New Trends in Educational Technology
Education institutions share a common mission — to provide their students with the knowledge and skills that form the foundations of a successful future. Education technology (ed-tech) is an important driver in reaching this goal, and its advancement is opening the doors to exciting new ways to use it in today’s classrooms. Explore what ed-tech is, how it creates value, its current trends and how to keep pace in an increasingly connected world.
What Is Education Technology?
Ed-tech is the collective media and tools that help facilitate knowledge communication, delivery and exchange. This broad definition can refer to solutions like software, smart devices and electronics. These empower school faculty to teach more effectively and remotely, promote better knowledge retention, create engaging student experiences and run more efficiently.
6 Ways Modern Technology Enhances Education
Learners today expect an interactive experience beyond passive learning through sitting in a live classroom and listening to a lecture. Ed-tech enables faculty to prepare students for future workplaces by providing exciting new ways of interactive learning and engagement.
Among the many benefits of tech in the classroom are:
1. It Supports Diverse Learning Styles
Every student’s needs are unique, and each learns differently. These realities can make it challenging for your workforce to meet diverse demands.
Modern technology can support learning styles and needs in several ways, including online platforms, interactive learning tools and collaborative experimentation. These solutions empower your teaching staff to deliver materials through different mediums. They also allow students to engage in ways that work for them. For example, an educator can leverage technology to permit students to demonstrate their knowledge through different options. This approach creates more customized experiences while still providing an education of meaningful benefit.
2. It Fosters Better Communication and Collaboration
Modern technology makes communication easier for your workforce, students and parents. Pupils can readily make suggestions or ask questions that they may be too shy to pose in class by using electronic tools. Teachers and parents can use email for routine communication and video tools for more convenient parent-teacher conferences.
Technology solutions are also ideal for nurturing collaboration between students. Pupils can work together on projects through platforms like text messaging, videoconferencing and online discussion forums. Existing and upcoming programs can even help your teachers track individual contributions and group effort.
3. It Prepares Pupils for Their Futures
Today’s businesses increasingly rely on technology to power and improve their operations. Whether your future graduates will operate costly equipment or design the next space shuttle, savvy tech skills are essential for their success. Your campus’s classrooms are the ideal places for students to get the introductory skills they need to be confident technology users in the workforce.
4. It Creates an Engaging Experience
Technology and education combine to create more interactive learning experiences. In turn, users have more involvement with the tools they’re using. This association can lead to better knowledge retention, increased subject interest and higher lesson engagement.
5. It Offers Enhanced Learning
Technology can make learning more engaging and interactive, improving students’ understanding and retention of the information. Students can also access a vast amount of information and resources online, expanding their knowledge beyond traditional textbooks and learning deeper research skills for finding authoritative, credible sources.
6. It Accommodates Inclusivity
Technology can assist students with disabilities and special educational needs, making education more accessible to a wider range of learners. Distance learning curricula and assistive technology such as speech-to-text, subtitles and captions, and keyboard and mouse adjustments can benefit learners with and without disabilities for more advantageous classroom experiences.
Top 10 Trends for the Use of Technology in Education
The tech environment is dynamic, with innovative new solutions coming to the market daily. Harnessing all the benefits these tools offer means staying on top of trending uses for them. Below are the top 10 ed-tech trends to know to make the most informed buying decisions for your campus.
1. Cloud Computing
Many of today’s education technology trends begin with cloud computing. Transitioning assets to the cloud enables access to school resources from anywhere with any connected device. It’s ideal for:
- Students: Pupils can efficiently complete lessons, collaborate on projects, communicate with their teachers and access digital textbooks from anywhere, 24/7.
- Faculty: Educators can quickly post and grade assignments, email or conference with parents, and track student attendance and progress.
- Parents: Parents can conveniently monitor grades, communicate with school staff and digitally sign and submit required forms.
- Administrators: Senior-level staff can review curricula, create and approve budgets and expenditures, and easily manage faculty.
- Employees: The operational workforce can quickly request tools and equipment, manage their benefits or complete required computer-based training.
2. Online Learning
Online learning — also called e-learning — first debuted in the 1960s through the University of Illinois when it offered on-premise students instruction through linked computer terminals. By 1984, the University of Toronto began offering foundational courses, and the University of Phoenix became the first fully distance-learning college a few years later.
