The pandemic has compelled every industry to rely on technology massively, and the education industry is no exception. Although this sector initially followed more of a conventional approach, in the last few years it has undergone monumental changes.
What was earlier confined to being a brick-and-mortar structure is now an open-ended classroom with the World Wide Web at its core.
The experts in the industry assessed the current situation and sought concrete solutions to practical issues, for instance, attempts at solving the hindrances in accessing learning resources. This gave way to a stream of digital learning platforms, apps, and software with over 50% of faculties embracing the digital transformation.
The world of education was always limitless. However, the recognition and implementation of education technology at such a large scale have made the infinite number of learning resources accessible to every individual across the globe who has access to the internet.
Although we are all set to regain some semblance of normalcy with more schools, colleges, and other educational institutions that will reopen soon; the predominance of technology in education is here to stay.
What is Educational Technology and Why Should it Matter?
Educational Technology or EdTech refers to developing and incorporating tools including software and hardware that facilitate education, emphasizing engaging and personalized learning.
Essentially, the area promotes the use of applications, web portals, and other digital sources, fostering interactive online courses and other tech-infused tools in classrooms.
Though it may seem like a niche, EdTech is rather a far-flung dimension impacting individuals of varying backgrounds. It affects:
- Educational institutions: Schools and colleges need to embrace tech tools and ensure thorough incorporation of EdTech practices in the institutional processes. Moreover, educators will have to familiarise themselves with these procedures and formulate ways to incorporate them into their regimen.
- Designers: The need for advancement in the EdTech sector generates tremendous career opportunities for designers and technologists. These professionals must constantly embrace, innovate, and develop digital learning solutions to stay in line with the emerging trends and evolving technology.
- Occupation seekers: Not only educators and designers, but the education industry’s dynamics also create career avenues for entrepreneurs and other job seekers. From owning revolutionary education platforms to creating content and handling the backend technicalities, the opportunities are plenty.
- Every aspect of the future: Constant innovation in the EdTech industry empowers every individual to gain and receive education in a more streamlined manner. While it helps the educators organize lessons and enhance engagement, it equips learners with the resources needed to expand their scope of learning beyond the classroom.
Students are the future engineers, doctors, and eminent leaders, shaping the world with their knowledge and skills. Thus, EdTech indirectly impacts every aspect of the future.
8 EdTech Classroom Trends that are Poised to Rule the Roost in 2022
Gamification essentially involves the use of game design and elements in educational software for learners to absorb knowledge in a fun and engaging manner. It challenges the status-quo of the conventional classroom approach, exhibiting how learning can be interactive.
EdTech companies have leveraged the power of gaming to revolutionize the way students interact with learning material.
Students receive a reward in the form of points or stars every time they give the correct answer which boosts their enthusiasm to learn. Moreover, it makes learning easy as well as positively challenging.
Educators and institutions can use digital tools and online platforms created especially for this purpose. These apps and websites allow teachers to create personalized e-learning lessons in the form of fun computerized games and quizzes.
It nurtures an immersive learning experience where students can learn, enjoy, and collaborate.
The use of a gamified instructional design in the STEM course of Grand Valley University is the perfect example of how this trend can motivate students and positively influence class participation.
The case study of 501 students who took the gamified lessons at the university exhibited that students experienced intrinsic affinity towards STEM learning. The use of custom software instilled an environment of emotional engagement, humor, and learning.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in EdTech refers to the usage of smart machines to study learner-response patterns and provide a personalized learning solution to each individual. It is a state-of-the-art approach, immensely beneficial for both teachers and students.
Through AI, EdTech platforms can simplify learning for trainees and automate teaching for educators.
Teachers can leverage this technology to check and grade assignments, recognize error patterns, create the required courses, and track individual student performance as well as curate problem-specific solutions to ensure every student receives specialized attention.
Jill Watson from the Georgia Institute of Technology is an incredible example of how AI can help relieve educators of mundane tasks, allowing them to focus more on student progress. It is an AI-powered teaching assistant that provides specific answers to a student’s query related to a particular course.
Duolingo is another remarkable example of how an AI-based app can study a learner’s pattern and provide a well-tailored learning experience. It is a language learning platform that enables users to pick bite-sized training sessions according to their proficiency level.
The practice prevents experienced individuals from getting bored with basic information and rookies from getting overwhelmed with complex questions at the beginning. It lets every individual follow an upward learning tree while employing deep learning to understand the areas that require more practice.
3. AR and VR
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in EdTech are technologies that foster a completely immersive learning experience. They let students closely interact with the subject of study in a virtual space which helps them gain practical insights about the topic.
While VR constructs a reality of the concept, AR lets learners visualize it for deeper understanding. For instance, if students are to learn about the human digestive system, they can use AR and VR to explore it virtually, bridging the gap between theory and practice.
With its perfect blend of sounds, images, and animations it ensures a standout learning experience.
