Technology has taken over almost all aspects of our lives, so it’s not surprising that it’s playing a vital role in the future of education. From schools to universities to corporations, everyone is adapting to take advantage of what Education Technology (EdTech) has to offer.
The paper routine is getting pretty close to extinction, and more and more people are engaging in personalized learning by using electronic alternatives. However, this doesn’t mean that humans are going to start learning in a completely different way.
According to Mike Silagadze, Co-Founder and CEO at Top Hat, “I think the way we best learn won’t change in the next ten years, but the tools we use and what we focus on most definitely will. We will still learn by engaging directly with great educators. But as universities face pressure from students who want to see demonstrated return on investment on their education costs, they will have to rethink how and what they teach.”
This means that learning will be geared towards how we learn outside a classroom setting. This means that it will be gamified, interactive, and will be a lifelong undertaking.
So what does the future of EdTech hold for us? Let’s take a look.
AR and VR Will Help Explain Complex Ideas
In the near future, you can expect both Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to have a massive impact in the classroom. For example, teachers will be able to optimize their lessons by recreating places or transforming objects they are talking about.
This approach essentially amplifies our current reality and creates opportunities to communicate complex concepts in a manner that can be easily understood. So while we had to spend time trying to imagine textbook examples in our youth, our children will be able to experience it.
VR devices will also be standard in classrooms, and they will help students review multiple digital environments. Whether it’s historical events or exploring foreign counties, the future of learning is going to be a lot of fun.
Some of the hottest AR and VR EdTech startups are as follows:
Students Will Become Collaborative Creators
Technology has undoubtedly made it much easier for us to collaborate. In fact, when it comes to work, we have a variety of collaboration platforms to choose from.
Collaborative learning in EdTech will take a similar approach and use technology to support learning activities that take place in the classroom. This can take the form of students learning together on the same online resources or even help teams work together and learn in a seamless online environment.
Now, this sounds like something that we’re already engaged in, but the primary difference here is that the students will also become creators. This means that they will use multiple devices during their learning cycles and create educational content that can be reviewed and perfected by both teachers and classmates.
This approach to education will also help make all stakeholders from teachers to students accept responsibility and be held accountable.
Artificial Intelligence Will Facilitate Learning
It’s no surprise that AI will help us learn by supporting teachers, students, and learning activities (not exactly the strict robot teacher I once imagined). So while it’s certainly not going to replace teachers, it does have the potential to reimagine how we teach and learn.
Going forward, AI will play the following roles in the classroom:
- Automated grading (which is already happening with multiple choice material)
- Identify weaknesses (as classroom data will be generated in real-time, AI will be able to quickly identify weaknesses in the classroom)
- Student support (by acting as a lifelong learning companion who knows your individual strengths and weaknesses)
- Transform teachers into classroom facilitators and learning motivators (by taking on basic teaching exercises and acting as a personalized tutor)
- Teacher support (by automating repetitive tasks and operating as a chatbot teaching assistant)
Some AI-driven EdTech startups to look out for are as follows:
Personalized Learning Will Be Driven by Big Data
Big Data is disrupting every industry imaginable by providing highly personalized user experiences. So when it comes to learning, data and analytics promise to do the same.
With big data in the mix, we now have a real opportunity to deliver highly personalized learning experiences by adapting to the individual needs of the student. A startup within this space to keep an eye is Glimpse K12.
With the help of the Internet of Things in classrooms, soon teachers will be able to leverage what’s known as “Course Signals” to alert them and provide feedback in real-time (whenever there are signs that students aren’t exercising or using class time properly).
Big data in the education can also be something as simple as tracking learning activities on school computers. This approach provides an opportunity for teachers to adapt their lesson plans to better suit the needs of the students.
While technology in education comes with immense potential, it does come with some significant privacy concerns. One of the main problems plaguing the industry is the fact that investors aren’t interested in student privacy. In fact, they believe that data privacy chokes innovation and creativity from EdTech initiatives.
In a school setting, data and privacy are also governed by regulations at the federal, state, and local levels. In this scenario, problems tend to pop up because these aren’t always consistent.
Furthermore, as schools are interested in incorporating big data to improve learning exercises, this same data is at risk of being hacked for nefarious purposes.
As a result, to realize the real potential of EdTech initiatives, all stakeholders need to come together to formulate best practices and identify the best way forward.