Top 7 Emerging Education Technologies and Concepts

It’s often obvious to see the ways in which technology is impacting society, with wifi being more readily available, apps allowing for instant updates, information systems and services becoming digital, the pace of communication is moving at a rate never seen before. However, what about traditional systems such as education?

Parents live in a world where they’re constantly aware of the dangers of online activities but what about the benefits? As with all things in life, there are advantages and disadvantages but technology seems to receive a particularly bad rap. With education being impacted by technology, hopefully parents will grow to have more confidence in the system especially if it’s improving the outcome of their children’s education/results.

Today we will review 7 top ten emerging education technologies:

1. FLIPPED AND BLENDED LEARNING

Flipped classrooms are where traditional teaching schedules are inverted. Teachers create short instructional lecture videos (10 minutes) which students watch in their own time at home. Instead of spending class time teaching the concepts, the time is used to put the video material into practice or to discuss any issues the student may have in understanding the material. Essentially, homework time is now class time and external class time is used to view new material.

Blended learning is a less radical approach than flipped learning, in that it takes whatever elements of dispersed learning that work for a specific teacher and are blended into their teaching style. Where flipped learning is aimed at traditional school-based learning, blended systems can be wider reaching, to include e-learning, MOOCs and online courses, backed up by tutors and so on. Blended learning makes provision for current practices and also for higher education or commercial learning methods.

2. BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE INITIATIVES

Instead of insisting students turn off their digital devices, the bring your own device (BYOD) initiative encourages those with devices to use them in class. This may include learning via tablets or smartphones. Not only do many students have these devices, software companies are constantly expanding their programs to include educational tools and programs in order to encourage the practice of education through technology. BYOD frees up resources which means the focus can remain on the provision of material rather than ensuring the base of equipment is the same.

3. OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

The cost of textbooks has always been a point of contention in education all over the world. If the cost of textbooks can be decreased by the increased use of open source software and free resources then education will be readily available to more students across the globe. Open source software allows users to access software without having to license (pay for) the copy, buy the material online and can be distributed in a public, collaborative fashion. Khan academy is a great open resource option.

4. VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS (VLE) AND CLASS WEB PAGES

Considering the internet is accessible as it is on so many mediums (mobile phones, traditional computers and tablets) these days it makes sense to have online web pages for classes to upload their material. Students should be able to access class information, task information and homework directions at any time of the day in order to clarify what needs to be done. Gone are the days where, if homework was not written down, then the task would not be completed. Nowadays students should be able to go online, clarify any information that they do not understand, whether it be on subject matter, task requirements or deadlines and complete their required work.

Virtual Learning Environments are fast becoming a stable of most schools’ online infrastructure. Each resource will be slightly different but the core values are the same, that being that the VLE’s provide an online library where students are able to access information or even share their own information. This increases the opportunities to collaborate between students or schools as well as reducing duplication costs that traditional education so often requires.

5. MOOCs

MOOCs stands for Massive Open Online Course and is, as the name suggests, an online course available to hundreds of students at a time. Lectures are placed online and accessed by students all around the world. There is no limit to the amount of students who can join as well as share the educational material such as videos, readings, exercises, etc. This was a popular concept when it was first launched but has slowed down. However, it still has a lot of potential for the future as internet access becomes less expensive and more accessible around the globe.

Although there are no limits in the development of technology, moving slowly but surely and embracing change s vital in sustaining a mergence between traditional teaching and technology. These top 7 educational technologies and concepts have our vote for the near future.

6. TOUCH SCREEN LCDS

Active whiteboards have made a vast improvement in the education sector, however, touch screen LCD’s have taken the display board to the next level due to their added benefits. LCD boards often run independent software which allows extra flexibility for the school in terms of cost as well as educators having accessibility to a wider range of software features. The running costs of LCD boards are also lower than traditional white boards as projector bulbs and complex wiring are unnecessary.

Projectors are also known to be noisy machines which impact on the quality of the lesson given. Students constantly have to pay attention over the external projector sounds whilst the teacher has to over project to be heard. Touch screens cut out all this unnecessary noise and allow for a far more effective learning environment.

7. INTEGRATED AV

Integrating AV takes account of the modern explosion in connectivity and classroom media. As more classrooms become more multimedia efficient, so it has become imperative for estate, maintenance and IT staff to integrate the various media sources to stay on top. The teacher’s computer is key in the process which increasingly includes integrating Wi-Fi, BYOD, the smartboard, PC and sound system into an integrated system. Until the provision of 3rd generation AV sound systems like the FrontRow JUNO, sound was the odd-man out and was being left behind. Even more strikingly, the teachers’ voice was also not being integrated as THE most important media source of them all. Lesson Capture, microphones and other recording techniques bring not only the teacher’s voice, but other sound sources into the AV mix, creating a truly Integrated AV solution.

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