Top 5 edtech trends right now: SoftLINK’s list
We live in an incredibly fast-paced world and, although always and forever mandatory, education in its traditional form has become more of a chore that needs to be done and physically attended to in order to be fully effective. As more and more people – especially young students in schools – have less time than ever because of the wide variety of activities that fulfill their life other than school, the need for a more practical, but just as efficient solution has appeared.
For the past decade, the educational world has been swooshed by a wave of trailblazing software solutions and concepts that set the stage for a whole new world of learning. The concept of edtech has always been there – since we all live in the age of technology, it was inevitable that it would sooner or later infiltrate the classroom and create a change.
Because the digital world and edtech evolve so rapidly, it is of great importance that educators and everyone involved in the process have access to the newest technologies so they can fully experience the benefits of modern learning.
Physical classrooms and the same learning environments are no longer a thing. Today we are able to attend class from digital platforms that enable us to actively engage with the same (in some cases even better and richer!) learning resources while being on the go and to learn at our own pace and according to our own educational needs.
Read on to discover SoftLINK team’s choice of the 5 most promising trends in edtech right now.
1. AI powered learning
AI’s role in the modification of the modern world is not even a question anymore. Its importance is particularly visible in edtech practices. Its sole purpose is to emulate human activities with a higher level of intelligence in order to provide a better experience for users and save time and resources.
One of the ways AI is used in education is automatic assessment. AI can customize tests for individual students and provide a fair evaluation based on the pure objectivity of a machine. It can also be used for generating reports that focus on the students’ strengths and weaknesses.
Artificial Intelligence tutoring programs are also a big thing in edtech right now; their role is to ensure additional support to the students besides their teachers; AI provides an opportunity to assist teachers in creating highly customized classes tailored specifically for individual students and provide insightful feedback.
As we have witnessed how educational facilities have performed in the crisis situation during the COVID-19 pandemic, we could also see how E-learning platforms came to the rescue. Distance learning platforms are probably the most popular trend in edtech right now, and they provide students of all kinds with almost infinite possibilities for learning as the technology progresses.
The Research Institute of America states that eLearning increases retention rates by 25 to 60 percent. This is also important because it creates a space for teachers to teach multiple students at the same time when they attend class from a different setting, and among its best features are on-demand recorded lectures that can be accessed at any time.
Online courses have a solid presence in the edtech industry and are widely used in various educational settings, and have by now become a norm that is constantly being developed and enhanced.
Google offers educators and learners a pack of tools that has by now become a necessity. Schools right now operate classes by using Google docs to take and exchange notes, Gmail and Google workspace for communication and – it does not even have to be mentioned – the Google search engine to access literally any kind of information required at the moment.
Google classroom and Google Assignments are tools created specifically for educational needs; they provide schools with space to interact with students in a digital environment, and help teachers grade homework and assignments in an easy way.
4. Cloud-based platforms
The integration of cloud technology has entered the classroom in a big way. It creates transparent space for academic management and learning content, contributing to the democratisation of the entire educational process. The cloud-based platforms are also very practical for clear communication between school, teachers and parents, online fee management, online admissions, etc.
The constructive effect of games on learning practices has always been known. Games are known to boost focus, understanding, and retention, and they are very efficient in immersing learners in the educational content. The process of gamification means using the game elements in designing learning content, promoting situational learning, and enhancing the interactivity of the learning experience which is of the utmost importance for quality education.
Games help learners become completely absorbed in a task and let them easily achieve the flow that is needed for efficient learning, engaging them into a simulation of a real-life experience and a range of human emotions that are necessary for full immersion in the learning process, including competition and reward.
Games are not necessarily considered edtech as they do not fit the traditional definition of educational technology as in means of service, but their basic qualities certainly do make a great platform for active involvement in the learning process.
Honourable mention: Blended learning
The best of both worlds, blended learning mixes traditional learning methods with the latest available educational technologies. Its advocates praise the higher level of personalization that it allows, mentioning the problem that face-to-face teaching brings – it is harder for teachers to dedicate quality time to each student individually in a big classroom.
The implementation of edtech allows exactly that, because, with the emphasis placed on the use of technology in order to speed up the learning processes, students tend to react more positively to interaction with peers and teachers.