As technology becomes a more vital aspect of daily life, it also becomes more interconnected with education. EdTech isn’t just a conversation about lesson planning, either. It plays a pivotal role in how teachers, administrators, and schools operate — and how well students are prepared to succeed in a digital-first future.
As a new decade dawns, many people wonder how EdTech will change. Here’s a look at what experts have to say about the growth of technology in education.
AR and VR will play a greater role in learning
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are already popular in schools, and this trend is set to increase in the coming years. According to a survey from the education market intelligence platform HolonIQ, the amount spent on advanced technology in education will reach $12.6 billion by 2025, up from $1.8 billion in 2018.
This suggests that AR and VR won’t just become aspects of certain classroom units — they’ll play a vital role in how lessons are learned and delivered.
For example, teachers can use augmented reality to expand the physical world of the classroom with video, sound, and graphics, says science and technology writer Susan Fourtané. By 2025, there may be more tools specifically designed for this purpose, making it easier for teachers with little technical background to transform their learning environment.
Whether they’re bringing mathematical equations to life or bringing historical figures into the classroom, classroom teachers will have more possibilities for using AR than ever before.
Mobile apps will expand learning capabilities
Mobile phones were originally seen as disruptions to learning, but by 2025, more teachers will be leveraging them. Educational apps, also known as e-learning apps, can be fun ways to reinforce concepts that students have learned in school. For this reason, they’re also poised to play a larger role in homework, as well as in the flipped classroom model.
One of the biggest benefits of mobile apps is that they can be accessed anywhere, at any time, writes the team at technology solutions provider Clavax. This expands the potential of mobile apps to power flexible, personalized learning experiences. In the future, mobile apps may also be used to create greater connections between teachers and parents.
In addition, mobile apps can help teachers become more efficient at tasks like content development, reporting, grading, and evaluation.
Tech will power guardian involvement
Parent and guardian involvement has always been an important part of student success, but it can be a challenge for working parents to be as involved as they want to be.
New communication technology is poised to change this, according to a report from Google. Specifically, in a world where both parents in almost half of two-parent households work full time, technology is needed to facilitate conversation between parents and teachers.
By 2025, technology will increasingly help busy parents connect both to student work and to teachers. If a parent misses a meeting with a teacher, for example, a virtual meeting can take its place. Communication technologies can also allow parents to talk to teachers directly via an app to devise a solution in the event their child is struggling in class.
More tech companies will invest in education
While education has historically been seen as an underserved and underfunded industry, the role of technology in classrooms is changing this trend. In fact, more Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and companies are poised to invest in education than ever before. Many tech founders see education as an investment that extends beyond the classroom walls.
“Kids are the future — and that’s definitely a market space you want to be positioned in. You’re doing something for the good of society and education is one of the best ways to do that,” says mSchools director Albert Forn.
He adds that it makes sense for tech companies to be involved in EdTech because it teaches future generations critical job skills like logic, coding, and how to use artificial intelligence tools. This prepares students to succeed in tech jobs, which will continue to grow in demand. If tech companies play a role in schools, this will open new possibilities for grants and funding that empower digital literacy and equality in technology education.
Classroom environments will prioritize EdTech
The traditional classroom layout, with students seated in rows and the teacher at the front, is already going by the wayside. By 2025, many classrooms will have evolved in scope and structure to accommodate the technology.
For example, Ethan Dunwill at eLearning Industry says there will be standing desks, private workspaces, and more overall autonomy regarding not only where, but how to complete work. As the traditional model of teaching in the classroom gets flipped on its head, environments that support hybrid and blended learning will also become more important to teachers of all grade levels.
These arrangements will prioritize technology; for instance, students working on a robotics project will have a dedicated collaborative station equipped with outlets, tablets, and other essential tools.
The classroom will also become more flexible, with movable walls and folding furniture that can adapt easily to the lesson. This flexibility will also accommodate virtual reality tools better, as students who want to stand up and move around during a virtual reality lesson will need to do so in a safe, open space designed to meet that purpose.
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