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How Tech Is Transforming Education

Online education is finally shifting focus from “content” to “learner.” This promises real breakthroughs – first in creating high-impact experiences online, and then in scaling them.

The connection between immersive gaming and learning will become more powerful and practical in the classroom. Games give students the chance to learn from their mistakes and practice problem-solving skills.

Collaboration is a key 2016 EdTech trend, and it’s manifesting in unexpected ways; STEM and robotics provide enriching opportunities for hands-on projects in classroom makerspaces.

Districts moving from digital conversion strategies to implementation, the understanding that digitized isn’t digital, the recognition that curating and evaluating OER requires more time and expertise than most teachers have.

Today’s schools must have adequate network bandwidth and infrastructure to succeed. Online testing and curriculum, BYOD, video, other technologies place intense demands on the density and reliability of school networks.

It’s headed in a more decentralized direction, with a la carte type degree offerings instead of broad-encompassing degrees, and with more personalized learning opportunities each step of the way.

There is growth in the mobile devices for online learning, both in and out of the classroom. Organizations are providing solutions to better serve the needs of mobile users.

Informal, on the job training is being leveraged to fill the large skills gap in the workplace. Technology is evolving to provide a much needed shift to make training more valuable.

The Future of EdTech will move beyond the text driven experience, into a media-driven one. A revolution similar to when the IPhone first hit the cellphone market.

Large multi-touch screens in classroom will promote collaboration and engagement. Students can simultaneously participate in an activity and teachers can easily save it or distribute it via email.

Educational experiences that are enhanced or generated entirely by virtual reality.

Mobile learning will expand significantly. The ability to interact with instructors and other learners will take noteworthy steps forward.

Being able to easily access and export data from ‘open’ learning tools will no longer be a nice to have but a requirement for all those in the EdTech ecosystem. The days of closed silos are gone.

EdTech will transform giving students the opportunity to steer their own education. An increased focus on personalized learning will allow students to tailor their education to their needs and skills.

Automating workflows for basic processes can free staff to drive real value and lead to an increase in employee and student satisfaction while promoting greater creativity within the education institution.

In a world where efficiency is key and data a plentiful asset, education institutes need to rely on visual analytics to see the whole story within their data.

We’ll see a nuanced discussion of competency-based education and the credit hour as politicians prioritize the skills employers need and the degrees that are ‘passports’ to the careers employees seek.

EdTech is being overtaken by Chromebooks, which enable schools to provide easy, one-to-one access to Windows applications, without installing anything, and greater availability to education resources by students, teachers & parents.

VR is the buzzword this year. Many schools are looking at how it best fits into their student engagement mix whether it be for recruitment, athletics or in the classroom.

Expect a growing number of educational technology products and services to support and amplify self-directed learning and learning beyond formal schooling.

Before the end of the year, we will see at least 10 new project-based schools popping up all over America and many more in the rest of the world.

We are no longer in a world of cookie cutter curriculum. EdTech enables teachers and students the freedom to shape the learning environment to what they need, not what’s required.

I see educators experimenting with emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

EdTech’s biggest challenge is student retention. Online education platforms will move towards gamification and other retention tools designed to boost course completion rates.

Standard tests and certifications will become increasingly ubiquitous: training providers will need to tie their training to these standards, and students will demand them.

Education will continue to become more goal-oriented, from primary school all the way to professional skills education, the focus will shift from just cool tech to learning outcomes.

It’s an exciting time to be in EdTech as we’re seeing more students with smart devices which means as developers we have more opportunities to bring technology to the classroom.

Technology will free teachers from the role of content delivery to focus more on the role of facilitating learning.

Education will embrace Virtual Reality. Educational institutions are working on VR content. Virtual Reality will change the way we educate students bringing an immersive experiential environment to the subject material.

Continued movement toward gamification. A focus on engaging users – with information infused through the various platforms – rather than testing them will gain prevalence as best-practice.

EdTech is on the verge of disruptive innovation globally. In India, there will be more emphasis on blended learning and analytics that provide insights previously not available to educators.

Digital collaborations between academia, industry and government are changing how learning is accredited, designed and delivered. The focus must be on how we better connect people with people at scale.

With such rapid advances in technology, it is so easy to get caught up in the next fad, entrapped by enticing marketing promises. It is so important to reflect on how an innovation will enhance learning, rather than jumping in boots and all allowing our excitement to blind our judgement.

Parents will increasingly access data on their child’s performance. They will demand increased control and access to personalised educational resources and tutors. Resources trend to free, tutors will cost.

BYOD will become primary focus across schools. Virtual excursions via cloud-based video conferencing will continue to grow. 3D printing, coding & robotics will be adopted more strongly through K12.

Tech in education will be embraced by teachers beyond the scope of online learning. The use of apps, open-source and endless storage is appealing, easy-to-use and responsive to learning.

2016 will see more institutions move their IT to the cloud. Despite concerns around the costs and security of cloud technologies, expect cloud adoption rates to keep rising in 2016.