There is little doubt that 2020 has affected the way we perceive traditional and online education. While COVID-19 may slowly become a thing of the past, the education industry has taken notice of new technologies helping to make studying engaging. Whether you’re a teacher or a student, here are some of the most impactful trends you can look forward to in ed-tech in 2021.
Per-Student Personalization over Generalization
Every student inherently wants to learn at a different pace than their classmates. Whether it’s STEM subjects, social studies, or PE, personalization has become a major point of concern in traditional schooling. While private institutions continue to strive toward personalization, public schools and universities still struggle to provide their student bodies with enough personalized learning.
Based on published data, only 41% of students graduate from college in four years, with only 45% of students getting degrees at their first-choice colleges. That’s why we can look forward to a more concrete push toward personalization based on each student’s aptitude and affinities rather than continue with generalization. Generalized curriculums with a one-size-fits-all mentality are slowly becoming a thing of the past, and with that, students will be more encouraged to study daily.
Expansion of VR/AR Utilization in Classrooms
As virtual reality (VR) headsets become more affordable and lightweight, their schooling application continues to grow. Augmented reality (AR) applications have also grown in popularity because so many students have access to their smartphones at school.
The combination of VR and AR in education has never been as appealing as it is in 2021. This has enabled teachers to introduce creative new exercises, demonstrations, and lessons into existing curriculums. Students with the mindset of “I’m looking for the best website to write my research paper with” benefit from the greater emphasis on digital technologies. They are now encouraged to solve tasks and do research online through autonomous writing and gathering of data via their smartphones and tablets.
Gamification of Courses and Exams
The video game industry is bigger and more popular than ever before thanks to the global pandemic we went through in 2020. Many students spend their free time playing online games with friends and classmates, and many still play offline single-player games. This has made gamification in education the logical next step forward.
Gamification of different school and university tasks can help engage students and make curriculums more interesting and rewarding. A good example of gamified learning can already be seen in platforms such as Duolingo, where students earn points and gems for completed lessons. Following the same logic, we can see this trend expand in 2021 with more experimentation with gamified learning in traditional schooling.
Persistence of eLearning over Traditional Curriculums
Speaking of carryover trends from 2020, online learning will continue to persist this year due to how popular it became during social distancing norms. Students have adapted to platforms such as Khan Academy and Udemy and have embraced learning at their own pace from home.
This has created some concern over screen time spent in front of the computer. Yet, the perks far outweigh some cons. Students can take full benefit of free essay samples to write their papers and essays for example, which is impossible to do without online resources.
Subsequently, oral tests, multiple-choice exams, and handing in papers and essays can also take place online. This eliminates the need for students to commute to and from schools and enables students without schools nearby to attend them without issues.
What the Future Holds for Ed-Tech (Conclusion)
While no one can say for certain what the future holds for ed-tech in 2021, we can still make educated predictions. Based on recent reports, 65% of faculties support using online resources for teaching, with 58% of teachers being in favor of online learning in 2020.
There is a want and need for digital learning both from teachers and students. Society dictates how educational technologies will develop going forward. All we can do is follow along and adapt to the coming changes as they come.