When I was a kid, LaserDisc was the latest edtech trend to hit the market. At the time it felt special, but now, 15 years later, it seems like old news. Education technology is one of the fastest markets growing related to education, from school administration software to school accounting software to iPad apps for kids.
Because the education technology space is changing so rapidly, I took the time to look at trends driving this space forward in 2015 and beyond. Check out these seven education technology trends driving learning today.
Gamification has been a hot edtech trend for a while now. Gamification can take many forms. Sometimes it looks like producing a fully-fledged game that has educational value such as the popular Lumosity.com or the University of Washington’s research game Foldit. Gamification can also refer to implementing rewards and badges into learning to increase incentive and draw out more active participation by the learner. Almost 80% of learners say that they would learn better if their school/work was more game-like.
Flipped and Blended Learning
The flipped classroom is the hottest form of blended learning right now, particularly at universities and colleges. As the popularity of this blended learning method increases, so will the demand for better learning management software to make online education as accessible, engaging, and interactive as in-person classrooms.
Mobile internet use now transcends desktop internet use. According to ZDNet, mobile learning forces teachers to create “digestible content.” They write, “Smaller screens force educators to deliver content in smaller chunks, which makes it easier for learners to remember what they learnt.” Mobile technology provides the incentive for teachers to make sure their coursework is bite-sized and memorable—two keys for impactful education.
As the library of educational software and learning tools widens, the opportunity for personalized learning has as well. Teachers can now tailor content to the specific student, whether it be adjusting the time, changing the medium (such as providing more reading, more audio services, or more video services), or allowing the student to choose his or her own learning path.
School as a Service
According to Eduventures, “14% of college students in 2010 took more than 80% of their college courses online, while nearly 30% of graduate students are online.” For post-secondary institutions, look toward companies like 2U and Academic Partnerships for School as a Service platforms. Corporations are also using these services to educate their employees—these tools can be used to fill skills gaps that almost every company faces.
Big data has been an ongoing trend for a while now—and there’s been a long ongoing debate about how it should best be used in education. What we do know is that big data can be used to figure out which student actions are correlated with higher achievement, which questions might stimulate learning best in a specific student, and which students are most likely to drop out of the course. One example of big data emerging in education is Course Signals, which allows for professors to give feedback if there are early signs of students under-performing or not using class time well.
Massive Online Open Courses
MOOCs continue to break ground in education. Whether it’s through Coursera offering entire MBA courses online or Udacity offering a portal for recruiters to connect with students, MOOCs have been essential to tying needed skills to students’ careers. They are continuing to grow as companies handle current and future employee training and as universities realize there are advertising and revenue opportunities through this outlet. Expect MOOCs to continue to grow without wavering over the next few years.
Of course, there are a lot more education technology trends propelling the field into the future. Beyond these seven, what did I miss? What do you think about these trends? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Header by Abby Kahler