This is a continuation of my series looking at how digital transformation has impacted every industry. Today’s focus is on educational trends.
Educators from all grade-levels are coming to realize the benefits of technology in the classroom. Typically, education is one of the last industries to make extensive change, holding on to antiquated methods and practices. But through the digital transformation and the rise of educational technology, teachers have begun making drastic changes to their instruction, assessments, even the physical make-up of their classrooms, and at a much faster rate than expected. These current trends are making headlines in education because of the ways in which they are impacting student learning:
Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality / Mixed Reality
Gone are the days where students are expected to sit quietly at their desks. Educational technology is succeeding in making learning collaborative and interactive. Augmented, virtual, and mixed reality are examples of transformative technology that enhance teacher instruction while simultaneously creating immersive lessons that are fun and engaging for the student. Virtual reality has the capability of bringing the outside world into the classroom and vice versa. Apps such as Unimersiv can transport students to ancient Greece, while Cospacesallows students to share their virtual creations with the world. Wilkes University online adjunct professor and independent educational technologist Kathy Schrock concludes virtual reality has the potential to increase visual literacy, technology literacy, and attention to audience. The idea of combining AR/VR/MR is highly anticipated. Take, for example, the privately owned company Magic Leap. Even though it has yet to really sell anything, Magic Leap is already valued at four and a half billio
Classroom Set of Devices
Schools are moving away from BYOD, or bring your own device, and students no longer have to go to the technology lab for access to a computer or laptop. Recent years have shown an increase in classroom sets of computers that was made possible in part by federal funding. Title I schools have received funds via The Every Student Succeeds Act, and several grants and donations have outfitted classrooms all over the country with iPads and laptops for each student. Google Chromebooks account for over half of the devices in US classrooms. In 2014, more than three million Chromebooks were used in educational institutions. As that number continues to grow, so does the need for increased focus on programs that teach digital citizenship skills. Today’s pervasive online environment poses exciting possibilities, ones that necessitate students are properly educated on cyber safety and individual responsibility.