Advances in our digital world has seen pedagogy evolve. With the decline of laptops-on-wheels, ICT rooms and hot, noisy projectors, schools have been catching up with the latest tech solutions and transforming their teaching.
Each year brings something new and revolutionary. So, what are 2019’s tech trends in schools and what do they mean for education as a whole? Clevertouch Edtech Enabler, Ian Parkin, takes a look at the current and emerging tech trends in education.
1. Cloud Computing for Education
Cloud computing enables educational institutions to store the sum of their materials digitally, without a room filled with servers and cables, and securely, without the risk of corruption from a USB. Using educational suites, such as Snowflake MultiTeach and ad-free apps from Cleverstore (all available with Plus Series from Clevertouch), teachers can access lessons and materials on demand, make edits and revisions, and assess online tasks and homework. With online repositories of curated lessons on all subjects, teachers can edit lessons to suit their students’ needs, and prepare homework questions quickly and easily. With auto-assessment for simple-answer questions, marking need not be so arduous, allowing educators to focus on content and students rather than paperwork.
Cloud education software benefits students as well. Signing into the network from anywhere, students can access learning materials and videos, complete assignments and homework, and share or collaborate with other students. Of course, removing the need for bulky and expensive textbooks is also a bonus.
M-learning, or mobile learning, turns a teacher’s annoyance at their students’ seemingly obsessive attachment to their mobile phone into a collaborative educational device that can be used to interact with the front-of-class screen, and with other students. Homework can be set, and then completed online, at home, or on the move.
With collaborative apps and educationally-focused games, m-learning is a modern response to modern trends – working with, rather than against, the ever-present mobile phone.
Teachers want to teach, not perform endless admin. With the digitising of education, these tasks can be streamlined to a casual irritation at best.
3. Improved internet + 5G
Super-fast speeds are promised from fibre optic systems currently being installed around the world, with many major cities already enjoying the benefits. The network is expanding into more suburban and rural areas.
5G is the next generation of mobile internet network technology, providing much greater bandwidth than its 4G sibling. Students will be able to use their devices to complete homework and watch instructional videos, without staring at the buffering sign and having an excuse for not finishing their homework.
With superfast internet speeds, collaboration is even easier. From accessing new materials, ensuring secure device connectivity, to quickly finding important educational videos without concentration-killing long waits, improved internet networks will be one of the most significant advances for the education sector in 2019.
4. Increased security
With the advent of new technology comes new concerns – when new avenues are opened, not all of them are good, sadly. With this new technology and all of the benefits it brings, security measures must be rigorous to ensure these new and beneficial methods of education are protected.
Cleverstore apps are vetted to ensure they are ad-free. Even viewing YouTube videos via Lynx, enables teachers to be safe in the knowledge that there will be no ads, no access to the comment section and no autoplay.
School data is particularly sensitive, and with examples of ransomware attacks against major corporations and hospitals in the last couple of years, security has never been more important. Student information, as well as financial data, need to be protected by robust layers of firewalls. With the ability to work in tablet mode or Windows OS, the Plus Series and V Series from Clevertouch, makes it ideal for working off network.
5. Collaboration solutions
Learning to collaborate is an important aspect of education and can boost class concentration, competition, and enjoyment. Technology has moved collaboration to beyond simple group work. Using the latest tech such as interactive touchscreen displays and mirroring, collaboration can be seamlessly facilitated in the classroom.
With the Plus and V Series screens from Clevertouch, the interactive display can mirror up to four separate screens simultaneously, ideal for instant feedback. Students can gather around the screen, learn from materials and collaborate to find the solutions - all by interacting with the screen. The four-way display also assists teachers in differentiating their materials too.
Connectivity and collaboration will influence the future EdTech, enabling more variety in lessons and teaching materials, and easing demands on teachers. With access to whole libraries of educational videos and games, the avenues with which students can learn and progress are growing fast – which is lucky because Gen Z is the most tech-savvy generation so far!