Education industry has been witnessing some dramatic changes lately! From the dynamism of the learning model, changing attitude of students towards digitalization, to the pre-eminence of latest technology tools and gadgets inside the classroom – the educational environment has been immensely modified. Technology has touched every nook and corner of our life and existence, and the learning methodologies too have embraced the shift with open arms.
Let’s look at these top 7 technology trends that are reshaping education industry in 2019.
1.Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality
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 amongst students all over the globe.
2. Internet of Things
IoT is definitely one of the technology transformers that are impacting the educational environment. 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. The technology 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.
3. Personalized Learning
The best gift that technology has given to education is the scope of personalized learning. Today, education institutes have the responsibility to allow students to pursue the learning option that 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 of teaching 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 in a way 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.
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 create quite an immersive experience for the students to learn even the toughest of exercises and instructions. The adoption of gaming 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.
5. Artificial Intelligence
AI as a technology can have meaningful influences on educational institutes as the AI chatbots can make a lot of tasks easier and automated for teachers and staff, which in fact will allow them to focus on more critical responsibilities. For instance, chatbots can be used to provide answers around 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 as Cognii, a Virtual Learning Assistant with great potential for personal tutoring. Chatbots with Natural Language Processing comes 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.
6. New Learning Spaces
New technologies bring in new perspectives to look at things. Education being an industry dealing with the Generation Z 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.
Last but the most vital part – 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 an 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.
Till long, 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 education industry and 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.