The education technology landscape continues to evolve at a breakneck pace. Every year, IT companies develop groundbreaking and innovative solutions designed to help educators. These solutions engage students and improve learning outcomes, and this year is no different. Here are five of the biggest trends in education technology right now.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education
The education sector has been one of the earliest adopters of AI-powered technologies. A Gold Coast school, for example, uses an AI assistant to run classroom activities and respond to student queries.
Other potential uses for AI in schools include personalised mentoring. Chatbots can offer:
- clues to students when they are stuck on a problem,
- provide immediate feedback if they make mistakes, and
- recommend useful materials for further learning.
AI can even be used to mark homework and tests and calculate grades. Teachers are then able to focus on identifying the concepts their students are having difficulty with and adjust their material to improve retention.
2. Immersive technologies
Two technologies are making classes more immersive:
- virtual reality (VR), which allows students to explore computer-generated, digital worlds; and
- augmented reality (AR), which overlays digital information on the physical world. Some schools are already experimenting with these technologies to enable virtual field trips and interactive textbooks.
Although AR and VR are still in their infancy, there’s no doubt that more institutions will use them to supplement learning. That’s because tools like Windows Mixed Reality, Microsoft HoloLens, and Google Expedition are becoming more accessible to schools. VR and AR also have many potential uses for medical programs and vocational training, especially when it comes to displaying life-like diagrams and models.
While most Australians play video games for entertainment, educational games like Ribbon Hero 2 and Quizlet have also exploded in popularity. They provide immediate feedback, engage students in ways that typical lectures can’t, and even motivate them to learn subjects outside of classes.
What’s more, quiz-based games enable students to use their knowledge in practice and promote healthy competition in the classroom. As technology evolves and becomes more accessible, more schools will gamify learning.
4. Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT consists of physical devices embedded with computer chips and sensors that gather and wirelessly relay information to more traditional computers. These smart devices collect data and display it in an app or web browser so you can automate simple tasks (e.g., climate control, CCTV, etc.), and this has the potential to enhance many aspects of campus life.
For instance, Australian schools are experimenting with sensor gloves to help children learn Auslan sign language by tracking their hand movements. Modern classrooms are also implementing smart boards and smart desks to create collaborative spaces to facilitate student learning.
5. Mobile devices and security
More schools are incorporating mobile technology in the classroom because of all the ways it enhances the learning experience. It allows students to stay organised with calendars and alarms, and has a bevy of collaboration and communication apps for group projects. The best part is, students will be able to access school files from any location, even if they’re abroad.
However, there are some risks involved with mobile technologies. Unsecured mobile devices and IoT gadgets give hackers easy entry points into school systems. Students who aren’t aware of security best practices could inadvertently expose schools to all sorts of malware and online threats.
That’s why a growing number of schools need multi-layered security solutions complete with firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, anti-malware software, and mobile device management systems. More importantly, schools must invest in security training programs to teach students how to use their devices safely.
If you need comprehensive security and the latest education technologies, Empower IT is the solution. We offer mobile device management, connectivity services, and technology funds for schools across Australia. Our team of consultants can also help you decide which emerging tech trends best fit your institution. Call us today to get started.