The current state of education technology investment is booming, and there’s never been a more exciting time to be a part of the edtech space.
But what does all this exciting new investment in edtech mean for teachers? We took some time to sort through all of the action and show you the five biggest trends coming your way, so you can get in early and be ready for the edtech your students will be asking for.
Companies like Civitas Learning are working to increase one of our biggest problems in education: student engagement. They are doing that with adaptive learning software. Adaptive learning software can predict which students are most likely to fall off track, and it can also help reveal which students are ready to move on to higher level concepts.
From the data that is collected from students, it is possible to produce analytics that enable teachers to provide personalized, effective lesson planning that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
2. Alternative learning styles
With the world going digital, teachers are no longer limited to the textbook and chalkboard style of teaching we all grew up with. Today, there are new teaching tools launching every month that enable teachers to engage their students more effectively.
For example, the in-browser coding curriculum Code School has students watch a short video and then practice what they’ve just learned through a series of coding challenges. All of this is done in the browser, and there’s also a mobile version that allows the students to watch the teaching videos at home or on the go.
3. Classroom-flipping technology
The flipped classroom remains one of the biggest trends in edtech. A flipped classroom simply has students watching lectures or doing reading assignments at home and then doing homework or labs in class with their teacher. The long-time industry leader in this space, Khan Academy, continues to carry the torch.
4. Increasing global access to digital edtech resources
With hi-speed internet access spreading across the world as a result of initiative’s like Google’s Project Loon, digital education resources are following.
For example, in Cape Town, South Africa, an NGO called Breadline Africa has been able to convert old shipping containers into digital classrooms for community use. Each container has been fitted with 15 tablets that include the latest edtech software and digital textbooks.
Michael Goodman, Content Manager at Via Afrika, the education company that is spearheading the project recently told the BBC, “I visited one school last week in Limpopo, and to see now how the kids have responded so positively to working with brand new media has been remarkable. It’s going to be interesting for us to see what the impact will be in a small rural school.”
5. Virtual reality enters the classroom
Oculus was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion, legitimizing the company in the face of skepticism about what it could bring to the world with its innovative virtual reality technology.
Indeed, the founder of Oculus, Palmer Luckey, said in a White House Google Hangout about the possibilities of virtual reality in the classroom, “It’s going to be really important for [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] education. Because kids don’t learn best from reading a book or looking at a chalk board.”
We’ve been demoing our Gear VR labs too, which utilizes the latest virtual reality technology to create fully immersive lab experiences for students. With VR technology becoming more accessible, look for immersive VR learning solutions to become part of the classroom experience in 2016. If you’re interested in joining the collaboration, check out our virtual labs.and