As internet connectivity and home-based devices became more popular during the 1990s, more e-learning opportunities began to appear. These programs supported asynchronous learning, where students complete work around their schedules rather than during a defined classroom time. This approach gives pupils more control over their assignment timing and allows them to develop time management skills. The onset of the pandemic only reinforced the demand for instruction options capable of keeping pace with the many shifting needs.
Today’s technology allows educators to meet students’ learning objectives through smartphones, computers and tablets. Modern solutions let educators use podcasts, videos, simulations and more to deliver captivating and engaging lessons. High configurability and affordability of these formats help ensure this trend’s continued popularity.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications continue to grow. Experts anticipate the market to reach $1,345 billion by 2030, with education playing a key role as industry demand increases.
Your teachers will save time using sophisticated tools to automate tasks and enhance the delivery of course material. AI can help them grade objective exams or generate a lesson plan outline in moments. They can then focus on other tasks like completing continuing education requirements instead.
AI is equally beneficial to your entire student body. The technology can help improve their writing and simplify complex topics into easier-to-understand material. AI tools are also ideal for detecting learning gaps and creating personalized, correctly paced learning plans to fill them. This approach allows pupils to receive the precise help they need to succeed, fostering their motivation and boosting their academic performance.
4. On-Demand Video Learning
Humans love videos, a fact continuously proven by social media platforms and television programs that showcase them. Leveraging this medium as a learning tool is a natural progression, and its use skyrocketed during the pandemic when in-person classes weren’t an option.
Video learning offers the flexibility of on-demand access and supports peer collaboration. It’s also compatible with microlearning, which focuses on bite-sized, interactive lessons. That adaptability makes it ideal for team assignments and self-paced learning.
Recent studies have also shown that video is effective at skill-building and enhancing other lesson materials. Many anticipate video-assisted learning to continue rising in popularity as more empirical research proves its value.
5. Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented and virtual reality are two technology trends in education gaining traction. These solutions transform learning into an immersive experience that engages multiple senses. In augmented reality, pupils better view a topic incorporated into their real-world setting. Virtual reality creates an entirely new environment for the student to explore. Both engage learners in a whole new way.
Your institution can equip your teachers with these tools to:
- Conduct virtual field trips
- Enhance language learning through immersive role-play
- Travel through outer space, the ocean depths or the inner human body
6. Data and Analytics
Big data and analytics offer meaningful insights to school districts and educational facilities. This technology helps capture information on student engagement, progress and behavior. With the increased visibility, it’s easier for your staff to see what’s working and what’s not. Educators can quickly adjust lesson plans or delivery mediums and pinpoint gaps or students needing extra help.
Pairing data with learning analytics provides even more value. AI can quickly discover patterns useful in planning, interacting and identifying skill gaps. Predictive analytics deliver insights on who may fail or drop out so you can respond proactively instead of reactively.
Gamification is the process of applying interactive game-like elements to teaching, a typically nongamified setting. Doing so delivers many benefits for your student body, including:
- Boosting motivation: Presenting pupils with a challenge can spur them to want to learn. For example, they may be excited to complete lessons to earn rewards for their avatar.
- Making learning more fun and engaging: Adding more ways for students to interact with their learning materials raises their enjoyment and participation.
- Increasing knowledge retention: Gamifying curricula powers active learning processes and improves information retention.
- Honing real-world skills: Transforming traditional lessons into game-like ones helps students develop and apply problem-solving, teamwork, self-confidence and fine motor skills.
- Transferring knowledge: Gamifying education allows pupils to test their new skills. For example, they can play detectives and hunt down clues from relevant sources to document the research skills your workforce teaches.
New gamification tools are entering the market daily, displaying no expected slowdown for this trend.
Blockchain is a technology that creates an immutable data record. It records information in small units called blocks, which connect to previous blocks to form the chain. It’s a valuable solution in business and education for data accuracy, integrity and storage.
This tool provides value to facilities like yours for tracking student grades, achievements and credentials. Because the information is immutable and secure, blockchain reduces the risk of fraudulent transcripts or certifications and helps protect sensitive data. The technology can also help support your academic honesty policies by lessening the potential for plagiarism. Since it creates transparency, security and permanence, experts anticipate its adoption will rise.
