WPG Consulting Shares The Top 5 Tech Trends That Will Disrupt Education in 2021
At one time, online learning, immersive technology, and AI were ambitious concepts bordering the ridiculous. Today, these revolutionary tech trends are among the top priorities for most academic institutions in the US.
And why wouldn’t they be? After all, if your institution intends to keep up with the post-pandemic world, you must adapt to the rapidly evolving changes in education technology (EdTech).
The yearning for immersive, personalized, and futuristic learning experiences has never been higher.
A report by Google and KPMG suggests that the Edtech market is expected to have a share of $1.96 billion and cater to 9.6 million users by 2021.
If anything, these statistics indicate that the shift towards tech-based education is not a matter of choice but of necessity. Academic institutions can no longer stick their heads in the sand and hope that the same old methods will work forever.
Read on to discover the top five Edtech trends that will disrupt education in 2021 and beyond.
1. The Advent of Smart, Personalized Education
If you haven’t realized it yet, 2021 is the year that many academic institutions will wake up to the sheer dominance of AI (Artificial Intelligence). According to the latest Artificial Intelligence Market in the US Education Sector Report, artificial intelligence is expected to have grown by 47.5% by the end of 2021.
AI is sure to be at the heart of smarter, more customized learning experiences going forward.
AI can help find out what your students know and do not know. The technology achieves this by leveraging Knowledge Space Theory to define and represent knowledge gaps, and as a result, create personalized learning schedules for each learner.
As AI becomes smarter in the coming months, it might be possible to scan and analyze your students’ facial expressions. If the learning material is too complex, the platform can tweak the course or lesson depending on their needs.
Another exciting application of AI will be the production of smart educational content. AI can help generate digital learning environments with bite-sized lessons, study guides, digital textbooks, customization options, and a lot more.
In addition, AI can power new ways of perceiving information, such as simulation, visualization, and web-based study environments.
It’s fair to say that academic institutions adopting AI in 2021 will be able to build individualized, top-of-the-line experiences for learners, teachers, and tutors.
2. Tech-Powered Immersive Learning
Immersive learning means using Extended Reality (the umbrella term for virtual reality or augmented reality).
And it’s expected to be one of the biggest Edtech trends in 2021.
One of the obvious reasons is cost.
The price of standalone VR headsets is at an all-time low and expected to drop further to $200 in under two years. This will allow many institutions, yours included, to use them as a standard gadget in curriculums.
But how can you use these technologies in a school setting?
One way is by creating a productively engaging stimulating environment for learning. Students learn as they ‘do,’ allowing you to track their progress in real-time. Students learn by performing the task, bearing in mind that they face dire consequences if they fail.
In short, immersive technology can optimize learning by providing students with a top-notch learning experience, a better retention rate, a 100% attention rate, and 360-degree interactivity. Your learners get a sense of reality to perform each educational task effectively.
Extended reality can also assist students with special needs.
Physically handicapped children in your institution can use it to ‘see’ things they can’t access physically. Autistic kids can leverage virtual reality to rehearse scenarios they’re likely to encounter in the real world.
3. eLearning Takes Center Stage
Even before the Coronavirus, the eLearning industry was expanding at a rapid pace. New research by Global Market Insights acknowledges this fact, predicting that the eLearning market will reach $375 billion by 2026.
eLearning increases retention rates by 25 to 60 percent. It’s also incredibly scalable, allowing you to reach many learners simultaneously—or at different times, in the case of pre-recorded on-demand lessons or courses.
No wonder it is one of the biggest trends of 2021.
More and more academic institutions will shift to using eLearning content focused on developing a particular skill, highly targeted to the subject, and of shorter duration. Microlearning will become the order of the day.
Chatbots will get into the mix as well, serving as efficient, intelligent teaching assistants. They’ll relieve you from routine yet arduous tasks such as answering learners’ questions.
Not to forget personalized LMS. An LMS of the future will serve as a recommendation system. Each of your students will be able to receive a customized list of recommended e-courses based on their competencies and job positions.
If you want your institution to stay abreast of the current Edtech evolution, incorporating eLearning should be on top of your to-do list this year.
4. Accessible Education
As of 2020, there were 260 million children globally who were not getting a full-time education.
Yes, things are improving—that figure is down from 378 million two decades ago. But there’s still a long way to go. Even in America, there are still millions of out-of-school kids.
Online learning promises to solve this problem in 2021.
Emerging online technologies, such as Google Cloud, make education readily available to those children even in remote areas. Other similar tech tools also make it easy to share courses/curriculums/ lessons across borders.
This means there’s no need to commute from one place to another in search of education or follow a rigid schedule. The virtual classroom is also available in every internet-enabled area, so you don’t have to hold in-person lessons or exams.
Online learning is indeed the future of education.
5. Consistent Shift Towards Data-Driven Insights
Without analyzing student data, it’s all too easy to base educational decisions based on assumption, opinion, or anecdotal evidence.
The biggest miss for academic institutions is not being able to make data-driven decisions that can help optimize funds usage and resource allocation.
Fortunately, this trend is set to change in 2021.
The buzz phrase “data is the new oil” will get a whole new, elevated meaning this year.
Similar to other sectors, adopting a data-driven culture can help you make learning more efficient and effective. More specifically, insights on the digital curriculum will help your institution enhance the overall quality of education.
Emerging technologies such as big data and machine learning will fuel this evolution, making it possible for you to create in-depth yet personalized study material to meet individual learning requirements.
At the college or university level, data-driven insights can be leveraged to see where learners need additional support. When you know where and what support is necessary, you’ll be fired up to change your students’ lives rather than just impart knowledge.
WPG Consulting: Supporting the Next Generation Of Educational Technologies
WPG is a full-service provider of IT solutions to enterprises and all kinds of organizations, including learning ones. Since 2014, we’ve proudly helped academic institutions solve pertinent IT issues, navigate the ever-changing technological landscape, and meet their core business needs. We can do the same for you.