Over the last few years, new learning models have been sweeping through classrooms as educators begin to supplement their classrooms with the latest technologies. The education industry has long been known for being slow to change methods in the classroom. However, with the current state of education technology, it is harder to ignore the benefits of using technology in the classroom. Although 2017 brought in the lowest amount on edtech deals at 126, the amount of capital investment reached just above $1.2 billion. This investment is a significant increase from 2016, primarily for the companies who operate in the curriculum product space.
As the trend of technology in the classroom continues on an upward tick, we will begin to see mobile learning platforms take over the classroom. According to the Pew Center for Research, 73% of teenagers have access to a smartphone and as time goes on this number will continue to rise. Educators understand that connecting mobile technology in and outside of the classroom can help provide a more integrated learning experience for their students.
The ability to share content and motivate through gamification of these applications is also seen as a real benefit. Incorporating video games with the level up mentality can help motivate students increase productivity and have been shown to increase the amount of information students retain.
We know that students tend to retain more information when the curriculum is tailored to their learning style and speed. Mobile learning platforms allow educators to utilize big data analytics not only to observe learner preferences carefully, but also to understand what may or may not be working in a particular curriculum. This makes it easier for educators to customize an education plan for their classroom, as well as individual students.
As 2018 progresses, we will continue to see educators use mobile learning as a significant tool in the classroom.
Using virtual and augmented reality will help teachers provide an enhanced experience in the classroom. The days of learning on a chalkboard are over; modern teachers understand that keeping each student engaged throughout the lesson not only lets them spend more time teaching, but also helps boost interest and retention.
Virtual reality applications allow students to step into a world outside the classroom. Often these experiences are not possible without this new emerging technology. Instead of learning about ancient Rome in a textbook, students now can put on a headset and walk around the Coliseum to truly experience the Roman way of life. The use of these tools doesn’t have to be expensive either. Companies like Unimersiv offer multiple platforms from the higher-end Oculus to the more obtainable Google Cardboard.
Augmented reality is just another way to show content to students in a more detailed manner. Unlike virtual reality, AR brings digital representations of different artifacts into the classroom. Students can view and manipulate these objects to gain a better understanding as well as interest for further exploration. The goal here is to keep the students captivated and engaged throughout the lesson and beyond.
As virtual and augmented reality technologies become stronger and more readily available, they will open up endless educational opportunities.
Just as artificial intelligence has begun to gain popularity in the home with the likes of Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home device, it is slowly changing the way educators think about how the classroom works. AI is gradually disrupting the experiences of both students and teaching professionals alike.
Tools like Professor Einstein, a robotic representation of Albert Einstein, help teach younger students about science. The robot can give lectures, answer questions, joke around, and even helps relate to kids by using silly facial expressions. May other tools like this are being implemented to help students with all sorts of curriculum, such as spelling and math.
Artificial intelligence won’t just be a valuable addition to students; in 2018 the industry will begin to see more tools introduced that will benefit educators. Chatbots and grading assistants are just a couple examples AI platforms will allow professionals to spend more time teaching and less time with administrative tasks.
A professor at Georgie Tech, Ashok Goel has created an AI assistant in the form of a chatbot; Jill Watson. Jill helps Ashok and his TA’s by answering the more fundamental questions for students. Gradescope, which has already helped to grade millions, has received $2.6 million in early-stage investment (6). Although costs of integrating AI tools in the classroom may seem high, it won’t be far off when more accessible tool reach the market.
2018 will continue being an exciting year for edtech companies as the classroom landscape continues to change from traditional to more immersive and interactive environments. Mobile learning, augmented and virtual reality, and artificial intelligence will continue to shine as must-have additions the modern classroom. To learn more about the work 10Pearls has done in the education space, check out some of our case studies.