Five Digital Trends in Education
Educators are coming to realize the tremendous opportunity digital technology offers student learning in the U.S. Traditionally, the education sector can be resistant to change, holding on to conventional methods and practices. However, the digital revolution has impacted educational technology; teachers are making significant progress in their use of technology in their instruction, testing and even the physical environment of their classrooms, at a much faster rate than expected. These current trends are making headlines in education because of the impact they are having on student learning and development.
- Personalized instruction
Every student is a unique learner, with their own strengths and challenges. In the past, educators often had to apply the same teaching approach to all students in their classroom.
Today’s technological advances have made it possible for teachers to evolve beyond this limiting paradigm. In the classroom of today, teachers are using a “blended learning” approach, that enables them to allow individual students to move through the materials at their own pace and with personalized learning opportunities. While traditional instruction will continue where appropriate, teachers have many more learning techniques that can be employed to better fit the learning style of each unique student.
- Augmented and virtual reality
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are game-changers in the world of education. Students are no longer expected to sit at their desks all day long. Education technology has facilitated collaborative and interactive learning opportunities. AR and VR are being used to enhance instruction while simultaneously creating immersive lessons that are fun and engaging for students. Examples include:
- Giving students the opportunity to choose their learning setting
- Providing first-hand creative learning experiences (i.e. traveling in a historic time-period)
- Enabling students to interact with teachers and other students within a virtual reality setting
Current learning applications that are being used in the educational industry include Unimersiv, Cospaces and Magic Leap. While the full impact of VR and AR in the classroom is still not understood, it is clear that these technologies have the potential to increase visual literacy, technological literacy and attention to audience.
- Pervasive online environments
Schools all across the country are providing students with devices that are integrated into regular classroom learning. Students no longer have to wait to go to the technology lab to access a laptop or tablet. An increase in federal funding for classroom computerized devices have outfitted students with iPads and laptops for each student. This integration of computer devices into the classroom offers exciting possibilities that increases the technological literacy of students, including education on cyber safety and individual responsibility.
- Gaming elements
For many years, many educators seem to think that video games were not conducive to learning. Today, we know that simply isn’t true. Gamification in the classroom can help students learn essential skills, such as problem solving. Games provide students with immediate feedback and teaches students how to learn by doing rather than by memorization. And, teachers notice that kids tend to be more engaged and motivated when learning through technologically-based games.
- Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a transformative technology that has the potential to change education significantly. In the education industry, the connected classroom offers one of the most promising digital trends. Uniting all of the school’s devices into a single network will enable the classroom to become a highly-customizable environment that will meet the needs of teachers and pupils alike. For example, when a teacher or student enters the room, their assigned device will adjust the settings based on their needs and preferences, such as lighting, displaying their place in their course and more.
Many of these digital trends are already being utilized widely, while others are still gaining traction in the education industry. New technology and learning models are exciting and offer remarkable possibilities to today’s learners, but they will require a new paradigm of support and responsiveness to students, instructors and learning institutions. Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) offers the insight and guidance necessary to develop smart and effective insurance programs for educational institutions. Contact us here to learn more about our specialized expertise in the education industry.