***Update*** We have since published our 2019 version of this article, which you may want to read instead: Five educational technology trends for 2019…
It’s the final month of the calendar year but the world of education is already comprehensively planning for 2018. As SMT objectives evolve and technology advances, new teaching methods and edtech trends emerge each year. Technology in education constantly disrupts and enhances pedagogy. It paves the way for new learning experiences and provides innovative ways to achieve core goals for the next academic year.
Here’s the trends in technology and education to look out for in 2018:
1. Cloud-based technology
In 2018, cloud computing will continue to make learning a more streamlined experience for pupils. Students will no longer worry about files and documents being lost or deleted, or buying multiple USB flash drives to save their assignments. Essays, content related to projects, schedules and assignments will be shared more easily and securely stored on the cloud, such as Google Docs.
With more centralised storage for resources, cloud-based technology will allow educators to increase their reach and share information without increased expenditure, or additional time pressure.
2. Virtual and augmented reality
SMT will provide teachers with tools for delivering enhanced learning experiences through augmented and virtual reality in 2018. After the success of Pokemon Go, we witnessed the emergence of augmented reality in education in 2017. Teachers are increasingly using AR to layer virtual content on printed materials to enhance understanding and inspiration.
With the release of increasingly affordable and accessible VR accessories, we can expect more from this technology in 2018. The number of free apps and teaching platforms designed specifically for virtual education is growing. VR and AR will move from experimental to ubiquitous in learning. Work with your IT team to review the available devices, and make sure you investigate the costs of emulating a real work environment effectively.
3. STEAM — arts and STEM
There has been a strong pedagogical focus to increase the digital literacy of pupils, and encourage more students to adopt tech-focused subjects over the past few years. This has ensured children grow into more responsible netizens, as well as fostering key transferable skills for their futures.
According to our research on the use of technology in education in 2017, STEM classes are perceived as the most technologically-advanced of the curriculum. More traditional arts and humanities subjects, however, are recognised as catching up in their use of edtech.
Trends in technology, and the increased use of edtech across the entire curriculum, indicates that creativity will return to the forefront of education. Incorporating elements of creativity into STEM subjects has undeniable benefits including increasing the accessibility across genders, and engaging different types of learners. The STEAM approach will take more shape in 2018.
4. Technology to prevent bullying
With the prolific nature of mobile devices and social platforms, it’s a sad truth that online bullying is becoming increasingly common. While technology is an enabler for abusive behaviour, it will go on to provide more robust solutions to the problem in 2018.
Edtech will be used extensively in 2018 to monitor pupils’ technology, track the use of search terms that they use, as well as all visited websites. More apps will allow teachers and SMTs to remotely view any of their students’ devices. Other technologies will be applied directly to pupils’ devices to monitor tone of voice, location services, image scanning, keyword flagging and social media activity, to give an overall picture of a child’s mood.
Platforms to provide a means of reporting and communication between teachers and pupils will grow in popularity. These tools raise awareness of the widespread bullying issue, and enhance methods of communication.
5. Mobile-style education
Today, many pupils own a mobile device. Tapping this technology for learning in 2018 will improve engagement and motivation across all learning abilities. Mobile learning will also offer greater flexibility and accessibility for learning at home. Connecting mobile technology and devices within the classroom will allow teachers to provide a fully immersive, integrated learning experience for all learning styles and abilities.
Thank to pupils’ intuitive use of technology, in 2018 more schools will adopt tablet-like experiences for their front of class displays and incorporate this with camouflaged learning techniques and the gamification of learning. Traditional interactive whiteboards are becoming harder to scale or costly to replace, whereas SMTs are turning to more future-proof, upgradeable technologies like Promethean ActivPanels.
Innovations and trends in technology across businesses and enterprise are giving SMTs more advanced tools and better forms of edtech to improve their school’s results and enhance their teachers’ pedagogy. Innovative teachers, meanwhile, are getting more creative with their edtech, finding ways to use technology for differentiated learning and increased engagement.
The biggest potential impact on pupils of technology in education in 2018 will be the opportunity to nurture skills to help them succeed, increase the quality of learning across mixed-ability classes, and protect students’ online safety.