In 1924, Sidney Pressey invented the first learning management system or the ‘teaching machine’ which served as a drill and practice learning method. However, modern education technology uses similar tactics, and has undeniably come a long way in incorporating gamification techniques, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality into classrooms. The proliferation of advanced technologies underscores the importance of media literacy for the future generation.
Edtech takes a versatile approach to learning by catering to diverse learning styles and enabling personalized education. This adaptability has surged the market with novel edtech companies and startups in the past decade. The convergence of technological advancements, such as high-speed internet, smart devices, and cloud computing, has created an environment ripe for innovation in education. The Covid-19 pandemic further accentuated the need for effective online and remote learning solutions as edtech companies strived to bridge the educational gap caused by physical restrictions.
To gain insights into the biggest and newest trends in edtech in 2023 and beyond, we've gathered six expert opinions from authors, coordinators, specialists, and founders. From AR/VR to AI in adaptive learning, these are the top trends professionals foresee in educational technology.
There are two very important ongoing developments with Ed Tech: AR/VR and gamification. Both are changing the ways students engage with curricular materials in and out of the classroom.
What's more important to note than the technological particulars of either development is that they are both part of a trend toward placing the individual student at the center of their own learning experience. AR and VR are quite literally immersive, bringing otherwise dry materials to life in ways that are no less engaging than the purely entertaining content students otherwise consume.
Gamification provides immediate user feedback to students and incentivizes them to further their educational pursuits through a given module. In short, in today's pedagogical environment, it's not enough for educators to deliver educational materials to students and expect their interest. Rather, one has to pursue students in their native language, which today is digital.
Israel Bitton, Author of A Brief and Visual History of Antisemitism, An Augmented Reality Textbook
The most significant trend in Ed Tech for 2023 is integrating artificial intelligence into educational technology tools. The big names in Ed Tech already have full AI integration, and everyone else is following suit. It will then be up to teachers and districts to figure out how to leverage AI in the classroom. The challenge is that it will be unavoidable and permeate most tools that students will use daily.
Scott Ringkamp, Online Learning Coordinator
Technology offers so many opportunities, but insights from psychology are still not implemented. Together with VR and AI, I see a well-thought-out process of behavioral engagement engineering (gamification) within the learning world as a crucial and thrilling new trend!
One of the biggest trends we're seeing is the call for tools that actively support teachers and students.
That is, not technology that attempts to replace teachers or is unresponsive to a student's progress and instead offers a one-size-fits-all experience; rather, tools that can provide additional support around common pain points and enable both teachers and students to really thrive on their journeys. This might look like automated marketing or lesson planning support, meaning teachers can “take back” some of the time otherwise spent on administrative duties and leave them more flexible to respond to the needs of their students at the moment.
EdTech increasingly needs to recognize and respond to these needs, flexing to how teachers and students want to use them in the learning journeys rather than dictating how they should be used. Only then can EdTech create a full and lasting impact.
Implementing bite-sized learning modules (also termed nano-learning) is one of the most innovative Ed Tech elements already making an impact in 2023. By delivering information and insights in small, digestible chunks that address specific problems, this approach enables students to find solutions to complex issues in a structured method.
Since the student is specifically looking for a solution to certain topics or is picking up specific skills, their engagement levels when accessing these modules are high. Also, when these modules offer micro-credentials, the small wins motivate them to learn more.
With the use of modern technology, adaptive learning may provide students with a more individualized education. Artificial intelligence (AI) allows for real-time adaptation of digital learning interfaces to individual students' needs, delivering just the right courses and exercises to close any knowledge gaps and reinforce any new concept, all on the level of the specific learner.
The use of AI in automated teaching systems has been on the rise for years. However, it is only relatively recently that computing power has been robust enough to use AI for this purpose. Possibilities for tailoring education to each individual's needs are now opened up to an unprecedented degree, all thanks to AI.
The journey from Sidney Pressey’s learning machine to the multifaceted edtech trends today has marked unprecedented growth for better educational outcomes. This progression shows the adaptability and resilience of the education sector in the face of today's technological landscape. The emergence of trends such as AR/VR, AI integration, gamification, supportive tools, and nano-learning stands as a testament to the creative fusion of technology and pedagogy. These trends point to a future where learning is not confined to traditional boundaries, but rather thrives in immersive environments, utilizing the power of intelligent algorithms, and engaging students through game-inspired mechanics.
As educators, learners, and enthusiasts navigate this educational era, it is imperative to remain open to these trends' transformative potential. The convergence of technology and education has the power to personalize learning experiences, enhance engagement, and bridge gaps in education like never before. By embracing these trends, we empower ourselves to shape an inclusive and learner-centric ecosystem that paves the way for a promising future for generations to come.