This post has been updated on March 4, 2020.
Most people don’t consider education technology to be such an important industry, but it’s actually gigantic. According to the report, the edtech industry will reach a global value of $252 billion by 2020.
The edtech sphere is obviously developing quickly, so some things that seemed impossible only a few years ago have become a standard in the meantime. The change already delivers extraordinary results and 96% of teachers claim that edtech increases student engagement in learning.
5 New edtech tools to watch
The technology is evolving rapidly, so it’s hard to predict what is going to happen in the next 20 or 30 years. However, we can discuss the things that are already here and describe how they influenced everyday classroom activities.
In this post, we will show you the top five new techno tools that you might use in your university. Let’s take a look!
Traditional education has always been based on the power of storytelling. After all, it was much easier to describe a cell than to show it under the microscope (not to mention concepts like atoms, black holes, etc.). However, the whole system changes with the introduction of 3D learning.
It’s a teaching solution based on Virtual or Augmented Reality. What is the difference between the two technologies? While VR creates a 100% simulation, AR adds another layer over the real-world image. With such tools at your disposal, you can not only discuss certain themes but also show them to the students.
For instance, Osso VR is a virtual reality technology company founded on the principle of training surgeons with real world skills that can be directly applied when in the operating room. It’s a revolutionary technology that makes medical training faster, cheaper, and much safer.
But it’s not the only field of application. The possibilities are almost countless since you can actually show students how molecules look like, present the famous battles, present ocean creatures, and do many similar things previously considered impossible.
The best way to acquire and retain knowledge is by learning through games. Modern educators know this very well, so they’ve come up with many different ways to incorporate gamification elements into the everyday classroom environment. But what is the purpose of gamification?
According to psychology experts at the BestEssayTips agency, the point is to make the learning process more exciting through healthy competition: “When students have a quantifiable objective in front of them, they are more willing to give their best and outperform other colleagues. This is why gamification plays such a major role in contemporary education.”
If you are wondering how it works in practice, here’s a good example: Duolingo is a free mobile app that helps students to learn foreign languages. Anyone can take grammar, reading, speaking, or writing lessons in dozens of languages, but the entire process is based on gamification.
Students earn points for correct answers or lose otherwise. Besides that, Duolingo counts how many days in a row they spend learning a language, thus giving them another incentive to keep working. The same gamification principle counts for many other subjects and the corresponding mobile apps, making this learning strategy universal.
The idea of a robot teacher may seem like a too futuristic concept at the moment, but it’s really an ongoing project in many schools and colleges worldwide. This type of tool has various benefits over traditional teaching:
- Robot teachers provide students with up to date knowledge, always making sure to follow the latest news and education trends
- They can customize the teaching so as to match the specific requirements of each student individually
- Robot teachers are able to work 24/7 without taking a break and don’t need a salary
- They are patient and unbiased
The Kudan Elementary School in downtown Tokyo organized the first robot teacher testing as far back as 2009. Since then, the technology drastically improved and now we have much more advanced robot teachers operating successfully all across the globe.
Online learning is an all-encompassing strategy that doesn’t consist of only one tool. On the contrary, it’s a whole category of different tools and software solutions that help students to become better and more productive.
First of all, cloud storage eliminates the need for physical textbooks. Today, it’s easy to find books or other studying materials online within seconds, sometimes even free of charge. Secondly, teachers can organize class blogs or diaries and launch online learning communities to encourage student participation and engagement in curriculum activities.
The system also enables distance learning, while a lot of universities are already inviting professors from abroad to hold guest lectures using the state of the art online communication tools.
At the same time, online learning has a valuable side effect – students who use it regularly also get to learn about the latest IT tools and programs, gaining a comparative advantage over the less engaged peers.
Digital libraries are not the brand new thing in the edtech universe, but the concept itself is going through changes just like all other aspects of this industry. Namely, the number of digital libraries dedicated to specific subject and purposes is constantly increasing, allowing students to gain access to primary sources.
For example, NewseumED is one such library where students can find and analyze a plethora of primary sources, videos, artifacts, and copyrighted materials dedicated to the First Amendment and civic life in general.
If you want to see the original Watergate Affair documents, you can find them on NewseumED. The same goes for Hitler’s speeches, top secrets of the Vietnam War, and thousands of other topics. It’s a huge knowledge resource in only one area of study, so just imagine the impact of digital libraries on all other fields such as the literature, archaeology, etc.
New technologies influence every aspect of life and work, education included. There are so many ways to improve the everyday learning experience using all sorts of apps and IT gadgets, which is why the edtech industry keeps growing and coming up with new solutions in this field.
Our article showed you the top five tech tools that you could already be using in your university. These teaching assistants are simple but highly practical, so don’t hesitate to give them a try – some of them might really boost student engagement in your classroom.