2016 already has a plethora of EduTech conferences and workshops lined up, with events such as the 36th annual national Future of Education Technology Conference 2016 kicking off in Orlando, Florida on the 12th of January, Bett in London from the 20th to 23rd of January, and the International Educational Technology Conference taking place in Dubai early on in February. Stated on Bett’s site, “To truly transform education through technology, we need to learn from experts, solution providers and each other.”
2016 Predictions & Possibilities
Technology is equipping both educators and learners with a variety of new tools and learning methods, revolutionizing how and what people learn. In 2016, some emerging trends could provide even greater progress in this sector as the cloud, mobile learning, augmented reality, and game-based learning possibilities are explored.
Cloud Computing & Education
Enabling network access to a shared store of resources, cloud computing is still in its initial stages, used primarily for storage.
Mobile cloud learning combines the cloud computing with mobile learning, and it’s expected that cloud technology will soon be playing a greater role in education, particularly with regards to how groups contribute to collaborative work product. Cloud computing additionally reduces IT costs while providing easily accessible services from a range of devices.
E-readers, tablets, and mobile devices are quickly becoming more widely available and accessible with better distribution and reduced costs. Easily portable, and with access to the internet and networks, these multimedia capable devices are ideal for learning. 2016 will see a better range of educational apps supporting mobile devices with seamless support for online and distance learning.
Augmented Reality & Gesture-Based Learning
Providing direct relation to physical instances and environments, augmented reality combines with gesture-based learning to redefine how students are taught. Conventional input devices such as mice, keyboards, game controllers, and microphones encourage a three-dimensional, active, and intuitive learning style. Coupled with augmented reality rendering digital images onto our real-world surroundings, gesture-based learning technologies create a play-like learning situation that may ignite both student and teacher enthusiasm.
Teachers and students collaborate as game-based learning apps encourage exploration into virtual environments that work towards specific goals. Learners make choices and experience consequences as they make mistakes in risk-free settings, and students are further able to experiment with and practice correct methods. The highly engaging nature of gaming encourages student participation, and practiced behaviors can be transferred into the real world. Game-based learning has been found to help students with experimentation and collaboration while improving their problem-solving skills and raising IQ levels.
Education and technology solutions continue to merge in telepresence opportunities, visual data analysis, student response systems, and learning record stores, to name only a few partnerships, and educational experts and enthusiasts are fast embracing the benefits of technology in the sector.
By Jennifer Klostermann