Tech and Education
By Emily Watts
Most recent tech trends in education appear to make the learning process more interesting and accessible to students. In this article, we are going to talk about educational tech trends that can simplify students’ life.
1. Video content is a must-have
Vast majority of people perceives visual information more effectively. It can be presented in form of animations, slides, live videos on Facebook and Instagram. According to forecasts, by 2019, video content will cover 80% of the world’s Internet traffic. First of all, there is a demand for entertaining videos, but this trend, beyond question, will also affect education.
The popularity of educational video content is growing along with expansion and improvement of mobile communications, as well as increase in the number of smartphone owners. Advanced distance learning courses’ providers are already busy digitizing text materials and reformatting them into video content. Webinars will remain an effective learning tool but only if they are high-quality and attention-dragging.
2. Gamification of the learning process
For many, pursuit of knowledge is associated with an unbearably boring process whereas gaming was always considered to be the opposite of learning. Pay attention to children when they play with an iPad. Did you see how eager they are to level up or get a new outfit for their character? Kids do not even think that games are created for the sake of one purpose – to develop fine motor skills and logic. This use of the educational technology for non-gaming purposes is the most accurate definition of gamification.
And what if you add some gaming practices to the learning process such as challenges, competition, cooperation, leader ratings, awards, and achievements?
As the result, you will get:
- High level of involvement and interaction: when technology and education are combined, emotional perception increases the acquisition of information by 9%;
- The opportunity to experiment and introduce new methods of management and advancement without monetary losses;
- Understanding of functioning of education-related processes at all levels.
With the help of gaming methods and thus information technology in education, it is easier to explain complex concepts and to test knowledge. During interactive training, students develop decision-making skills, which are going to help them later in life when for example, they are tasked with writing an essay. In this case, they might want to get some professional help in essay writing online.
3. Virtual and augmented realities
Ever dreamed of wearing a helmet and feeling like, for example, an air pilot? Now, virtual reality (VR) technologies are more accessible and they are among the new trends in education: these are used for studying historical events, training physicians, etc. This method ensures complete immersion and involvement in the learning process at the emotional level. Information is better remembered, motor skills of movements are honed. However, with all the advantages, the use of virtual reality is quite expensive.
The use of the Augmented Reality (AR) technology in education seems to become more realistic in 2018. In this case, it is enough to download the necessary application to your device. AR helps to better understand the structure or functioning of objects, and among its advantages are:
- Visual expression: the technology allows you to see the smallest details, zoom in, zoom out or interact with an object; it facilitates the study of nuclear processes, cellular structure, molecular structure, architectural structures, etc.;
- Reliability: you can penetrate the essence of things without fear of breaking something or messing up;
- This education technology is cheaper than the use of VR technologies.
For the digital generation – those who are under 20, – learning with the help of virtual and augmented realities will be a natural thing. Most likely, they will use a mix of two technologies, for example, HoloLens from Microsoft or analogs. Initially designed for gamers, the device has become popular in the educational and business environment.
4. Mobile learning
Until recently, we were happy to be able to check our email on a mobile phone, but the new tech is coming. It all started with applications for learning a foreign language, and now, the number of audio lectures is enormous. Even the world-famous educational platform Coursera has released its application with a set of lectures for various specializations, which allows students to learn on the go.
If earlier, in universities it was important for students to attend lectures whereas laboratory and practical tasks had to be prepared at home, now everything has changed. Teachers give students links to online lectures, and in the classroom, they prefer to focus on developing practical skills. The founder of “Flip-thinking” is a teacher with 20 years of experience from Colorado, who began to upload videos of his mathematics courses on Youtube. Such flipped learning combines the best aspects of traditional methods and online education. Teachers are also comfortable using this form of tech education because it makes it possible to save time on delivering theoretical aspects and devote more time to practice.