As we round out 2020 and look forward to 2021, it would feel silly not to mention that in 2020 we saw an incredible increase in education technology use across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Educational Technologies became central to the delivery of education across the globe. In 2021, Edtech trends will continue to increase, and faculty and students will expect it to continue to improve; the genie is out of the bottle.
In this article, we are going to introduce the top 10 most-wanted EdTech trends in 2021. Each is backed with clear examples.
1. EdTech Market Overview & Landscape
Within the context of a downgrade for total global expenditure, a report shows that the worldwide market size for EdTech is a $63B upgrade to our pre-COVID estimates. We now expect total global EdTech expenditure to reach $404B by 2025, representing a 16.3% CAGR, or 2.5x growth, between 2019-2025.
A short-term surge in EdTech spending brought on by COVID-19 is expected to re-calibrate to a longer-term integration of digital technologies and transition to much higher online education adoption over the coming years. Part of this transition includes significant “infrastructure catch-up” required for managing learning, data, and administration. Most schools and colleges are still at the very start of a long digital maturity journey.
In addition to EdTech’s primary role supporting the formal education sector, B2C EdTech models are on the rise as students, parents, and workers increasingly seek learning support and up-skilling for supplemental and more direct academic and career outcomes. Below, we will introduce to you some trends that capitalize on this surge in the EdTech market.
2. The Roles & Impacts Of Educational Technology
In 2025 worldwide spending on EdTech (educational technology) is expected to increase dramatically in several key segments. Expenditure on augmented and virtual reality alone is forecasted to increase from 1.6 billion US dollars in 2018 to 12.6 billion in 2025.
Research indicates that: Technology not only “increases students learning, understanding and achievement but also augments motivation to learn, encourages collaborative learning and supports the development of critical thinking and problem- solving skills.” As a result of EdTech, proper implementation of technology in the classroom gives students more control of their learning than ever and tends to move classrooms from teacher-dominated environments to more learner-centered ones.
The use of EdTech in the classroom enables the teacher to do more with less effort by differentiating instruction considering the divergence of students, readiness levels, interests, multiple intelligences, and learning styles. Technology also helps students become lifelong learners thanks to online E-Learning Platforms and LMS.
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3. EdTech Trends To Watch In 2021
Addressing individual needs is what used to be a bottleneck in education. Professors’ time is very limited, which is a problem for thorough comprehension. A wide array of Edtech services today work hard to personalize the learning experience, to address everybody’s needs. For instance, most Coursera classes feature surveys in-between lessons. This is an excellent source of qualitative data. It can be used to tailor the content to the needs of their users, ensuring greater satisfaction and usefulness.
Personalizing education is by no means cutting-edge. Having an individual approach to each student started becoming very popular back in the early seventies. However, technology allows us to increase the extent to which we can tailor classroom experiences. Here are a few personalization trends that are gradually becoming an industry standard:
- Flexible pacing – allowing students to move through the course with no time constraints and deadlines;
- Personalized learning paths – tailoring courses based on students’ strengths, tendencies and temperaments;
- Differentiated instruction – tailoring instruction to meet individual needs;
II. Real-time collaboration and asynchronous learning
An essential part of accommodating students’ schedules is flexible and asynchronous collaboration. It allows them to attend courses and access learning materials whenever and wherever they see fit. A great example of an effective real-time collaboration tool is Kami. This product turns documents into interactive whiteboards, allowing students to work together. It easily integrates with a wide array of Edtech platforms, enabling students to draw, type, annotate and comment on PDF files. More importantly, this approach ensures that students can distribute their tasks on group projects, and work at their own pace.
III. Gamification in EdTech
The gamification theory in EdTech is that learners learn best when they are also having fun
Adding game-like interactions in non-gaming settings is an excellent way to boost user engagement. Furthermore, there is a wide array of techniques you can choose from. Some platforms go with unlockable content and animations; others opt for achievement badges and daily goals. Here’s an example of how Duolingo congratulates its users on achieving their daily target.
What’s great about gamification techniques is that they are diverse and help trigger different emotions. Badges fuel friendly competition among users. Daily streaks and animations reinforce useful behavior. What’s important, though, is that they all work for the greater good – the student’s success. It’s most definitely among the most ethical ways of engaging students.
IV. AI & Insights
AI has already been applied to education primarily in some tools that help develop skills and testing systems
Artificial Intelligence is probably one of the most intriguing trends in the field. It allows the personalization of instructions while also providing teachers with insightful analytics. It might certainly be the answer to a variety of challenges education has dealt with throughout the years.
Machine learning algorithms are a boundary-pushing technology in Edtech. By using it, learning platforms can evaluate competencies and make suggestions, based on a student’s performance. As a result, this reinforces a personalized approach to education. As AI and ML technologies become more ubiquitous, their price will naturally decrease. This will have a massive effect on education overall by making it more effective, adaptive, and affordable.
