The Role of the Web has increased in the lives of students. All their research, video trainings, internship applications, and social network updates through internet are a part of their lives. Due to the increase in mobile phones in the hand of many
students, the accessibility to internet has also increased and hence the use of education tools.
We can see the students shifting from old methods of teaching with a pen and paper to a digital world full of technology, which provides a great opportunity for edtech vendors and developers to fulfill their expectations.
The trends that will help the edtech companies to think over the possibilities of innovation are:
In 2013, one expects to create value from the power of big data. Using big data and analytics in education industry to improve the learning is on minds of big players in the edtech space. Learning about the learning patterns of students for their improvement will help in improving education. Various researches suggest it can be made possible with a useful platform that can store, record and categorize student’s digital footprints.
The expectations from learning like students knowing what to study next, what path others took to get there and prompting them to move on when they’re ready should be practiced by edtech vendors in the market.
But many developing countries lack the adoption by students and teacher to digital tools, so this needs to be kept in mind by the edtech vendors before they can let the students and teachers benefit of big data, personalized learning and adaptive learning.
Students need to be taken out of the nut shell and need to be exposed to the number of possibilities in various ways of learning. Once that is achieved, their use of internet and digital tools can then be seen as millions of data points from which best learning algorithms can be developed and tested. This is also predicted in the NMC Horizon Report 2013 for the coming years.
The goal for future should be development of a powerful platform capable of understanding what the user needs to learn, what they know and don’t. Based on these learning, students and faculties can compare what they’re doing against others like them.
Also, once it is used by millions of users, the collective knowledge can be used for best results for all like-minded individuals.
The merging of online, mobile and social technologies has made it easier than ever to connect and share content with other students. And as a result, learning communities are taking off.
The power of learning as a community can well be seen in form of millions of users of products like Learnist, which is using a community pinboard format to share information. Also StudyBlue users have created more than 100 million study materials to promote learning together.
It seems understanding and learning in presence of others is a more preferred way by students. For example, StudyBlue student users willingly allow their notes and flashcards to be shared. They gradually understand the fact that like-minded individuals tend to understand things in similar ways.
On a global level, digital devices like tablets have become very common in classrooms at schools and universities. And learning in 21st century has its roots in such devices and their usage.
BYOD catching like fire in university classrooms have made a great impact in the overall use of such devices and their learning outcomes. Students are using tablets and phones as aid of learning easily.
For example, they now simply Google the word from their phone to know the meaning, replacing the hesitance they had to ask teachers. With one tap they can save the meaning and sync it with their PC to store and use for further use.
Different practices of using these devices are being implemented at different kind of schools and institutes. Few schools use it to provide supplementary and interactive learning experiences for students, whereas few schools regardless of the grade level, teachers and professors have begun to enthusiastically usher devices into their classrooms, making it possible for digital content and services to move from supplemental to essential parts of the curriculum.
The year 2013 hopes to see tremendous innovation in the field of edtech. Many people will understand the importance of adoption of technology. Big data, learning as a community and digital devices will be the pillars of edtech for the year ahead. What are your views on the same?