Over the last decade, technology has fundamentally altered practically every aspect of our lives – from business and socialising, to learning and education. Considering the exponential rate at which technology develops and integrates into public life, there’s good reason to believe the biggest changes are yet to come.
In this blog post, we’ll take a precognitive stab at education technology predictions for the upcoming year, and outline what they mean for teachers and faculty on the ground.
Mobile learning will increase in popularity.
While mobile technology has already started featuring in classrooms to great effect, there’s good reason to believe its use will only become more popular and widespread. There are two main reasons for this. First, educational mobile applications that are suitable for a classroom environment are increasing in both quantity and quality, adding to their viability as an effective educational tool.
The second reason mobile learning will become more popular in 2017 is that the technology that facilitates it – smart phones, tablets and the like – is becoming more accessible to a wider range of demographics. There are already quite a few budget smartphones available for under £100 pounds, and the market for ultra-affordable basic devices is only set to grow.
Intelligent learning apps will cater to each student’s specific needs.
In the world of mobile applications, there’s a definite trend towards intelligent apps that change their functionality according to the characteristics and progression of the user. In the context of education technology, intelligent learning apps have the potential to use built-in artificial intelligence to analyse a particular student or class and recommend learning methods and materials that best suit their learning style.
Intelligent applications have already been experimented with in the United States, where IBM and Apple have partnered to create a “Student Achievement App” that provides teachers with real-time analytics of their students’ performance.
Meanwhile, here in the UK, companies like Third Space Learning are taking strides to empower teachers and tutors with similar real-time analytics on student performance. Data-driven intelligent learning apps like Third Space can also provide much-needed support for teachers of overcrowded classrooms who would otherwise lack the resources to cater to each student’s specific learning needs.
Virtual Reality will enter the classroom.
Virtual reality (VR) is another likely candidate for growth in the 2017 education technology landscape. While still largely in its infancy, VR media is being developed at an astounding rate for a wide variety of markets and demographics. And considering its potential for immersive learning experiences, it’s only natural for it to become a key player in education technology.
Imagine being a student in history class learning about the 1916 battle of the Somme, but instead of poring over miles and miles of text, names and dates, you’re transported to the gritty frontlines, diving into the trenches to avoid charging horses and machine gun fire. Or perhaps you’re studying astrophysics and learning about the physical laws of planetary motion – while hurtling through space, surrounded by the stars and planets. The educational possibilities are (virtually) endless.
For more on the various companies leading the way in educational VR, check out this informative article from TechCrunch.
Mobile Guardian is a leading Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform for teachers, IT admins and parents to help their students and children get the most from technology in a safe and responsible way. If you’d like to see Mobile Guardian in action, you can visit us at Bett 2017 (stand B409) where we’ll be hosting interactive classrooms and live demos.