Top Education Technology Trends of 2015
- May 26, 2015
What is the first thing you would notice when you walk into a classroom today? Apart from the traditional chalk-and-blackboard teaching techniques, I am certain you would encounter a third teaching tool in academic institutions: Technology.
Have you observed how swiftly technology has invaded modern classrooms like never before?
The advent of top technology trends is gradually transforming the very outlook of education. The global expenditure on educational technology has stimulated an enormous demand for brand new products of technology. And this is speculated to prompt the industry of education technology to touch $19 billion within 2018.
So yes, education technology is the next big thing in your classroom.
How is Technology Enriching Education?
Now, the question is, how is technology making its presence felt in the niche of education?
Let us demonstrate this simple fact with the aid of an example.
If you look to follow the modern pattern of education closely, you would perceive a market contrast between modern learning processes and the ones that were followed about 10 years ago.
For instance, the concept of ‘blended learning’ has penetrated modern-day educational environments, wherein students imbibe education partly through online resources and digital technology. Having gained acceptance in several classrooms across the world, this sort of a learning experience is known to simplify education to a great extent.
We shall analyze the aspect of blended learning as we progress further, as it is one of the most crucial education technology trends of modern-day classrooms.
Top Education Technology Trends of 2015
Educators must be acquainted with the latest technological products that possess an outstanding potential to enlighten learners.
Curious enough to discover the top education technology trends of 2015? If yes, continue reading.
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#1. Expansion in Blended Learning Activities
As I have already mentioned, blended learning refers to a unique process of importing education to students, employing a combination of digital and online technologies.
A blended learning process can be categorized into six models.
- Rotation: In this sort of a learning system, students undergo periods of face-to-face classroom sessions, followed by a period of independent study conducted through online classes.
- Face-to-Face Driver: It is a teaching technique in which teachers ‘drive’ or explain different academic concepts to students utilizing digitized technology.
- Labs: In this model, teachers generally instruct learners over a stable digital platform through online tutorials and course supplements. However, students might also prefer traditional classroom sessions.
- Self-blend: There are certain students who aim to enhance their learning abilities by merging online course-work with the traditional forms of learning.
- Flex: Using the ‘flex’ technique, a majority of the instructions are offered in the form of digital tools. In addition, teachers are also available for the purpose of guiding learners with face-to-face lessons.
- Online Driver: Finally, we have the ‘online driver’ system of blended learning. It aims to educate students over digital platforms as well as through direct, face-to-face consultation, if necessary.
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#2. Growth of Open Educational Resources
Would you favor hunting for reference books or sample question papers from the library? Or would you rather go for a sophisticated technology that permits you to dive into an ocean of information at a reasonable cost?
I am quite certain you would opt for the latter.
And here lies the immense contribution of Open Educational Resources (OER)!
Wondering what OER is?
OER is a series of documents with an open license that can be freely used by educators and learners to accumulate data for learning, instructing, and also for conducting an educational research on any subject or topic. Basically, OERs refer to any kind of online content comprising:
- Research articles
- Course materials
- Online presentations
Higher education, as most of you already know is becoming pricier by the day. In such a scenario, open educational resources can be effectively utilized as learning tools of the 21st century.
If the various kinds of OERs are worked upon and they undergo improvements, a large number of students based in different portions of the world will be able to depend on them for assimilating education.
#3. Renovating Learning Habitats
When you expect technology to make its way into the classrooms, don’t you think learning spaces should be customized to complement it?
The common scene of a teacher lecturing learners, standing on a podium does little to welcome education technology inside classrooms! And so does the age-old idea of a lecturer writing the key concepts on a blackboard, with most of his students yawning.
Of late, I have come across some colleges and universities who are making the most of redesigned learning spaces.
For instance, they are attempting to increase the communication between teachers and students by shifting the teacher’s podium to the center of the classroom. Next, the platform is surrounded by numerous round tables meant for students. This automatically makes space for interactive classroom technology that involves a computer or a whiteboard.
On the other hand, many libraries are being remodeled to provide students with greater access to technology.
For example, libraries of some colleges are furnishing their interiors in such a way that they accommodate many students and motivate them to learn in a relaxed manner. In other words, schools and universities are increasing their power outlets and offering seats in their hallways to encourage more students to learn comfortably.
#4. Development of Adaptive Learning
Every student differs from the other, in a typical classroom environment, and I am quite sure most teachers are aware of it. The analytical and critical thinking skills always vary greatly between learners. While some students might be intelligent and score in their 90’s, there might be others who are slow learners. Consequently, they’re incapable of grasping a large amount of data in a short duration.
This is a good reason why teachers must incorporate the policy of ‘adaptive learning’ technology during classroom sessions.
Do you know what adaptive learning is? It is an academic technique that assists students by assesses their understanding levels. In this method, computers present the study materials to learners responding to their individual requirements.
You would be amazed to know how that is done. Students are asked a few questions through computers. Based on their performance, the computer offers them notes or other educational resources that are designed keeping in mind the intelligence quotient of each student!
