By: Jessica Fender – January 12, 2021
The year behind us was a life-changing one. The COVID-19 pandemic managed to get into every single sphere of our lives and introduce changes we weren’t expecting. That includes education as well. Thanks to the unexpected events in 2020, we’re more prepared to embrace changes in educational technology in 2021.
This is why new trends are emerging and growing stronger in the educational technology marketplace. We’re here to see what are the top trends, and how will they reflect on the teachers and the learners. Let’s take a closer look at the 5 top EdTech trends for 2021.
1. Digital Learning Materials
The need for digitalization in the education sector is now in higher demand than ever. Students are no longer expected to show up at a library or a class, to pick up their learning materials and textbooks.
Instead, learning materials are going digital.
What does this mean? Here’s what:
- physical printed textbooks are being turned into digital copies
- this allows access to education to a larger number of students
Also, teachers are learning and improving their technical skills, to ensure all their teaching materials are available in some digital form. Whether it’s a PDF presentation, video or audio of the lesson, or a summary of the lesson on an online platform- everyone’s doing it.
Digital learning materials are the number one trend in education for 2021.
2. Extended Reality
Educational technology has come a long way in the last decade and the appearance of virtual, augmented, and extended reality has opened so many new doors, even in education.
Extended reality allows students to understand and experience the lessons better, by being able to see and feel as if they’re inside the lesson.
- high school students can take a walk on the Great Wall of China
- medical students can practice performing surgeries
- kindergartners can explore the seabed
By putting on their VR headsets, students can immerse themselves in the lesson, memorize it better, and understand the materials that are being presented.
3. Data-Driven Personalization
Since the classroom is slowly being shifted from the physical space to an online one, more precise data can be gathered about the learning process of the students.
Teachers have the opportunity to use data and:
- learn about individual students’ needs
- understand how they’re using digital textbooks and progressing
- build student profiles
And, since the teacher is not only speaking to an entire class at the same time but communicating with them individually through online platforms, it’s possible to personalize their learning experience.
- create and send different materials to students
- address individual issues and struggles
- personalize their learning experience
It’s extremely beneficial for both the teacher and the students.
4. Automated Administrative Tasks
From a teacher’s point of view, administrative tasks take a lot of time away from their workday. Instead of doing these tasks, teachers could dedicate more time to preparing personalized materials or considering the individual needs of their students.
But, changes started in 2020 and more schools will embrace the automation of administrative tasks. Here are just some examples:
- face recognition for taking attendance
- automatic tasks assessment and grading
- removing manual paperwork
- automatic progress reports
Less administrative tasks mean better performance by the teacher and a quality learning experience for the students. This trend is going to grow stronger in 2021 and ensure more teachers have access to improved teaching methods.
5. Interactive Learning
The old model of teaching and learning is slowly disappearing. Sitting in a classroom for an hour, listening to your teacher explaining the materials is no longer the primary teaching method.
Instead, educational institutions and teachers are turning to a more collaborative, interactive learning experience.
Why is this the case? It’s simple:
- this innovative learning model is more interesting and enjoyable
- students are more focused
- they memorize better
- they’re active during the entire lesson
- they communicate with each other and contribute to the lesson
This is why interactive learning is among the top 2021 EdTech trends. It implies:
- using collaborative tools
- using online education platforms
- creating online classrooms
- creating interactive learning materials
- stay connected even outside teaching hours
For example, a student who needs help with essay writing can find an essay helper online or reach out to the teacher directly through the platform they’re using.
Schools and teachers are learning about the available tools and platforms and embracing them for their improved teaching experience.
Changes are bound to happen, one way or the other. COVID-19 is one of the worst things that has happened to the world in recent years, but something good came out of it.
A revolution in education technology happened fast and brought the 5 top educational technology trends we’ve covered above.