Schools in the UK in 2020 are under immense pressure. The demand for ‘results’ has never been higher and, for many state schools, budgets have never been smaller. Education technology - or EdTech - offers cost-effective, smart solutions to many of the issues faced by schools and teachers.
The trouble is, the whole concept of EdTech can seem daunting and confusing.
It doesn’t need to be. We’re going to run you through the four key trends in education with technology in 2020 - and highlight how they could benefit you or your school.
1. Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
There was a time when VR seemed so futuristic that it was difficult to comprehend how it could ever be a part of daily life. But that’s changed. VR and AR are now being recognised for the huge potential they have to engage students of all ages - whether at primary school or university.
Innovations like Google Cardboard and EdTech-specific VR apps are giving schools the opportunity to embrace the learning potential of VR without the huge cost that sometimes come with it.
The benefits in a nutshell: VR gives students the chance to further their learning by being able to test out their ideas, and experience both success and failure, within the safety net of a virtual world.
The opportunities to integrate it into lesson plans are endless. Teaching about the history of Hadrian’s Wall? Use VR to take a virtual tour and bring the facts and figures to life. Got a lesson planned on the solar system? VR can help your students experience what it would be like to fly through space.
2. The Cloud
The adaptation of cloud-based infrastructure in schools is rapidly on the rise. Cloud-based connectivity enables other exciting elearning tools and EdTech (like the VR we just mentioned) to perform optimally.
The cloud also helps schools embrace collaborative EdTech opportunities, such as using chatbots, live online discussions and feedback platforms. With support from cloud comms experts, schools are taking advantage of the flexibility, security and reliability that the cloud can offer.
The benefits in a nutshell: The cloud gives teachers the flexibility of being able to deliver learning outside the classroom and access information remotely. With cloud as an EdTech tool, schools can give students the opportunity to access the same learning environment at home and at school, which can have a powerful impact on learning outcomes.
Education establishments are now harnessing the power of data. There are two strands to this shift towards using data as an EdTech tool.
First up, forward-thinking schools are now using existing or updated management information systems (MIS) to put data about attendance and exam performance into context - and to adapt their teaching approach, and even their policies, in response.
Secondly, some schools are analysing the data on how students use and interact with digital learning platforms. It’s expected that this will expand into schools using learning data to adapt curriculums, predict outcomes and spot areas for improvement in day-to-day teaching strategy.
The benefits in a nutshell: Data is an important emerging trend in education technology because it gives schools and teachers a window into the ways their students learn best and the things they struggle with most, and to then create customised - and even personalised - solutions.
Not every student learns best using books and pens - or even iPad and interactive whiteboard. Video is now widely recognised as a format that helps students learn in an engaging, effective way.
YouTube is, of course, a well-known resource for this but other platforms are emerging that enable teachers and students to easily and quickly create their own video content as part of a more collaborative, interactive approach.
The benefits in a nutshell: Video is an important EdTech is a powerful, motivational tool that teachers can use to condense information and present it in an exciting way that students are immediately more engaged with.
Would you like expert help and support to implement the latest education technology at your school, college or university?
Get in touch with the friendly ITEC team. We’ll get you up to speed with EdTech trends with our trusted Technology Managed Services.