The previous year was a difficult but exciting time for EdTech innovation. According to UNESCO, 40% of poor countries failed to support learners during the pandemic, with fewer than 10% having laws to ensure full educational inclusion.
Availability of educational tools and resources is broadening in 2021, and with that, students have access to far more to work with. Here are the tech and learning trends and tools for EdTech innovators as well as teachers and students to look out for.
Learning by doing is a mantra many K-12 and academic institutions have adopted over the years, which is where Google comes in. Google Lens is a smartphone application that integrates itself into the user’s camera and performs searches based on what’s captured.
Taking a photo of an exotic plant, animal, or even a paragraph of text in a different language will present you with Google’s search results. This app is useful for every student from elementary to college-level due to its flexibility and rich data repository. The changes it can introduce are vast, and EdTech innovators can use it as inspiration to develop smartphone apps that would rely on camera functionality.
Many of today’s students are avid gamers and pop culture fans in their spare time and using gamification to teach them can be very productive. Roblox is a platform that allows teachers to organize online games for students with the intent to communicate different concepts. This educational platform is more leaned toward K-12 students and is quite easy to set up in a classroom environment.
Creating custom-made games is also straightforward thanks to Roblox’s Lua coding language. With Roblox, even teachers can become EdTech innovators who can create wonderful experiences for their students to enjoy learning from. Created games can be shared on the platform’s website in an open-source manner, further expanding the educational possibilities of Roblox.
The idea behind Prezi is simple yet game-changing all the same. Prezi is a platform that allows EdTech professionals and teachers to merge presentations with video footage. The platform intends to enable teachers to show their faces, speak to the student, and engage them with a visual presentation in one package.
It integrates seamlessly into platforms like Zoom, Google, and YouTube, so sharing Prezi presentations isn’t difficult at all. You can instruct students to write essays and deliver their essay instructions via a Prezi video. This comes with an added benefit: when creating a presentation, students go through their notes once again and better memorize the material. Thus, even if they choose to pay for essay, they will still work with the material. With Prezi, long-distance learning and remote collaboration don’t have to be as difficult as it once was.
Minecraft has become something of a phenomenon since it first launched in 2011. The game is now so popular and intuitive that a group of Japanese students used it to create their graduation ceremony during the COVID-19 lockdown. Contrary to its standard edition, Minecraft: Education Edition is leaned toward learning through group collaboration, problem-solving, and students’ creativity.
The game already features a host of learning resources, curriculums, and learning challenges created by the educational community. This opens the doors for a plethora of EdTech innovations to take place in the form of interactive video games. They can be fun and useful as learning tools, the two elements which often clashed in video game design when it came to EdTech innovation.
While TED Conferences isn’t a new organization on the EdTech market, its TED-Ed branch is an incredible learning resource for both teachers and students. TED-Ed features multimedia content, inspirational speeches, and thousands of innovators and ideas which people can benefit from learning about.
These range from bite-sized educational videos about history, influential historic figures, or social movements, to allowing educators to create their content on TED-Ed. This open-source form of sharing knowledge and ideas is extremely important in today’s global climate where remote learning is a necessity for many. Whether you’re an EdTech innovator or a teacher looking for new learning resources, give TED-Ed a fair shot and see how it stacks up.
Adopting a Life-Long Learning Approach (Conclusion)
If educational trends are to be believed, today’s students will have to adopt LLL as a standard if they want to succeed as professionals. Organizations and companies around the world value curiosity, leadership, and out-of-the-box thinking in the people they employ.
That’s why the EdTech innovation of today will become a learning standard of tomorrow. These are only some of the tools and platforms which shape the face of EdTech. Try using all of them in your classroom to gauge your students’ interests and affinities for learning technologies to find the right balance.