Technology has been the cause of major changes in a variety of industries over the last few years, but no sector has experienced quite the rapid transition into the modern world as education. A variety of technological advances have recently provided teachers and students with dramatic benefits and there are a lot of changes occurring in educational institutions at the moment. Below are five of the biggest classroom tech trends in 2015:
Whether the devices are provided by the schools or not, an increasing number of students are utilizing computers, smartphones and tablets to complete their assignments and study for tests. The majority of that work is being done online and each child is creating a massive amount of data that so far hasn’t been able to be effectively leveraged by teachers and schools.
However, with the advent of big data analytics, statistics on important matrixes like completion time and rates and average GPA can easily be tracked and used to make a positive impact. Teachers can also see how often students are accessing certain kinds of material and increase the use of popular mediums and discontinue those that aren’t connecting with the kids.
The enormous impact big data has had on education in the short amount of time it has been used is perhaps most deeply felt in the ability to create personalized learning strategies for each student. With the specifics of each child’s strengths and weaknesses recorded and analyzed, teachers can slightly tweak their curriculum for each pupil in order to give them the tools that best suit their learning styles.
Some students respond better to ebooks, while others appreciate traditional paperbacks. Some may find more success with a game that teaches the basics of algebra while others need to look at diagrams online. All of these styles can be accommodated with new technological tools that can help a greater number of students be successful in the classroom. Feedback can be provided to teachers in real time, letting them see instantly how well a child has understood the lesson and know which students need more individual attention without publicly singling them out or holding up the rest of the class.
This may be the trend that has gained traction in educational institutions the fastest. While not as popular in elementary schools, high schools and universities have found great success in offering applications and Web portals for students to use on their mobile devices. Not only can users access important educational information anywhere with Wi-Fi access, but things like GPS and QR codes can provide greater context when students are on field trips or working outside the classroom. Mobile learning also encourages teachers to break information up into smaller, more easily digested bits so material is more easily absorbed, resulting in improved comprehension.
Massive open online courses
While these types of classes have been used by adults for continuing education for some years now, they are starting to become more popular in universities and schools in remote areas where it can be difficult for students to get to class everyday. According to Forbes contributor Nick Morrison, MOOCs will see more widespread attendance over the next 12 months, with students utilizing both traditional online courses and the more ad hoc ‘help-out’ classes that provide additional support on a topic.
Cloud learning management systems
LMSs allow teachers to access courses and training programs in a software application, and cloud-based programs make these accessible from a mobile device both in the classroom and remotely. The use of cloud-based LMS by teachers grew last year and industry experts believe that trend will continue in 2015. This is due in most part to the fact that cloud-based platforms had the highest increase in use over the last two years as any other system.
Making the most of classroom tech
For academic institutions interested in implementing the latest technology trends into their classrooms but concerned about managing all of the new machines and systems, Faronics’Insight Classroom Management software can help. Insight allows teachers to manage educational programs remotely to provide students with increased support and keep assignments and projects up to date. Web surfing can also be restricted to reduce distractions in the classroom and sharing features enables teachers and students to have one-on-one conversations without disrupting the rest of the class.