Here are a few exciting features that come with AI integration:
Automatic grading: AI grading has a few significant benefits. First off, it’s a much more efficient way to grade tests, essays, and so forth. It saves enormous amounts of time for both teachers and students. It decreases the size of delegable workload, while also nearly-instantly grading students. Secondly, AI algorithms can guide people during writing. This allows students to improve their work instantly and deliver better projects.
Data integrations: By collecting large amounts of data, Edtech products can visualize it and find meaningful ways to improve their curriculums. This has shown to boost students’ academic performance and create better course content. Products like Kinteract allow Edtech platforms to collect and analyze large amounts of data from their students. It is then used to create performance summaries, get curriculum suggestions, and provide insights.
V. Interactivity – Easy Way To Improve Your EdTech
Here’s an example of how Kahoot, a game-based learning platform, incorporates quizzes in the learning process.
An interactive environment allows us to learn quicker and remember more of the information we’re learned during the lesson. Edtech platforms have gradually started incorporating quick recaps during the lesson. Here, there are plenty of options to choose from – real-time quizzes, questionnaires, polls, or interactive walkthroughs.
VI. Rich Media & AR
Augmented reality (AR), educators are able to improve learning outcomes through engagement and interactivity
Immersive experiences are becoming very popular in modern education. Rich media and AR are great ways to enhance learning because our brains are hardwired to process visual information much quicker. Given the piquing interest in both AR and VR, we might see more of them in our online courses. Goldman Sachs’s report on virtual and augmented reality suggests that they have the potential to soon enter both K-12 and higher education.
Another important aspect of immersive experience is media diversity. Lessons that combine video, audio, text, and AR ensure quicker and better learning due to lower cognitive load. Therefore, it’s always useful to provide students with real-time transcriptions of your video and audio content.
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VII. Pixels Over Ink
Miro – Online Visual Collaboration Platform for Teamwork
The advent of modern education demands a newer approach to working with data. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with using a pen and paper, there is a myriad of intriguing tools we can use today. A notable example is Miro – a digital whiteboard useful both in education and product development.
Products like Miro have many benefits when it comes to online learning. First off, they can be used both synchronously and asynchronously. Secondly, educators can provide quick feedback on their students’ work, enabling them to improve their approach. Plus, such tools also have incorporated timers that track how students perform in a specified amount of time.
IIX. Web-based curriculum and materials
A COVID-19 has shown us, educational materials are rapidly moving online where they can be accessed by all without the inconvenience of lugging around large and expensive textbooks. This has already been done in countries like Estonia and South Korea, where materials have been online for several years.
The advent of digital textbook rentals and resources makes the switch to online textbooks the logical next step in moving higher education forward. The hope is that this will also lead to a reduction in textbook costs for students, especially when instructors utilize “bundled” textbooks (a textbook combined with an online resource).
It is worth suspecting that the trend for 2021 will be the logical movement of more materials to the web as the pandemic continues.
IX. Digital White Board Tools
Jamboard is an interactive whiteboard system developed by Google as part of Google Workspace
2020 has presented us with the unique challenges of hybrid learning and two of the many challenges faculty face are student engagement and digital collaboration. Interactive online whiteboards allows instructors to incorporate fun digital aspects into their lectures and are increasingly used in blended classrooms for synchronous collaboration.
Let’s take Google Jam Board as an example. It is a collaborative whiteboard used to create and edit content with other users. Apps like Jamboard have many benefits. These apps can be leveraged to build communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.
On another hand, they can be used for teamwork to brainstorm and develop new ideas. In a specific classroom, a teacher can also engage students in problem solving exercises. Jams can easily be shared with students to have access during and after class.
X. Progressive Web Apps
Next-generation web apps for education
Universities have to market themselves differently in 2021 than they did in the past due to the ever-changing nature of modern technology. The dependence on mobile apps among students is ever-increasing and has come to play an important role in admissions, remote learning, student lives, personal safety and security.
With more than 500 screens of various sizes in the market, low cost Progressive Web Apps continue to gain popularity in 2021 by offering users a unified experience with providing the same interface in the browser as of the native app installed on the device without requiring users to download the apps. This also eliminates the need for the user to learn more than one interface – an experience that could otherwise frustrate users.
Talking about educational technology trends, we all know that there is a lot to digest and improve. However, it’s a fact that high technologies have already seeped into the education field. The emerging solutions renewed and reshaped both the learning and teaching processes. Integrating and adopting these 10 Edtech technologies will not only make the learning more engaging, interactive, accessible, and effective but reduce the workload for the educators by automating a lot of tasks like grading and verification. Just keep watching new trends appear to stay tuned and get most of them.
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