While the change in the education system was around the corner for several decades, the COVID-19 pandemic gave it huge momentum.
Of course, students have used technology before – to type a document, to find an online paper writers for their essays, or to watch a documentary on YouTube. But now, a whole new challenging world of technology is ready to serve academia.
Thus, everyone – students, parents, educators, and employers, – should know of the most promising EdTech innovations to be ready to handle the change. This article will cover the most interesting EdTech developments shaping the education system right now.
Extended reality is among the most exciting technologies used in education at the moment. The concept encompasses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality technologies. It offers learning experiences unmatched by anything ever before.
There are multiple ways how extended reality can be utilized in both STEM and humanities classes. The aim is to create more engaging, immersive learning for all. With the help of virtual reality technologies, students can “walk” the streets of the Roman Empire or “float” in outer space. They can “visit” the most remote places on planet Earth and see how people lived in the prehistoric period.
For STEM classes, augmented reality can offer much more than traditional physical models that previous generations used to see in class. It’s now possible to visualize chemical reactions, physical processes, math equations, and much more.
However, exciting as it is, this EdTech innovation is yet far from being widely used due to a number of reasons, namely:
- its relatively high cost;
- lack of sufficient research of its effect on students’ academic performance;
- shortage of educational programs utilizing the technology.
However, these obstacles seem to only be temporary. This technology will undoubtedly be gaining more and more popularity in the nearest future.
One more technological development that is right now at the forefront is artificial intelligence (AI). While it is not at all new, its use in education is still very innovative, and the opportunities it can offer are still to be explored.
With the popularity of this technology and the immense interest it evokes, it probably won’t take long. Yet again, there are a lot of ways how AI can be used in education. Take task assessment, for example: with the help of AI, teachers can save time on this routine procedure, delegating it completely.
Another interesting example is the increased usage of chatbots in education that can help students learn at their own pace. Such chatbots are basically learning tools that can turn a lecture into a series of messages.
They assess the level of a student’s understanding of the topic, offer quizzes, and adjust further messages accordingly.
Blockchain is still relatively new, and its primary use is in the world of business and finances, not in education. However, it’s getting increasingly popular in education due to its high reliability and convenience. Particularly, The Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) brings huge benefits to the educational system, especially in terms of data storage and exchange.
Blockchain makes all data transactions transparent and depersonalized, therefore, decreasing educational risks for educational institutions of all levels. For example, it’s used in MOOCs to verify their students’ and alumni’ skills and credentials. It can also help employers verify applicants’ portfolios and CVs.
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We’ve all been hearing about personalized learning for quite a while. But the concept could hardly be realized on a mass scale. Before, it was only available to those who could afford to hire online tutoring and take additional lessons outside of school. Now, thanks to the tech innovations, the situation seems to be changing.
EdTech developments like AI, eLearning, virtual tutors on others are helping students learn at their own pace. They assess their strengths and weaknesses and provide necessary help – like chatbots mentioned above. Technology is also capable of adjusting the delivery to the particular student’s preferred learning style.
Such innovations as blended learning (partially in-person, partially online) can also ease the stress and help both students and educators adjust the curriculum for every particular student’s specific needs.
Gamification is another big thing in education these days. Educators seeking to engage students who have myriads of distractions just love using this technology!
All kinds of quizzes are the easiest and most obvious examples. But there are also more complicated educational games like Classcraft or ChemCaper or CodeCombat.
Among other popular gamification apps are:
Besides making the educational process more fun, these tools offer other benefits. For example, encouraging teamwork and healthy competition among students.
Educational videos are so popular today that they can even be called the new textbooks. Students of all levels watch animated lessons on all subjects – maths, chemistry, history, social sciences, and everything else. While videos have been used in the classroom even decades ago, they never were so accessible and applicable to the curriculum.
The popularity of video-based learning also helps students become more engaged in the learning process – particularly, with the help of social media. Would you come over to your friend’s to read a textbook chapter? Probably not. Now, you could just share a video to his or her Facebook wall or send it in a messenger!
Education has been one of the most conservative branches in the world for decades. Now, it’s one of the most innovative, rapidly changing ones. Technology and the challenges of the pandemic have reshaped the way teachers teach and students study in so many ways that it’s still hard for many to accept the change.
However, there’s no turning back. And it might actually be a good thing, provided that all innovations are used wisely. In such a case, all of them can offer multiple benefits to teachers and students alike and help create a better-educated society in the future.