Education Technology Trends in 2021
The education sector has been long overdue to adopt technology trends. The latest educational technology (ed tech) trends are a refreshing change. Since the pandemic transitioned school from the classroom to homes, we have witnessed new ways of learning and educating.
Innovative trends in educational technology provide opportunities to fulfill growing education needs. Solutions like online classes provide a way to keep classes going, and trends like augmented reality (AR) and immersive learning are fundamental to leverage growth and elevate the learning experience.
Since the pandemic has made distance learning necessary, it has presented a unique opportunity to adopt digital trends that can be retained in the classroom once the situation returns to normal. The emerging trends in educational technology focus on connectivity, versatility and student-centered learning.
What Is Educational Technology?
Educational technology refers to the introduction of information technology (IT) tools in the classroom to create a better learning experience.
Ed tech lets educators deliver information effectively and in a way best suited to learning retention. It has transformed the traditional methods of teaching into a more immersive experience.
We have seen several emerging trends in educational technology, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices and artificial intelligence (AI). This technology has helped students learn in a fun and interactive manner, and it has even played a role in assisting teachers with tasks like grading.
Why Does Educational Technology Matter?
Use of the internet and computers in today’s schools is as common as using textbooks to study. These devices paired with ed tech can enhance students’ performance. Technology can assist educators in determining the needs and requirements of every student and creating personalized solutions to enhance their performance. Technology like auto-grading can lessen the burden of educators and allow them to enhance the learning experience for students.
Technology is already part of many student’s daily lives, so there is an opportunity to use that technology to further their education. The modern learner doesn’t want to be told, they want to experience. Ed tech allows educators to connect with young minds and interactively educate them. Altogether, the current trends in educational technology help teachers keep up with the needs of modern students.
Ed tech can offer the following advantages in the classroom:
- Incorporation of different learning styles: Student needs are diverse, and adjusting the learning plan to fit every student’s needs can be challenging. Technology can help educators modify their lessons. The incorporation of technology can allow students to learn with a medium that interests them. For example, kids who like to draw can create infographics and demonstrate their understanding of the content. This can help teachers determine and assess the capabilities of all students with a tailored experience.
- Improved collaboration: Several studies have shown that technology increases collaboration among students. With technology, students can work with each other even outside the school. When teachers assign a project, students are more likely to collaborate with each other to complete it when they have access to tech. Small activities become much more engaging when students work together. Technology also helps teachers track who is contributing what and analyze the collective effort of the group.
- Improved student-teacher connection: Around 57% of teachers say the internet has a major impact on the students’ ability to share ideas with their teachers. Technology allows the students to collaborate outside the walls of the classroom. Whether it is assignments or online discussions, technology has made student-teacher connections more efficient.
- Preparation for the future: Many industries incorporate the latest technologies in their workflow, and being comfortable with technology can make it easy for students to settle in. If students are used to working with technology in school, they can apply that familiarity to common programs like PowerPoint and other technology in the workplace. In this way, incorporating technology in the classroom can prepare students for the future job success.
- An engaging environment: Technology can increase student participation in the classroom. The use of computers, tablets and other types of technology can make lessons more interactive. Students can experience the lectures with technology, and it can help them retain the information better. For example, interactive videos can enhance students’ interest and increase their engagement in the classroom.
Top 9 Current Educational Technology Trends in 2021
Keeping up with innovative trends in educational technology has become essential for modern educators. The new technology empowers educators to elevate the experience for students, and also takes the burden of repetitive tasks off their shoulders. So, what are the new trends in educational technology we can expect in 2021?
When schools around the world were shut down due to the spread of COVID-19, distance learning was the only available mode of learning. That resulted in a rising demand for e-learning platforms, and overnight this tech became one of the biggest educational trends. E-learning platforms let you deliver educational content through phones, laptops and computers.
E-learning has opened a door of opportunity for educators to teach students without the boundaries of a classroom. Many educators also use animations, podcasts and videos to make the e-learning experience more fun and interactive for the learners. From customized learning environments to being cost-effective, e-learning has many advantages, and this is why we will see this trend grow in the future.
2. Video-Assisted Learning
Another trend that has been beneficial amid the pandemic is video-assisted learning. This is somewhat similar to e-learning, where videos and other visual modes are used. However, instead of a real-time class, these are lecture videos that can be watched at any time.
Although this medium was used before mass e-learning was needed, it was updated to suit modern needs because of the pandemic. It is not the same as “movie day,” where teachers play movies for students about the topic they’re learning. It is a much more subtle medium that has been instrumental in distance learning.
According to a paper published in Scientific & Academic Publishing, video presentations are highly effective for students’ learning. Video-assisted learning enriches the lessons and directly influences the performance of students.
