Six education tech trends for 2017.

April 18, 2017    Andrew Peers     ,

Educators have a wide range of resources at their disposal, many of which celebrate all that is positive about the digital age. Here’s our view of the six technology trends set to impact the education sector in 2017:

1. Greater use of video.

This is more than viewing video content in class; this trend is about using and creating video as part of the interactive learning process. Video assignments and collaborative projects can aid students’ interaction with their peers as a powerful way to express and share ideas and demonstrate creativity. It is sure to play a bigger role in lesson planning and home-based learning during 2017 and educators will need the hardware and software to take full advantage.

2. Using gaming.

As something that most students are already familiar with, gaming is said to encourage students to work harder in the classroom, provide an element of competition and increase engagement. Minecraft has already helped educators to make this move thanks to the launch of its Education Edition, which was designed to make it fun and easy to teach lessons with the popular game. Combined with technologies such as Virtual Reality, all supported by in-classroom audiovisual technologies, and you it’s easy to see why experiential learning will grow in popularity.

3. Virtual Reality (VR).

The proliferation of affordable Virtual Reality headsets mean that many students will now have access to VR technology in their home. With the potential to give students ‘trips’ to see the most far flung and wondrous parts of the world, recreate historical events, see the inner workings of the human heart and experience places, processes and emotions first hand it is a hugely powerful and experiential teaching tool. Educators will make far greater use of this technology in 2017 and will need to consider the spaces and technological infrastructure they need to support it.

4. 3D printing.

To date it seems that 3D printing in education has been thought about in relation to design-led subjects only. The reduced cost of equipment and increased interest in this technology will lead to schools using 3D printing across a much broader range of subjects, including Maths, Science and Engineering.

5. Reinvented libraries as digital hubs.

We’ve already blogged about the need for libraries to be reinvented as digital learning hubs in order to guarantee their place in education for years to come. This trend will continue as educators work harder to show the relevance of these resources in modern education. Redefined as places for rest, independent learning and creativity, digital hubs will also help to develop students’ research and digital skills.

6. Student driven learning.

The dawn of flipped and 360 degree learning is already seeing students empowered to study in advance of lessons. This focus on students preparing for lessons so they can join in discussion and clarify their learning, rather than being passive and completing homework after a lesson, is seeing a more involved, engaged and interactive classroom experience. The proliferation of technologies such as VR and 3D printing will play a significant role in improving experiential learning.

As educational environments become increasingly modeled on the workplace environments that they aim to prepare their students for, interactive technologies and trends such as these are coming to play an increasing role, both as educational tools and as a way of introducing young people to the kinds of technologies they will encounter in their future working lives. What’s clear is that these new ways of working and learning are here to stay.

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