Top Education Tech Trends for 2014
The introduction of mobile — smartphones and tablets has revolutionized the way education is imparted. Pair it up with online learning, 3D printers and other upcoming technology trends, and you can see a complete transformation of traditional learning environments.
We have been working in the field of education through technology with a lot of individuals and startups and here’s what we see as the top technology trends in education for 2014.
With the rapid increase of tablets and smartphones, a major shift has taken place in how educators are communicating with students and how students are learning things. From using digital textbooks via iBooks to video tutorials through iTunesU to the use of productivity apps like Google Docs and Dropbox, students and educators are embracing technology like never before. Analysts are predicting tablets to become mainstream in the next year as a means of education. And this is just the classroom side of the story.
Smartphones and tablets are also a top favorite among parents to teach their children — right from their alphabets to advanced mathematical concepts — all with the convenience of apps. Tablets are also playing a monumental role in special education with a lot of apps geared towards addressing needs of children who are differently abled. By combining sight and sound, they make a wonderful new learning tool.
Newgenapps has helped a lot of our clients in digitizing their content for smartphones and tablets — be it therapy games like the Speech with Milo series, board games like VerbalVolleyTM, books like DinoBuddies or apps for language-learning apps like Maan Roos Vis letterlegger.
Open Online Courses
Open online courses have gained popularity over the past year and will continue to grow over the next several years. These courses are attended by thousands of users and offer certificates of completion. It gives users the ability to learn any subject — basic computer skills, application development, even marketing — all from top institutions like Harvard, Yale, Stanford and others.
This medium of learning does have its own challenges but they provide tremendous opportunity to students who would not have access to such resources without the courses.
We are seeing an increase in such courses ironing out the kinks. A lot of startups are also focusing on developing platforms dedicated to niche online learning.
Here’s an infographic showing what educational institutes and students think of online courses
Gamification is seeing a steady rise in all fields when it comes to engaging users. Educational institutes are also understanding its importance to make learning fun and more involved for students.
Adding the concept of play to education and relying on people’s competitive nature and innate desire for achievement and successful outcomes to complex problems is what gamification is all about. And it’s proven to be very successful.
Digital textbooks have replaced the traditional printed textbooks big time — often interactive and most times free to use. With the increasing number of tablets and readers like the Kindle, it only makes sense to have all your content digitized. This lets publishers reach more students.
And this trend is not just limited to classroom education. Even publishers for children’s books are digitizing their work.
Newgenapps has helped a lot of our clients in building apps around their published work and also releasing eBooks for them — be it apps for children’s books or books for emotional intelligence.
3D printers have exploded into the mainstream market over the past years. Libraries and schools are realizing the potential of these printers and providing DIY makerspaces along with opportunities for skill-building in engineering.
GADGETS3D have launched a low-cost 3D printer specifically created for the classroom with the intention of making them available in schools. Students will be able to access these printers remotely while submitting their homework via smartphones and tablets.
It is very interesting to see and work on some very amazing and novel concepts our clients come up with for making education more user-friendly, involving and fun — right from online counselling websites to apps for organizing your child’s creations to making learning more fun.