Education is changing and technology is fast becoming a key tool for many educators.
This is an exciting time for EdTech, as the following six top predictions for the coming year demonstrate.
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are open courses for large numbers of users, and they have been previously been used predominantly in higher education. In the coming year, their use is predicted to grow.
Both traditional and ad-hoc courses are expected to become more widespread. Their focus is predicted to shift toward accrediting what students have learned online, moving the emphasis away from ‘seat time’ toward a more competency-based framework.
Gamification involves the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context, engaging the user’s imagination to solve problems. Tapping into the basic needs and desires of the student, it focuses on impulses linked to the ideas of status and achievement.
It has so far been largely used as a teaching technique in kindergarten, but could this year become a technique that is used more and more in adult education and online learning.
Wearable technology is one of the trends to watch in the coming year. The smart watch in particular holds enormous promise. Learn-on-your-watch programs have revealed some of the potential of the smartwatch for mobile learning. Similar to virtual coaching sessions, they will use the motion and pressure sensors in the phone for activity-based learning.
This has great potential for applications involving on-the-job learning, where it would be able to immediately tell workers that a task was performed incorrectly. With Adidas already applying this technology in its consumer virtual coaching product MiCoach SmartRun, expect many more applications of this smartwatch technology in the year to come.
Big Data refers to the vast amounts of data sets that are collected every day. This is nowhere better reflected than in online learning, where numbers have now become so large that it’s no longer possible to use traditional methods of processing. And yet using big data has enormous potential for online learning.
Specifically it offers institutions the predictive power to improve learning outcomes for individual students. By designing a curriculum that collects data at every step of the learning process, universities can address student needs with customized modules, assignments, and feedback and learning trees, helping to promote better and richer learning.
Blended and Flipped Learning: Technological Advancements
The year 2015 promises to be when blended and flipped learning go mainstream. Rocketship Education (a US charter school network) and Ark schools in the UK are looking to use more blended learning in their classrooms. With flipped learning, students learn content online by watching video lectures in their own time. Lesson time is then devoted to project work that applies and uses this content. This results in more personalized time with students where the teacher can focus on problems that the students find most difficult.
It also enables more differentiation, with teachers able to give different lessons to different groups of students in the same class. As flipped learning becomes widespread, expect more advances in the technology behind it, particularly distribution tools and video streaming which will be optimized for more interactivity.
Finally, expect even more M-learning apps this year as the success of mobile learning in 2014 is likely to repeat itself. M-learning still offers real benefits, offering easy access to learning content as well as more contextual learning thanks to the use of QR codes, GPS, and other technologies.
It also aids more effective learning as a result of the more digestible, bite-sized chunks of information displayed on the smaller smartphone screens. It is likely that as mobile uses increases, M-learning will soon become the dominant medium of learning material.
As these EdTech trends for the coming year show, the future promises to be an exciting one. At iSupport, we specialize in providing IT support solutions to schools and universities.
Contact us to find out how we can help you take advantage of the potential of EdTech. Call (888) 494-7638 or contact us online today.