By Rachana Trivedi, BGS National Public School, Bangalore
Technology is rapidly changing the way in which we live and interact with. It is changing the face of every field and every sector in the best way possible. Considering the fact that education is something that can change the world in a positive way, introduction of technology in education has become even more essential.
Education technology can help eliminate current barriers of providing quality education to all across the world. Education technology will provide a chance to widen the imagination of the students and help them grasp better. The education sector and the entities such as students, teachers, management, parents, etc. will benefit a lot from the latest and upcoming trends in education technology.
What is Education Technology?
Many people can recognize that EdTech is devoting technology to promote education. It’s true, but not sufficient. The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) has defined EdTech as “facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.” On the other hand, educators who actually use EdTech have a much simpler definition of the term. They say that it is a concept of transforming traditional book teaching and learning to a digital form.
In short, EdTech is simply the process of integrating technology into education to build better teaching/learning experiences that result in higher learning outcomes.
Upcoming trends in education technology
- Collaborative Learning
Technology has made it possible for everyone to stay connected. We can connect, discuss and enact upon situations collaboratively. This collaborative approach has gained importance in the learning process as well. In a classroom learning model, teachers encourage collaboration by assigning group activities and tasks.
When students team up together to work on a project or solve a problem, it builds their collaborative skills. Working together improves their understanding and increases engagement. Teachers are far more accessible now and act as mentors to help students in their overall development. This collaborative learning approach helps students to interact with their peers and build their interpersonal skills.
- Learning Outside the Classroom Environment
Mobile-based devices have taken learning outside of the classroom. With M-Learning and E-Learning growing in popularity, students can learn at their own pace and time. This trend is expected to keep up as it is a convenient method of delivering as well as receiving the education. Designing mobile-first responsive content helps students to go through their courses anytime and anywhere.
Internet connection is no longer an issue with offline reading capabilities. eBooks can be embedded with many features to enhance the learning experience. Complete with annotation tools, bookmarks, hyperlinks, dictionary, search feature, an eBook makes learning more flexible. Most of the educational institutes today have adopted mobile learning into their learning ecosystems, benefiting students and teachers alike.
- Social Media in Learning
Educational institutes have started using social media as a communication tool, where students can interact with their peers and faculty members. Usually, students share videos and images with their friends and followers. But with social features embedded in their eBooks, they can share study materials, opinions, projects etc.
They can comment on someone else’s post or share links to other websites, while building peer networks and enhancing the online learning experience. Teachers allow the use of social media as part of the learning model because it helps students to stay interested in their course and increases engagement. Social media is here to stay, so incorporating it into learning modules will build a culture of collaboration and sharing, leading to an improved learning experience.
- Interactivity in Classroom
Bringing technology into the classroom has made classrooms lively and interactive. With eBooks, the course content can be embedded with videos, augmented reality, audio files etc. Unlike a printed book, eBook allows more interaction to take place in the classroom. The flipped classroom model has allowed students to do all the learning at home and all the practical work at school.
All these new technologies have brought about a change in the way that classes used to function traditionally. Teachers can now assist and guide students with their homework in class.
They can have discussions and activities in classrooms, creating an interactive environment where students are completely involved in the learning process. Creating interaction and engagement has become a priority for many schools and universities. This style of learning has seen a growth in recent years for its ability to keep students engaged in the classrooms.
- Data Management & Analytics
Managing data has become ever so convenient and important with the advent of technology in the education system. Teachers can now have complete analytics of a student’s performance, such as the number of tests attempted, chapters completed etc.
Homework and assignments can be assigned to the entire class at once and teachers can evaluate the results online. This kind of automation in classroom activities has enabled teachers to focus more on their course modules and offer in-depth guidance.
Analytics has become an important part of any online learning model as it enables the measurement of a child’s engagement and academic performance. According to the data available, teachers can develop action plans to improve students’ performance.
- Gamification in Education
This trend has been gaining popularity for the simple reason that it increases student engagement. Gamification is being used in classrooms in different forms such as leader boards, reward points, badges, stickers etc. Of all the trends in education technology, gamification is the one trend which guarantees an increase in participation, engagement, and competition.
Students become actively involved in the classroom activities to increase their scores and leader board rankings. And the need to lead the scoreboards result in improved performance and better retention.
Gamification incentivizes students to learn and practice, improving the overall learning process. So, teachers use gamification as a mean to increase engagement, boost motivation and create an interactive classroom environment.
In the end, we know that there is a lot to digest when we talk about educational technology trends. However, keep in mind that technology has seeped into education and renewed its whole teaching and learning process. Especially eLearning, an educational tool that not only increases the accessibility and convenience of education but also changes the learning behaviours and learners’ desire for learning.