The education industry has witnessed some dramatic changes of late. From the dynamism of the learning model to the changing attitude of students towards digitization, the eminence of the latest technology tools and gadgets inside the classroom – the educational environment has modified immensely. Technology has touched every nook and corner of our life and existence, and the learning methodologies have embraced the shift with open arms.
As the newest technology in the classroom grabs more eyeballs of educators as well as parents, there has been a monumental shift in the way of learning.
Let’s look at these top 10 technology trends that are reshaping the education industry in 2021.
1. AR and VR technology in classroom for immersive learning
Education today seeks to involve people and processes that encourage engaging experiences through immersive learning – something that would make it the hardest for the students to forget the knowledge derived from these sessions while imparting total clarity about the subject in question. AR and VR-induced smart devices are meant to drive meaningful experiences for students around the subjects like history, geography, travel, arts, and even the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) programs.
Google Expeditions is one of the products that are striving to make classroom AR a practical idea through some simple phone apps. With 900 varied expeditions, Expeditions is the kind of experience that aims to allow students to have glimpses about how technology is redesigning the future and how learning can get excitable with the right kind of technology at hand. VR apps like Unimersive can visually transport students to any corner of the planet while CoSpaces enable students to share their virtual creations with others. The coming years can anticipate witnessing a lot of AR/VR study apps that will be widely used among students all over the globe.
2. Personalized learning- the way ahead for technology in education
The best gift that technology has given to education is the scope of personalized learning. Today, education institutes allow students to pursue any learning option that best suits their individual requirements or limitations. For instance, dyslexic students have a different way of learning and a tech called Dragon Speech recognition allows them to attempt their exam papers by voice, not limiting them by the inability of speech or writing. Similarly, adoptions like blended learning and adaptive learning will leverage technology to enable a more individual approach to teach a set of students who need more attention and special treatment.
Personalized learning techniques use advanced technologies to let certain students set their own pace and method of learning, understanding and absorbing knowledge, and collect information that best fits their mental and cognitive abilities. Another path-breaking example can be Osmosis, an adaptive academic tool made by doctors to assist medical students with a revolutionized way of study that uses evidence-based learning concepts like flashcards, videos, questions, images, gamification, collaborative learning, and adaptive spaced repetition.
3. Gamification for interactive learning
Educational institutes are well aware of the impact video games have on students’ lives and minds and hence modern classrooms have taken the help of technology to mingle learning with playing. Together they can create an immersive experience for students to learn the toughest of exercises and instructions. The adoption of this new classroom technology has made it easy, interactive, excitable, and fun for students to indulge in difficult subjects and calculations, which in turn made it simple for them to absorb the overall concepts and ideas. In fact, the implementation of gamification in education is a tempting addition that is welcomed by almost every discipline.
These virtual games imbibed in teaching methods encourage students to find creative solutions to their problems and apply their imaginations and uniqueness to identify roadblocks, resolve challenges, and use intellectual perspectives to make critical decisions. Gamified way of imparting education includes immediate results and feedback that essentially motivate students to engage in these games and hone their problem-solving skills and other mental capabilities.
4. Artificial Intelligence in education
AI as technology can have meaningful influences on educational institutes as AI chatbots make several tasks easier and automated for teachers and staff, which allows them to focus on more critical responsibilities. For instance, chatbots can be used to provide answers to generic questions about college timings, holidays, homework, bill payments, college regulations and rules, paperwork requirements, and other queries that will allow human resources to answer other important queries. In some cases, chatbots and AI are involved to assist in more advanced applications like learning and assessments – one such example is named Cognii, a Virtual Learning Assistant with great potential for personal tutoring.
Chatbots with Natural Language Processing come with the ability to answer open-response queries and providing an immediate response, feedback, and scores. Another example of AI in education is the application of IBM Watson by Australia’s Deaken University that created a virtual student advisory service with 24/7 assistance and answered more than 30,000 questions in the first trimester, which gave the opportunity to the actual advisors to tackle more complex issues.
5. New learning spaces paving way for remote learning
Technology in education brings in new perspectives to redefine the perception of conventional learning methods and infrastructure. Education is an industry dealing with Generation Z that has no alternative to embracing innovative learning environments and advanced methodologies. The new learning spaces or classrooms have largely evolved from being closed rooms with rows of desks and chairs facing the teacher’s desk and blackboard. Modern educators enabled with relevant technologies are inspired by the emergence of collaborative spaces wherein chalkboards are replaced with high-tech smart-boards and usual desks are replaced with smart pods for students.
