What will be the Education Technology Trends for 2019?
As 2018 comes to a close and we prepare to ring in the new year, it is time to look ahead and make our predictions on the new directions in which education technology is going.Technology is continuing to advancein all fields and education is no exception: we may not be able to see the future, but we can make an educated guess on the EdTech trends for the coming year.
In 1951, Isaac Asimov imagined that in 2157, children would no longer go to school, butlearn from machinesthat could teach them lessons and evaluate their homework:that day may be closerthan he ever believed.Artificial intelligence is on the riseand the classroom is no stranger to this trend: the growing importance and capabilities of AI willchange the learning experience for both students and teachers.
FromAI teaching assistantsto usingdata analysisto help pupilsfocus on the areas in which they are lacking, to the acknowledgement thatcomputational thinking,coding and robotics are a fundamental part of the school curriculumand thatcoding should be considered a form of literacy, teachershave not been replaced by machinesyet and probably will not be for a long time, butboth educators and learners can expect to rely more on artificial intelligencein 2019.
The classroom of the future
The impact of EdTech on schools has changed, and will continue to change,the way classrooms look and feel. Interactivewhiteboards, projectors, and mobile devices at every student’s disposal, whether assigned by the school or brought from home, are flanking and sometimes replacing the traditional blackboards and chalk we used to associate to the school experience,wi-fi connection in classroomsis more readily available, andEdTech is transforming even thedesign of the classroom itself, which may become an environment in whicheveryone is equal, with no ‘front’ from which the teacher can impart knowledge to be accepted without question, aninteractive, adaptable ‘smart space’in whichinformation comes from multiple sources.
Beyond the screen
Using technology in the classroom isno longer limited to students staring at screens. One of the trends we can expect in 2019 is for technology to becomeeven more pervasive and immersiveand totake new and more diverse forms: the rise ofwearable technologyand theInternet of Thingsmeans that common objects in our lives, including the ones we use in class, will beaugmentedand acquire the capability tostore and give information, making technology more and moreintegrated into our daily activities.
It comes as no surprise, then, that with the growing presence of technology in our day to day routines, one of the most hotly anticipated EdTech trends for 2019 is thecheaper andmore widespread use of mixed reality, which allow students tointeract with their surroundings in new waysand evensimulatedifferent environments they would never otherwise reachwithout stepping out of the classroom. VR setsanddigital twinsof real-world objects will grant them animmersive, hands-on experiencewithout thedifficulties and dangersof interacting with the physical counterparts of the places and things they are shown, and augmented reality will train them for a future in whichtechnology is a part of the fabric of the world.
Learning revolves around students
The changes in students’ learning experienceare not just physical: the advancement of EdTech goes beyond the addition of more devices to the classroom andaffects education at a deeper level, bringingprofound innovations to the way information is given and assimilated. The coming year will see a continuation of the trend offocusing on each individual student’s needs,using technology to provide apersonalised path to learningin whichcontent adapts to students and not vice versa: with the aid of EdTech, learning becomes acontinuous, multimedia experiencethat spans many different forms, follows students home if they cannot be present, isinteractive and engaging, particularly with the rising popularity ofgamification, and most importantly,does not expect everyone to conform to the same educational modelthat may work well for some students and be damaging to others.