EduTech trends in 2021: What does the future hold?

Our lives have come to revolve around technology. From the time we open our eyes all the way up until we watch that last Netflix episode in the evening, our whole day is consumed by various pieces of tech – especially in our Covid-infected world where the safest way to do anything is online.

It does have its pros and cons, but we’re a firm believer in technology making our lives better over time. With the time you now have available, and a functional device, the education technology (EduTech) world gives you access to numerous learning resources that are literally at your fingertips.

Now that Covid is here to stay, we've been forced to level up our game to make sure we can keep up with our education and enjoy it a little bit more. Experts are focused on creating technology (both software and hardware) that doesn't just help you learn, but also makes the process a heap more fun.

Here are three ways we see the EduTech space revolutionising the way we learn:

Gamification of learning

In layman's terms, the gamification of learning involves "using video game design/elements in learning environments" (according to good old Wikipedia). It creates an interactive and enjoyable experience where students are put in a game-like simulation.

Usually, it is structured around the idea of solving a problem as a player, which in turn reinforces skills or information learnt. Many of these games aim to inspire communication, competition, and cooperation in their players, making it a lot more fun than memorising facts from a 300-page book. The more immersive the experience, the more creativity and imagination are required to solve the problem. Game-like elements such as storytelling, aesthetics, problem-solving, and reward systems are just some of the features that introduce the aspect of fun in courses you see today.

Gamification can efficiently teach and assess players, and this doesn’t just apply to students at school. From first-year learners all the way up to working professionals, it can help create an innovative learning experience for everyone. One of the best parts is that it can give you the opportunity to explore a vast selection of unique subjects, not just the ones your school offers.

Some examples of gamified learning include: Class Dojo, Classcraft, and Rezzly. We’re excited to watch these platforms continue to go from strength to strength!

Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are no doubt the most immersive experiences available today. If we had this kind of tech in every school, each class would hold a new adventure (and we're guessing the number of 'sick days' people take would drastically decrease).

Augmented Reality adds digital elements to a live view using a camera, mainly on smartphones (Snapchat lenses and Pokemon Go are some of the more popular uses of AR you may be familiar with). On the other hand, Virtual Reality creates an entirely immersive experience in a digital world. Devices such as the Oculus Rift have gone a long way towards perfecting the art of immersion.

AR and VR can take learning to another level of engagement; understanding theoretical concepts can become a whole lot easier when these are reconstructed into actual digital experiences. Students gain the ability to build, break and look through various learning models. From car engines to the human heart, anything can be taken apart and put back together. It's also probably a lot cheaper than trying to find people who will let you take apart their car...or their heart, for that matter.

The traditional classroom mainly focuses on two of the four basic learning styles (auditory and reading/writing). A simple example of this would be when you just happen to zone out when your teacher is going over the most important part of the topic. On the other hand, VR/AR can provide all four, with the addition of visual and kinetic (as well as your attention).

Now, we know that these fancy AR & VR devices come with a rather hefty price tag, so right now not many people are able to afford this immersive learning experience. But every day, more and more schools are getting ahold of such devices, so sit tight – your school could be next.

Artificial Intelligence

Have you ever had a teacher take ages to give your grades back? You have to feel for them – they have a tonne of other papers to mark. Well... that may not be the case for too much longer.

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is becoming increasingly popular as a 'teacher's best friend’, capable of assessing and grading your papers. The A.I. software learns from manually graded papers, replicating the process a human uses to assign marks to papers.

Now, this may be a huge jump, and it isn't perfect yet. Some questions are too complicated for A.I. to mark, and that's when your teacher heroically steps in to finish the job.

But teachers don't steal all the fun here.

Thanks to A.I.-enabled Adaptive Learning, students today have access to courses specifically tailored to their needs. Welcome to a new era of personalised education!

How does this work, you ask?

Well, the concept of Adaptive Learning is based around the idea of adapting a teaching method to the learner's confidence and understanding of the course/subject. Individuals can be provided with the same content, but according to how they answer the questions, the system will select specific and relevant teaching styles that will target the learner's needs. A.I. can now efficiently provide students with specific lessons and courses that target their personal gaps. Quizzes and tests can help refine what needs to be taught or reinforced to ensure a high percentage of knowledge retention.

A great example of this would be Thinkster (an A.I.-based maths tutoring service), which professes to guarantee improvement within three months.

We know that A.I. has been around for years, but it has taken some giant steps forward in the last 36 months. In this time, it has gained the power to potentially change the way we learn forever. Maybe it will even render traditional schooling completely obsolete (…one day!).

EduExperts specialises in helping people like you achieve their educational goals. Want to know more? Get in touch with your local centre here.

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