9. Social Media
While it may seem counterintuitive, social media is proving its value as a helpful educational tool. Institutions worldwide have begun to leverage it for enhanced communication. Campus-specific platforms allow students and faculty to interact quickly and easily. Pupils can share notes, videos and study materials or pose questions to their teachers. Educators can post discussion topics and assign students to respond to them and comment on others’ thoughts. With so many people using social media apps daily, it’s a familiar format that’s here to stay.
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) have historically been a core skill set curricula that are vital for students to gain. These skills are in high demand and can help graduates secure high-paying and rewarding positions.
Recently, STEM took on a new component — art — transforming the acronym to STEAM. Educators realized the importance of balanced instruction and creative expression, which led to the change. With STEAM, students now receive exposure to a wider range of subjects to help them determine their career interests. This multidisciplinary approach will continue to produce a more well-rounded education.
Common Types of Device Technology Used in Education Today
Modern digital learning tools span a range of solutions to help your campus balance student educational needs with budget-conscious technology spending. Today’s classrooms contain advanced equipment to revolutionize learning, including:
- Portable electronic devices: Many institutions issue individual student laptops, tablets or notebook computers for take-home or in-class use.
- Smartboards: These replace traditional chalkboards and offer recording capability for future reference.
- Projectors: This equipment easily integrates with computers to project content onto classroom screens or walls for viewing.
- Ultra-high-definition televisions: Wide-screen TV displays allow your faculty to play educational videos, movies and microlessons or mirror their portable device screens.
- Charging towers: A centralized device-charging station makes staying organized and fully powered faster and simpler.
- Digital microscopes and cameras: These devices enable close examination and documentation of scientific specimens.
- Virtual reality and augmented reality headsets: These devices create immersive learning experiences for subjects like science, history and art.
Keep Your Technology Running With PowerGistics
Maximizing your institution’s significant investment in ed tech means safeguarding your devices and keeping them ready for use. Traditionally, doing so has meant bulky computer charging carts, costly power bricks, unfriendly configurations that lead to device damage and spaghetti wires.
PowerGistics changes that for those educating the next generation. A robust and user-friendly storage and charging tower like the TableTower8 USB Locking unit is a practical and cost-effective solution to keep classroom devices organized and powered. Our equipment provides advantages like:
Our design encourages 100% student management with horizontal shelves that promote two-handed handling to help reduce drops. Each shelf includes a universally compatible USB-A to USB-C connection that eliminates figuring out which cord goes where and which way to connect it to the port. Our exceptional cable organization also ends frayed and broken connectors from cord tugging.
The TableTower8 USB Locking boasts sturdy construction that’s 100% made in the USA. Interior shelves feature aluminum, which is a natural heat sink. This material draws heat away from the unit to help preserve and extend battery life. This model also has a lockable door for confident and secure device storage.
PowerGistics applies a durable antimicrobial powder coating for additional safety. The surface helps prevent germ transfer and disease spread for increased classroom hygiene.
Our design offers maximum installation flexibility. You can set up the 16-shelf Core16 USB as a mobile unit, allow it to stand freely on a Stand or mount it on the wall. Interior shelves feature our exclusive removable TechStops, enabling you to accommodate larger laptops or smaller devices with a simple adjustment.
We can also tailor the Tower’s aesthetics to your setting. Custom colors make creating visual appeal or showing your school spirit easy. Colored shelves also help students quickly identify the right device storage spot.
The TableTower8 USB comes standard with USB-A to USB-C charging cables. These charge devices in 5-7 hours or overnight to help your faculty keep lessons on schedule. Easy device retrieval and return speed up technology management for higher classroom productivity. Your educators can spend more time focusing on teaching and students more on learning.
Our revolutionary design also helps schools save money versus conventional approaches. The USB-C cables eliminate the need for extra power bricks, saving you up to $33 per shelf. Use the USB-C cables on the Tower and send power bricks home with students. Once wired, our solution requires no maintenance and has no refresh cycle. Extended battery performance and damage protection contribute to additional savings.
Trust PowerGistics for Device Charging Solutions
PowerGistics is an experienced manufacturer of premium-quality charging solutions for classroom electronics that outperform traditional carts. Our innovative designs help you maximize your IT budget while providing your student body and faculty with easy-to-use, durable equipment. All our products come from our Wisconsin facility and feature a lifetime warranty for your peace of mind.