An example of such immersive learning is the Google Expeditions Project. The application uses AR and VR to let individuals explore 500+ places virtually, in a thrilling environment of panoramic scenes, notes, and questions– both for the teachers and the students.
Another excellent example of AR and VR in EdTech is the Skyview App, which transforms a phone camera into a telescope. It is a unique application, letting astronomy enthusiasts spot planets, constellations, stars, and galaxies at the tap of a button by just having the user point the camera towards the sky.
Lastly, the 1943 Berlin Blitz in 360 degrees is another remarkable combination of VR education and BBC.
It is a recording of the live night-time raid over the Nazis by Wynford Vaughan-Thomas, a BBC war correspondent who boarded the Lancaster Bomber. The recording provides an intense experience to the viewer, with live visuals and voice recording.
The incorporation of AR and VR in EdTech thus has been a revolutionary phenomenon!
4. MOOCs and Online Courses
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) refers to a unique e-learning paradigm, wherein a free online course is delivered to a limitless audience. It can be in the form of recorded video lessons, digital readings, and assessments.
Similarly, various free and paid online courses let individuals learn about diverse topics, expanding their knowledge beyond the curriculum.
What makes MOOCs and online courses stand out is that they provide students enough time to learn at their pace and comfort. Additionally, learners can also check their progress through online assessments and enjoy a personalized learning environment.
Such e-learning models also benefit educators as they can encourage students to take up online courses related to the lessons learned in class. This practice helps in widening a learner’s scope of understanding the concept as they gain deeper insights into the topic.
Coursera and Udemy are among the largest platforms providing MOOCs to students across the globe. They offer free and paid courses, certifications, and degrees, training learners to convert their interests into career opportunities.
Young professionals and students can take up niche-specific courses and learn at their own speed without any peer pressure or competition.
5. Actualizing the Potential of Big Data & Analytics to Improve Education
Students and educators leave a wide range of data on user behavior patterns and engagement levels that intuitions can leverage to save costs and devise strategies.
Big Data tools can help convert the swarm of information at hand into easy-to-read files and dashboards. Schools and colleges can quickly analyze the ongoing situation, check automated reports, and use these insights to create a cost-effective enrolment structure.
Additionally, the concerned authorities can also examine student learning patterns to decide which individual requires more attention or financial support in the form of sponsorships. It also serves to foster alumni engagement in favor of the institution’s reputation.
The pandemic led to the education sector embracing mobile learning at a widespread scale. That, along with open educational resources and the relatively new concept of the metaverse, can together harness the power of Big Data, actualizing its applications in the EdTech sector.
6. Growth of Mobile Learning in Higher Ed
While mobile learning has become more of a necessity than a choice, it is slowly becoming a habit for good. Individuals taking courses from a mobile device can complete it about 43% faster than those taking it from desktops.
The approach fosters greater productivity by leveraging efficient models like microlearning that provides concise training sessions of 2-5 minutes only.
Institutions will require more mobile-friendly learning management systems to implement adaptive learning strategies. These include applications that offer multilingual features, engaging user experience, and are also device-agnostic.
7. Metaverse in Education
Metaverse has had a revolutionary impact amidst the pandemic, allowing students to interact and collaborate in a live space. It allowed institutions to create a virtual environment where learners can hang out, discuss, and attend classes as if they were doing it in person. Its 3D avatars looked as natural as an individual, converting the learning experience into that of a near-reality one.
The blend of metaverse and EdTech has given rise to Eduverse. It is a hybrid world where knowledge is gained through real-time experiences implanting in them the kind of learning that is sure to last for an eternity.
For example, students can travel back in time and feel the essence of Greek mythology with their VR headsets on. Their avatar can look for precious items around the archaelogial structures or peel through the soil with a shovel to discover exciting relics.
8. Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resource (OER) is any material available online for the public to use and learn from without any cost. These may be learning or teaching materials that are either published by a governmental institution or by individual parties under an open license.
Irrespective of its publication source, what matters is OERs present accessible and cost-effective education to every institute and individual.
UNESCO has a special OER program in place for knowledge seekers around the world to access quality information. The organization firmly believes that such universal knowledge sharing encourages social, cultural, and economic development.
EdTech trends are bound to evolve and enhance with time due to analytics and technological innovations. It is safe to say that technology will take over the entire education sector soon, even in offline classroom settings.
Revolutionary technologies and concepts like MOOCs, OERs, and mobile learning ensure flexibility in learning, letting students learn and grow uniquely. Additionally, immersive learning techniques like AR, VR, and gamification have completely restructured the educational field for good.
These trends make learning more fascinating, intuitive, and collaborative, allowing the students to explore their interests. Moreover, such engaging settings motivate students, encouraging them to learn practically and implement new concepts.
Round-the-lock learning through the latest EdTech developments facilitates the personal growth of students and learning professionals, preparing them to excel in their professional roles.
To meet these demands of the changing times, classroom tech trends in today’s digital world are many with each being better and more immersive than the other.
So, which tech trend are you excited to incorporate in your institute in 2022?