now making the switch. In terms of higher education, online universities offer transfer credits and streamlined application processes to those who want to get started as soon as possible. The availability of transfer credits speaks to how eLearning can be used to compliment, rather than replace, traditional learning methods. While there’s no doubt that some students still prefer the brick-and-mortar school experience, online institutions are now dismantling barriers to education.
Edtech Trend #4: Incorporation of AI
A Chinese university recently made news for incorporating AI and facial recognition into its attendance policies. According to South China Morning Post’s investigation, this pilot project resulted in increased attendance during its first two weeks. Although some have thought this move to be controversial in terms of student surveillance, it nevertheless speaks to how AI can be incorporated into a school’s administrative processes. Checking tests is another example of how AI algorithms can be used to speed up an otherwise lengthy process.
Edtech Trend #5: Cybersecurity
Now that the honeymoon period with EdTech has ended, educators and administrators alike are seriously considering the cybersecurity protocol behind each tech intervention they decide to adopt. EdTech Magazine estimates that a ransomware attack can incapacitate a school’s system for weeks, not to mention compromise the private data of both students and teachers. Having a cybersecurity protocol set in place can help mitigate the spread of attacks, as any good protocol will cover how to properly contain and report an incident. It also goes without saying that administrators should now consider investing in a skilled IT department who can put preventative security measures in place.
The threat of cyber attacks is also being dealt with head-on by some universities by educating their students. Maryville University developed a Cyber Fusion Center that allows its students to study different digital threats and practice responding to real-world situations. The school also provides free cybersecurity services to a wide variety of organizations showing how Edtech is at forefront of developing protocols to better protect different industries.
Edtech Trend #6: Going mobile
As far as tech devices go, mobile phones are the most widely used. In fact, New Tech High at Coppell is planning to offer a mobile app development course this year to appeal to an increasingly mobile student body. Aside from including app development courses, the incorporation of apps and other mobile resources into the curriculum should be expected. Vocabulary builder Magoosh and language-learning app Duolingo are just some examples of mobile learning resources.
As EdTech innovations continue to develop, it’s important to note that they should serve to complement whatever systems educators currently have in place. EdTech innovations can engage students, but they can’t replicate the one-on-one interaction and depth of instruction that comes from interacting with fellow students and teachers. Educators can use EdTech to track students’ progress, but at the end of the day cultivating a relationship with students is the best way to keep them motivated to learn.
This post is a guest article written by Colleen Andrews.
Colleen Andrews is an education consultant who specializes in helping institutions integrate tech into their curriculums. When she’s not busy researching the latest EdTech trends, she’s either watching a movie or at an art gallery.