In a recent survey by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 93 percent of teachers said they now utilize some kind of digital tool to help teach. My, how things have changed.
And it’s not just teachers, but students, who are using technology at a deeper level than just searching the internet for answers. With one-to-one tech education standards becoming more and more common, teachers can now interact with students via online portals and even assign web-based projects.
Given this recent edtech surge, here are several trends to anticipate in 2016:
1. Flipped classrooms
Traditionally, students are expected to listen to classroom lectures during school hours, then complete homework on their own after the school day is over. But some schools are flipping the script.
Flipped classroom structures allow students to view lectures outside of the classroom and complete corresponding assignments during school hours. This way, they can use teachers as a resource to answer questions in real time, much better than having to ask a parent. As much as they want to, nearly half of parents have trouble helping with their child’s homework (source: National Center for Family Literacy).
In a flipped classroom setting, students are able to learn at their own speed. This means they won’t be slowed down (or dragged along) by the pace of other students. When viewing the lecture at home, they can pause, rewind and learn at their leisure, to fully grasp the material.
2. Adaptive learning
Due to narrow resources, schools are frequently forced to take a one-size-fits-all approach toward education. Adaptive learning combats this by customizing lessons so each student has an individualized learning experience.
When using an e-textbook, the students’ learning pace and ability to correctly answer quiz questions is analyzed, and the lesson is adapted to their needs. Whether they’re studying math, history or science, adaptive e-textbooks can make sure students fully comprehend the material.
Wearable devices—such as glasses and wristbands—have many uses within education. Students can use the technology for anything from picking up a new language through visual translation to recording classroom lectures. This tech can also expose them to a more hands-on and individualized learning experience.
Wearables not only assist students, but also offer many benefits to educators. From pinging students’ GPS locations during a field trip to recording point-of-view lessons, teachers have more options to monitor and engage with students. And this engagement can also translate to communication between educators, giving them more options for collaboration.
4. Rapid prototyping
Businesses are quickly jumping on the 3D printing trend—and now schools are too.
3D printing can help students better understand projects by giving them hands-on examples of their work. With this technology, students can test scientific concepts and assess architectural designs to assist comprehension. As an added bonus, 3D technology also makes learning more engaging for students, making it easier for teachers to gain interest and keep attention.
Kevin Cundiff is vice president of retail for Fortegra, a subsidiary of Tiptree Financial Inc. (NASDAQ: TIPT). Fortegra is a single source insurance services company that, through a network of preferred partners, offers a range of consumer protection options including credit insurance, warranty products, automotive solutions, and specialty underwriting programs. Delivering multifaceted coverage with service experience for both resellers and their customers, Fortegra solves immediate, everyday needs, empowering consumers to worry less and experience more.