With the usage of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and AR/VR gadgets, the entire ambiance of a classroom has changed over time and together they facilitate an advanced form of student learning that is not bounded by any perimeters, pens, and papers. Today’s modern learning spaces are redesigned with the influences of integrated technologies, modern apps, and gadgets that don’t only help students minimize the learning curve but also widen their mental horizon and assist them in honing their special abilities and skill set.
In fact, today’s learning spaces are not limited to schools-only and remote learning seems like a very popular future of education.
6. Secure and safe access to technology in the classroom
With the incursion of multiple smart devices, unlimited access to the internet, and technological developments, comes along the most critical threat of cyber-attacks. As students are open to exploring all sorts of connected devices, it is most imperative to teach them the importance of endpoint security and the dangers of compromised data.
AI is already being used to mitigate some of these critical cyber threats but schools and colleges that provide students with mobile devices for educational purposes too should take security measures like role-based access and implementation of a school MDM solution to ensure secure usage of data and devices. It is important to understand the role of the IT admin is vital in managing, securing, and monitoring the school-provided devices, network, and student information stored in these devices to ensure that sensitive data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
7. Internet of Things for smart classrooms
IoT is definitely one of the technology transformers that are impacting the educational environment and a key driver of technology in education. The most ideal benefit of IoT is to make the campuses energy efficient. IoT can also be used to unite an institution’s devices into a single network that will reduce unnecessary interactions and human activity and can automate certain tasks like change in lighting, display courses on LMS and device settings when a teacher enters a class to teach a specific subject. Moreover, IoT can be used for some better advantages – like allowing teachers to share feedback, results and observations about the students with other teachers and the parents in real-time.
This new technology in the classroom can be used by teachers to keep track of students’ performance, homework load, and completion time by collecting real-time data, which will help them understand the effectiveness of the teaching and learning methods and any undue tensions of students due to assignment pressure. These details and information will be a win-win for both students, teachers, and guardians, making education an experience to cherish in the future.
8. Rise in technological upskilling
Earlier, technology and education never really came together for the larger good. Most parents and educational institutes feared that technology can only deviate students from their focus on learning. But in recent times with remote learning being the mandate and trend, it somehow became easier to believe that technology can support students in their learning processes. Therefore in the year 2021, the focus has been shifted to adapting technological developments for ease of education.
Technological upskilling has become a dominant education trend this year in industries looking to automate workflows, but that cannot happen without humans. Since all the more businesses are adopting cloud convergence, candidates who know how to work around the latest cloud technology are comparatively more employable. This is why many professional courses are largely focusing on teaching cloud-based technological skills. Training in cloud technology is increasingly becoming popular to match up employers’ expectations, and the shift is visible on both campus well as online educational endeavors.
9. Soft skills training
Some of the most important workplace skills include people management, problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity. Employers are looking to employ professionals who know how to showcase their leadership abilities and make hard decisions and.
To prepare students for their future careers, schools nurture and train students so that they grow in these skill areas.
However, the simultaneous trend of online learning does not smoothly promote soft skill training among students and teachers. Therefore, educators will have to balance the screen time during online classes as well as encourage students to work face-to-face in order to nurture soft skill development.
10. Life-long learning trend
With every industrial revolution, the nature of work and jobs has changed in astounding ways. The 4th Industrial Revolution has impacted around half of the job profiles globally and has lead to tremendous technological progress. For professionals to sustain themselves in this competitive environment, it is important to constantly re-skill themselves. Assuming that an education degree or certificate earned in the first half of a professional career will be enough is not going to help employees stay competitive in the market. Learning is an ongoing process and cannot stop after professionals take a course or earn a higher degree. Therefore, it is important for institutions to create a self-development mindset in their students. Classrooms should open their doors toward self-learning skills as well so that students continue learning and engaging in their field of interest.
One way to begin doing this for the institutes to try out new technology in education every once in a while.
Till long, the education industry had held to the antiquated ways of teaching and student-teacher interactions, but with time and changes in perception, technology made strong inroads in the education industry. Technology in education is transforming the ways of learning, instructions, engagement, assessments, and even the look and feel of the classrooms. In fact, the whole logic of learning is changing! Classrooms are not bound by parameters and teachers are not the only source of information.
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Sonali has an extensive experience in content writing, marketing, and strategy and she has worked with companies where she was involved in the 360-degree content production and editing. An avid reader and animal lover, she loves to cook, take care of her plants and travel.