What will be the EdTech Trends in 2021?
The year 2020 will be remembered as the year whensocial distancing has changed the landscape of education.
Any predictions we can make about theeducational technology trends for 2021must take this into account: the first few months of the year, at least, will be more of the same, but this time, with the addedgift of experience.
Most people will agree thatschools were unprepared for such a large-scale shift, and that while using technology to support learning can be a new and exciting opportunity, a forced switch without an adequate transition period was traumatic for everyone.
This time, however, teachers have learnt a few lessons of their own:blended learningis the keyword of EdTech trendsand the mistakes made in 2020 will be something to build upon in 2021.
Making accessibility a priority
Making education accessible is a problem that has acquired even more nuances in the age of the coronavirus. Accessibility is not just about makingaccommodations for students with disabilitiesanymore: 2020 has made thesignificant gapbetween those who have easy access to technology and those who do not more apparent than ever.
Asboth schools and familiesdo their best to equip themselves for another year of socially distanced learning, we can confidently predict thatmaking online learningsafer and not restrictedto a lucky few will be at the top of every teacher and administrator’s to-do list.
Implementingnew protocolsto make socially distanced school easier and more secure, investing in better devices and Internet connectivity,emphasizingcorrect online behaviourfor teachers and students both, using the newfound prevalence of learning delivered via technology as anopportunityto include the members of the class group who used to struggle with traditional methods of conveying knowledge: everyone, from students and their families to teaching and administration staff, can do their part tomake 2021 a year of safe and truly accessible learning并从2020年的错误和陷阱中吸取教训。
As remote and blended learning become the new normal andnew arrangements are madeboth at home and at school,disadvantaged students他们都有足够的机会赶上同龄人，不管这种劣势是由学习障碍(可以通过专门的EdTech工具来弥补)，还是由于连接问题(使参加在线课程成为一种折磨)构成的。
New ways to learn
Many teachers have lamented that online learning makes it harder to assess their students’engagement and understanding. Withless supervisionduring tests and more difficulty takingbody language cuesfrom the class during lectures, it seems impossible to gauge whether or not genuine progress is happening.
However,helpful tools are not in short supply: fromartificial intelligenceassisting the grading process, toonline learning platformsequipped with tools showing teachers which parts of the course are being skipped and which are generating more struggles, tech-savvy educators need not worry about the loss of their well-trained eye overseeing the class.Immediate feedbackfrom quizzes can be a worthy substitute of a teacher’s ability to walk from student to student providing tips and corrections;keeping track of rising and falling gradesis easier than ever;communicationwith students and families is just a click away and no longer restricted to traditional office hours. In short,there is no need to feel that socially distanced learning has placed a barrierbetween students and teachers: if anything, it can break barriers down.
Technology-driven learning also meansa more varied use of media: if live conference calls do not work for you,videos and animationscan be an effective way to convey information, and if social distancing has put a stop to your field trip, you can have a bigger and better one by transporting your class anywhere in the world and beyond withvirtual and augmented reality.
The curriculum itself will be affected by the increasing reliance on technology:2021, more than any other, will be the year of STEAM, because science, technology, engineering and mathematics will no doubt take centre stage when so much of the new generation’s education is being delivered via a computer, but we do need the arts tostay human despite everything.