3. Blockchain Technology
Blockchain is a way to structure data. A blockchain collects information in small blocks, and when these blocks are filled, they are chained to previously filled blocks of data, forming a chain of data known as the blockchain. Blockchain technology has a big role to play in the education sector, especially in data storage.
This trend has transformed record-keeping for student credentials and certificates, and it eliminates the need to verify degrees and other academic papers. Blockchain ensures transparent ledgers for academic qualifications, reducing the cases of fraud at workplaces.
Blockchain ensures honesty and transparency in academic qualifications. Once information is recorded in a school’s online ledgers, it is not easy to change — you will be required to get permission from network users to modify the information. This can tackle issues like fraud and keep the data secure. Blockchain technology can also address issues like plagiarism by storing all data on a blockchain platform, which makes it almost impossible to modify any data without permission. In this way, blockchain is laying the foundation for a transparent and better future.
4. Growing Big Data
After the trend of distance learning is adopted by various educational institutions after the pandemic, we will see bigger sets of data than ever. Since many schools are operating remotely or have the capacity to do so, educational institutions have a unique opportunity to collect student data, like how they respond and their engagement levels. This data can be used to improve the student learning experience. Losing important information in the flood of this data is understandable. This is where big data comes in.
Special techniques need to be applied to identify beneficial knowledge hidden within the collected data. This data can demonstrate the results of adopted techniques and allow educators to alter their curriculum and measure students’ performance. Educational techniques and methods can be measured against students’ performance, empowering teachers to see which methods are most effective.
5. Artificial Intelligence
According to a market report, the global AI in the education market is projected to reach $3.68 billion by 2023. One of the main applications of using AI in education technology is the automation of activities like grading. AI can grade multiple choice questions and fill in the blanks without the assistance of an educator. It frees up time for teachers and enables them to focus on other more important tasks.
Another issue AI solves is the need for individualized attention in an overcrowded classroom. AI can fill this gap by providing personalized tutoring to the students in need. AI programs can also create individualized learning tracks for every student and allow them to learn at their pace. This way, children can explore their lessons at a comfortable speed and reduce the frustration that comes with traditional teaching methods.
6. Learning Analytics
Researching, tracking progress and analyzing data have all been used to improve the learning process. Learning analytics is built on those pillars, but it also offers new opportunities once the data is captured.
Learning analytics uses computational analysis techniques from data science and AI to improve the quality of learning and teaching. Learning analytics programs help educators measure students’ growth and make predictions of academic success. It also identifies the students who are at risk of falling or dropping out. Learning analytics programs evaluate the overall competency skills and offer insights to educators that allow them to focus on other areas apart from academics, like coordination, communication, critical thinking and more.
When educators receive this analysis, they get an idea of what students enjoy the most. It provides them an opportunity to increase engagement in the classroom and identify any blocks students might be experiencing. These analytics empower educators to develop a teaching pattern that benefits the students and helps them reach their full potential.
Educators are always looking for ways to provide knowledge through fun activities, and gamification can be the answer. Gamification is the process of taking something that is not a game and applying game-like mechanics to increase student engagement. This emerging trend is getting popular in primary education. Students can learn and practice important lessons under the pretense of gaming activities.
Gamification improves student engagement and allows them to learn without feeling bored. Gamification has several benefits, including aiding in the cognitive development of kids. Gamification can also create a positive environment in the classroom and help students collaborate.
8. Immersive Learning With VR and AR
Augmented reality and virtual reality (VR) can help the classroom become more interactive and immersive. Students today want to learn via experience, and immersive learning is the perfect solution. Immersive learning is a style that helps students learn by engaging their senses. Whereas VR provides a constructed reality, AR gives a better and enhanced view of the image.
Immersive learning allows students to view environments and provide a fun learning experience. Some concepts can be better explained through this technology, making it easier for students to grasp these concepts. Participating in experiments and experiencing real historical sites can make this information more memorable, and it can directly influence student performance in the class.
STEAM is an improvement on its predecessor, STEM. This new acronym stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. STEM has been around since the early 21st century, and it was a set of skills educators encouraged youth to develop. Art is the new element in this equation that promotes creativity.
Since STEM occupations grow at a fast rate, people working with STEM-related degrees had higher incomes. STEM workers played a critical role in the stabilization of the economy, but it’s no longer enough to provide a balanced education. The incorporation of arts and humanities programs teaches personal expression, empathy and provides purpose to students. The introduction of arts has increased creativity and encouraged students to try new things. Adding arts to STEM is a movement that may entice other students to consider a STEM job.
Trust PowerGistics for Ed Tech Solutions
Technology is becoming more prevalent in education, and the results have been very promising. Partnering with an organization that can assist you in adopting the latest technology can benefit your institution and students. We at PowerGistics provide simple and effective charging solutions that help educators keep laptops and devices organized and safe when stored.