Educational Technology Trends: Recent events testified and boosted unprecedented changes in the field of education around the world.
Technology, which was once used to bring education to remote areas, is now being used to offer a variety of educational models and sources and to facilitate rather than aid education itself.
Sure, with no teachers, there is no good education either, but with the changes that took place in the past decade, the role of the teacher has changed as well: from a central figure in the classroom, the teacher has emerged more as a coordinator or facilitator of the changes in question.
Will the Changes in Education Continue?
These changes are expected to continue, especially as more and more schools are interested in what technology can offer in the sense of streamlining their work and operations. Technology also enables saving money – both for the school (or college, or University) and for the students. Needless to say, technology can remake the field of education as we know it today.
Innovation in Education
With so many schools (and students) joining online classes, innovations are certain to happen. As technologies changed study programs and outlines in the past decade, they will continue doing so in the upcoming decades as well.
With companies competing to take their share of the market that is already valued at several billions of dollars and with growth projections reaching $46 billion by 2026 (that’s not far away), it is easy to see how this until-recently unknown field has grown to be what it is today. With no further ado, let’s consider some educational technology trends in 2022:
- Remote Learning,
- Immersive Learning,
- Tailored Content,
- Learning Through Games,
- Media-Assisted Learning,
- Cloud Learning Platforms, and
- Extended Reality and Virtual Reality Solutions.
E-Learning has its roots back in the days of yore. Pen-pals were groups of students all over the world who connected to each other over specialized platforms.
Each of these would then choose a pen pal of their own and would start writing to each other. The letters were of a physical kind, and they were sent through regular mail.
Over time, this practice, which has helped so many learn languages, has spread like wildfire once the email was invented. Getting emails instantly significantly reduces the wait times of up to several weeks waiting for the answer to your letter to come.
Virtual learning classrooms took over, and virtual worlds expanded on the email form of pan-pals.
Nowadays, entire platforms are there to help people learn whatever they may want to. Udemy, Coursera, and many other platforms contain educational content in pretty much any sphere. Combine this with YouTube and TED.com, and you’ve got yourself great chances for both learning and expanding on the existing knowledge.
More recent events saw the rise of remote learning. Remote learning is a special type of learning that happens when the teacher and the students are in separate locations and use an Internet-based technology (usually VoIP protocols) to communicate with each other.
The past decade has seen the rise of a multitude of language schools that offer this type of education.
DMM Eikaiwa, 51 Talk, and TutorABC are just some of the giants in this field. With tens of thousands of teachers working here, these schools trend and attract many more students. Although this type of education has its limits, it is a great way to expand on school teaching or provide education where geography may pose some limits.
Some remote learning solutions even mean taking a different approach to the learning curriculum. If you think that your students have too much to learn from, you can have a service write your essay on each individual topic. Then, the students can learn from these chunks of essays more easily than would otherwise be the case.
Immersive learning is the first kind of learning that ever took place. Perfect for passing on skills and learning a language, immersive learning has been used for decades to help students overcome obstacles in learning a language and to make them speak a foreign language faster.
Recent technological developments, however, saw an evolution of sorts in immersive learning as well. What used to be expensive trips to foreign countries or ordering magazines to provide students with inputs from the foreign language (and culture) have now turned into simple searches on Google.
The New York Times, for example, is read by both American and international audiences. The rise of social networks has further integrated exposure to foreign content and has enabled many to learn even while commuting.
Technology trends in education often offer unparalleled possibilities for matter customization and an individual approach to learning. With many online learning platforms, students can choose what type of content they want to use.
The platform then learns about a student’s preferences and delivers more content of the same kind – speeding up the pace of adopting new knowledge and increasing the retention rate.
However, one issue with such an approach has been pointed out numerous times. Namely, as students are exposed to one kind of content only, they are never given a chance to adopt other types of content as sources of information.
Over time, this can lead to students having difficulties learning and adopting knowledge that is multidisciplinary in nature.
For this reason, being modest with the level of personalization seems to give the best results. Under this premise, students are given content to repair or relearn on an individual basis. This is done so that students could easily revise curriculum points that they find difficult.
This way, the teacher uses the time more productively and ensures a diversified (online) classroom.
Learning Through Games
Learning through games is another emerging technological trend in education. With learning through games, students are given an opportunity to learn while fully immersed in a rewarding system. Every correct answer gives a certain number of points, and on some platforms, such as Kahoot, student groups or individual students can even compete against each other.
Besides Kahooot and similar platforms, many other games can be used to expand on the knowledge and types of skills that every student possesses. Sudoku, and various spelling games, for example, can significantly improve the speed at which students can deliver answers and retrieve information from their memory. On the other hand, as too much screen time is never a good thing, it is best to consider using games in class only sporadically.
Media-assisted learning is a special type of immersion learning. With media-assisted learning, students are given a chance to significantly improve their understanding of the topic and see different perspectives on the same subject. So, for example, a teacher may teach about the dangers of wildfires.
In the media-assisted classroom, that same teacher would then proceed to show maps of current world fires, show interviews with the fire brigade, and possibly even interviews with people who have lost their homes in wildfires.
By being given this much input, the students are expected to develop a critical approach to the matter and be able to understand multiple approaches to one and the same issue.
Cloud Learning Platforms
Cloud learning platforms and cloud learning solutions are all there to significantly reduce the costs a school would need to undertake in order to provide its students with state-of-the-art solutions for learning.
This way, the school can simply purchase a subscription to the service, much like in SaaS solutions, and save tens of thousands on expensive equipment. The best example is the Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary.
Extended Reality and Virtual Reality Solutions
Extended reality and virtual reality solutions can for now be used only experimentally. As there are no wider educational platforms that help students learn, it is necessary to understand that this type of technology can go two ways. However, we will consider only the beneficial aspects of adopting this kind of technology in a classroom.
First of all, extended reality relies on reality that is already here. Through their phone, the students can observe the extended world – by simply turning on their cameras, students may be able to pinpoint names of different monuments, plants, and animals. Geography students may also point the phone to the sky to see the names of individual stars and constellations.
Virtual reality, on the other hand, completely replaces the reality that we are immersed in as it is. Virtual reality can be better understood by looking at the SIMS game – the characters interact in a virtual world that is completely controlled by humans at one hand.
With incredible opportunities for learning, virtual reality may even be used with simple 360 photos – offering students a chance to visit famous monuments without leaving their classroom.
Technology is here to stay, that is for sure. However, in the race to offer the best possible education, it is necessary to understand that a balance between using technology and using it for learning purposes must be achieved. Without it, not much could be done and not much would be learned, especially as technology can very quickly turn into a source of fun.