“Florals? In Spring? Groundbreaking.” I wish I could have hired Meryl Streep to talk you through the top 5 EdTech Trends of the season, but alas, she was busy being fabulous somewhere (Connecticut, in case you’re interested) else. I’ll try harder next time! Just picture me wearing Prada and making vaguely threatening hand motions instead. Corona causing schools and businesses to shut down and switch to stay-at-home learning caused the EdTech market to adapt quickly. Let’s have a look at some of what’s new and trendy in eLearning. Hint, hint, it’s all about learner-centered learning, immersive learning, and digital curriculums.
1. Distance Learning
This is the big one that became an EdTech trend overnight. Ministries of Education worldwide started investing heavily in their own educational portals to react to the necessary shutting of schools and universities. Some countries, such as Argentina, began distributing netbooks and tablets to lower socioeconomic areas. The hope is that this crisis may have democratized education and access to technology. Distance learning encompasses any learning where a learner is not physically attending a lesson. Anything from your kid’s math class to your pottery throwing class can be taken as a distance learning course at the moment.
2. Immersive Learning
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology is no longer just a world of Oculus, Sony, and Samsung. Immersing yourself in learning from a distance is one of the top ways to make lessons and modules more stimulating. At first glance, this playful way of learning envokes images of history students exploring the Egyptian pyramids from their own homes. Still, businesses willing to invest in immersion could make it possible for office workers to tour production facilities and learn more about their product offering first hand without maxing company credit cards on plane travel or ignoring stay-at-home orders. Gamification is no longer just the world of K-12. Businesses are starting to realize that their adult learners are more invested and more able to retain information if they enjoy themselves. Learning does not have to be painful.
OKIOCAM Snapshot and Recorder: Take snapshots and videos. Digitize documents and record video lessons.
OKIOCAM Time-Lapse: Create exciting time-lapse videos. Adjust the playback speed, add music, trim, and perfect your videos before they are automatically uploaded to Google Drive.
OKIOCAM Stop Motion: Make your own props from scratch or use things from around the house to make cool stop motion videos.
3 A. Interactive Whiteboards
I remember when my school got its first Smartboard. Teachers were overwhelmed, students loved helping calibrate it, and school investors really loved showing off that we were going with the times. They’ve been firm installments in every business I’ve ever worked in since and are quickly making the jump from projector-based systems to interactive flat-panel displays (IFPDs). IFPDs (say that 5 times fast!) support collaboration, life skills, and further enthusiasm for learning. Interactive whiteboards are one of the ways classroom and other learning environments are moving towards becoming more inclusive. As it is a form of general assistive technology, it does not single out people who require adaptations and instead make adaptations for every learner.
3 B. Digital Whiteboards
I am cheating a little, including this one, but digital whiteboards add to teaching versatility in the current EdTech environment. They allow for digital delivery, collaboration, and recording live lessons for future use. This makes it especially useful in business settings. Businesses can get industry experts to teach one-off lessons using their new technology and, contract allowing, can deliver the recording to future learners.
The shift to distance learning puts businesses and the education sector at greater risk of a cyber attack. When handling student, staff, and business data, security needs to become a priority. In the past, vendor partnerships could feel secure in knowing details would not have any additional eyes or ears as clients would handle sensitive discussions and negotiations n the building. Especially distance communications software Zoom has come under attack for frequent privacy breaches.
5. Blockchain Technology
We have to discuss Blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is far too complicated to explain here, but the idea behind it is that it stops people from cheating the financial system. Additionally, it creates a permanent record that nobody can change. This creates trust. What does this have to do with edTech? This is the same technology used by Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). It will lower the cost, scale up the depth, and verify the skills behind eLearning.
Bonus: Learner Analytics
This is less of a trend and more of a long-term business focus. The edTech world features a lot of money exchanging hands for implementation strategies and program building. Investors want to see where their return on investment is going. Analytics need to be built into eLearning modules in the form of easy to read data on colleague improvements or post-module quizzing. If you can prove your system is truly making lasting changes to a business, you are sure to land future contracts.
I hope you enjoyed this brief overview of some of the top trends of 2020/2021 in EdTech. If you are looking for more information on any of these or would like to work with me on your custom e-Learning course, please get in touch here. I have been an expert in eLearning development, designing, and delivery for two years. This is built on 10 years of product management and eCommerce experience. Do you want engaging courses and fully customized content? I’m the right designer for you!
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