There’s no doubt that education technology or ‘EdTech’ is an important and fast-evolving entity in the digital age, and one that is having a dramatic impact on the quality of students’ learning.
In the US alone, students experiencing more than 60 minutes per week of device use achieved higher academic results through 2020, while 81% of facilitators said that having access to EdTech improved outputs considerably during the same period.
In this post, we’ll look at the most seminal EdTech trends for 2022, while asking why they’re likely to be so influential for educators and students alike.
#1. The Rise of Hybrid Environments
Of course, the trend for hybrid learning (which combines both classroom and virtual teaching settings) was accelerated during lockdown, this is here to stay even though cases and lockdown measures are declining.
Ultimately, the hybrid classroom is extremely flexible and covers a far broader range of student needs, particularly as facilitators are able to tailor courses and leverage different mediums to teach various types of subject matter.
For example, EdTech is excellent for creating both synchronous and asynchronous activities (we’ll have a little more on the latter below), creating a scenario where students don’t fall behind if they’re unable to attend in person for any reason.
On a similar note, educational technologies are adaptable to the needs of students. This makes it far easier for teachers to measure individual student progress and provide relevant feedback, while ensuring that they intervene at the earliest possible opportunity should they start to fall behind.
Hybrid learning environments are sure to become even more popular through 2022 and beyond, particularly as tools such as web conferencing, chat and remote communication tools (such as Microsoft Teams) evolve to create an increasingly equitable experience for students.
#2. The Use of Augmented Reality in Teaching
Augmented reality (AR) represents huge business in the modern age, with this technology underpinning an industry that’s forecast to grow at a CAGR of 50.6% between 2021 and 2026.
AR definitely has merit in the teaching world, as this can create scenarios that leverage real-world settings and enhance these through the use of computer-generated perceptual data.
These elements are combined to create optimal but authentic learning scenarios, which is ideal when looking to impart practical information on students. AR also creates higher levels of engagement, which drives superior knowledge retention over a relatively short period of time.
To understand this further, let’s look at the impact of AR solutions when teaching the practical skill of welding.
Research carried out by Soldamatic has revealed AR methodology creates 34% more certified welders than traditional courses, while also driving an impressive 56% decrease in learning time.
What’s more, AR learning solutions are attributed with creating a 68% reduction in lab costs and environmental impact, while they’re also associated with an 84% decline in the total number of accidents reported.
#3. Embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) Personalisation
Just as AR solutions can be used to create a more engaging learning experience, the same principle applies to the concept of artificial intelligence (AI).
AI underpins virtual simulations and applies a variety of different technologies, including automation and gamification.
Such concepts contribute to more interactive and immersive learning scenarios, while also making it increasingly possible for teachers to personalise their students’ experience over time.
In 2022, we’ll move ever closer to highly evolved and more sophisticated systems that will enable facilitators to personalise education like never before.
To understand this further, let’s take a look at how teachers usually track competencies through the use of a basic, automated rules system to adapt the content viewed by students in classes and online.
While this is a relatively effective method, deploying an AI-powered recommendation engine will generate far more intuitive results and personalised feedback for students about what to learn next.
This is particularly beneficial for students in higher education, who can leverage AI learning solutions and technology to streamline their learning journey and optimise their eventual outcomes.
In addition to providing more informed learning paths and superior levels of support to students, the use of AI-inspired EdTech drives far deeper learning and better knowledge retention across a broad range of subjects.
#4. Introducing Asynchronous Learning
Although asynchronous learning is nothing new in the world of teaching, it’s part of a wider trend that will see the creation of more engaging asynchronous materials that are increasingly accessible for students.
What’s more, 2022 will see asynchronous learning made considerably easier through the introduction of an offline mode.
In short, this ensures that students will be able to access core learning materials with no or limited Internet connectivity, enabling poorer and disadvantaged learners to keep pace with their peers throughout the academic year.
This became a significant concern at secondary school level during the coronavirus pandemic, where poorer students were thought to struggle with remote learning due in part to inadequate broadband or a lack of access to devices.
Ultimately, making learning content accessible from anywhere means that learning is no longer confined to the classroom or connected online settings, allowing for a more blended approach that caters to the needs of all students.
Similarly, a wider and more diverse range of learning materials can be made available seamlessly to students through advanced asynchronous systems, and this can only be good news at all levels of education.
The Last Word
The EdTech market has undergone significant and rapid evolution since the beginning of 2020, with demand and innovation partially accelerated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, students across all ranges now have access to interactive and hybrid learning spaces, while the use of advanced technologies such as AR and AI will continue to drive more immersive and deeper learning through 2022.
These are certainly important trends to watch in the next 12 months, as the world of education continues to evolve for the benefit of students and teachers alike.