Isn’t it a brilliant technique of discovering the knowledge gaps of students, the quality of their performance and their understanding levels? Adaptive learning also enables educators know about the needs of students.
#5. Introducing flipped learning:
A popular form of blended learning, the idea of ‘flipped learning’ is gradually gaining increased popularity inside modern classrooms.
Breaking free from conventional teaching practices, flipped learning involves instructing students online instead of delivering lectures face-to-face in classroom environments. Using this process, teachers educate learners through online tutorials and videos.
Students are expected to read those online study materials or watch the videos, analyze and interpret them. Next, teachers assign tasks to students, based on their understanding of the online study materials.
Yes, this type of education technology is strikingly different from the traditional educational theories in which teachers assign work to students based on classroom lessons. Do you know why flipped learning is really so beneficial for students?
Let me explain.
When learners make attempts to understand concepts without any external assistance, they start growing up into responsible individuals. For, they are employing their logical reasoning expertise to crack the solutions to different questions. In other terms, they are not taking their teachers for granted, and instead using their own gray matter to understand new ideas.
Also recommended: Is the Flipped Classroom Model the Future of Education?
#6. Using Mobile Learning:
Gone are the days when you had little choice but to depend solely on books, mock test papers, or the notes that you had taken down during your class.
Today, you have additional resources that can aid you in enriching your knowledge, thanks to various types of technological advancements. For instance, you can now learn anything you wish to, anytime, anywhere!
All you require is an Internet connection and an electronic gadget with the aid of which you can enjoy access to it.
Nowadays, a wide range of mobile apps are available in the market that guide you as you study almost all subjects. They make learning interesting by offering:
- interactive videos
All these are based on different topics and across various subjects. The best part about these apps is that they are compatible with iOS as well as Android.
To leverage the advantages of the unique experience of mobile learning, various academic institutes are now relying on mobile phones to inspire students to keep learning. For, the mobile apps impart education to learners in a special and highly exciting manner!
No wonder, the global mobile learning industry is growing by leaps and bounds.
#7. Exploring Cloud LMS:
The ever increasing popularity of digitized learning technologies has been generating an interest for implementing cloud-based LMS (learning management system) in classrooms.
Do you have an idea about cloud-based LMS?
Well, it is a unique form of learning management technique wherein learning systems are placed on the Internet that can be easily accessed just by logging into the site of a service provider.
Educators simply have to upload their course content or learning schedules on the website. Unlike traditional learning management systems, teachers can do away with installing a management software and course designing software!
All you need to do is just create new academic courses, learning modules and upload them on the specific sites. In other words, this is a special online platform that would enable teachers to interact with students directly and more conveniently.
This is precisely the way a cloud-based LMS works.
Not only is it apt for educators and students, but it also quite time-saving. Secondly, it is quite secure as well since it demands authentic login credentials from its users. Therefore, you can be assured of the maximum privacy as you communicate with your learners.
#8. Boosting alliances between institutions:
Technology has bestowed generous gifts upon mankind. Nevertheless, most of the technological gadgets are exorbitantly priced. Their high prices dissuade most educational institutions from introducing the latest devices in their classroom sessions.
However, there’s a remarkably easy solution that would permit you to achieve this goal.
Want to know about it?
If various schools collaborate with each other and contribute jointly towards building a technologically advanced classroom, learners can be exposed to a more interactive session!
Now, let us read about two of the most significant ways in which educational institutes can form a beautiful conglomeration to meet common goals:
- Funding technology jointly: Most schools are incapable of ushering in technology into their learning sessions due to budgetary concerns. However, if a few schools cooperate with one another and pool their resources jointly, they would be able to afford some of the coolest technological devices.
- Sharing content: Once educators have been successful in purchasing the products of technology, they would find the process of sharing academic content comparatively manageable. For instance, they would be able to share their notes on Facebook pages or communities, and share them with other institutes.
#9. Encouraging BYOD:
Modern youngsters, as you already know, are gadget geeks. They are glued to their iPhones, tablets, or laptops around the clock.
Be it networking with their friends, building new connections or researching Google for an academic project or playing games, they seem inseparable from technology.
Therefore, innumerable teachers across the world are planning to make the most of this habit of their students. Several institutions are now embracing the policy of ‘BYOD’ or Bring Your Own Device in their academic environments. The concept involves asking students to bring their personal technological devices to school.
Next, teachers explain to the students about the most effective ways of utilizing these gadgets in the best possible way, so that they can make lessons more interesting for the learners.
You would observe an increased rate of student participation in the classrooms, if you implement the BYOD technology. Apart from this, there are many benefits associated with BYOD.
Now that you are aware of some of the most amazing education technology trends of 2015, wouldn’t you love to share them with your colleagues, friends, and acquaintances?
And how about implementing at least a few of them in your classrooms today? I bet it would bring about a drastic improvement in the grades of your students, besides making a positive impact on the quality of education. Wishing you the very best in your attempts at redesigning education, dear teachers!
Do you have anything else in mind about the top education technology trends for 2015? Feel free to share it with us!
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