The three “Rs” of education are quickly being transformed by digital technology. Children in school today won’t only be learning reading, writing, and arithmetic, they’ll also be learning to adopt the latest technologies
. It’s no wonder that schools are keen to integrate the latest technologies into the classroom. The workforce of the future
is going to demand that some employees have a good understanding of technology and may even require basic coding skills. Classroom trends from 2019 give us a hint about where technology in the classroom is headed soon.
Many children are already likely to be digitally savvy by the time they’re in school, and classrooms around the world are working to incorporate digital tools into their pedagogy. By 2018, schools were integrating iPads and other consumer smart gadgets into the classroom. Some have even gone further than that. The Norwegian government, for example, has upgraded
its school curriculum to include digital awareness, digital responsibility, and digital competence.
Education trends we saw in 2019
Last year, we saw trends emerge that sought to prioritize the student experience.
Personalized Learning, for instance, recognizes that children learn at different rates and benefit from different methodologies. New pedagogical approaches
work to take a two-pronged approach in their classrooms. Teachers spend a portion of the day instructing students at grade level, then bring in adaptive software and targeted group learning to help augment the learning experience for students of all abilities. This practice allows every child the opportunity to keep pace with their peers.
Online learning became a hot topic in Ontario in 2019. High school students may need to complete as many as four online courses to earn their diplomas, leaving some teachers and parents concerned about the quality of education that students will receive. However, online course advocates argue that e-learning can be a great add-on option for students who want to study a topic not easily offered at their school or in their community.
At the post-secondary level, technology tends to be adopted more frequently, with some campuses becoming “smart buildings”. These buildings integrate advanced technology that includes artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies to deliver seamless experiences to students. This could mean shorter lineups for registration, and paper-heavy, repetitive functions like college applications can now be automated and even allow students to track their applications in real-time.
What to expect in 2020
Online learning will become more dynamic through the use of chat boxes and message boards. Now, even social media may be included in the future of online classrooms. Learning is successful when students can discuss concepts; integrating these discussions into their virtual classroom will be the next step in tech-savvy classrooms. Teachers are also exploring new software that can engage and best help their students.
Both active learning and flexibility work well for students. One problem that typical classrooms face is that not all students can always be engaged. An interactive digital component in classrooms may keep students engaged and hold their interest in a subject longer. This way, they can continue to be part of a lesson plan, without hindering their learning, and increasing the scope of inclusion and accessibility.
AI in the Classroom
Learning will also likely become more fun and experiential with the addition of artificial intelligence and augmented reality in the classroom. These technologies allow students to “step outside” of their classrooms and explore other worlds remotely. Rather than only having access through textbooks, children will be able to experience new and novel concepts through virtual interactions and spaces.
Over the past decade, the presence of technology in classrooms has been expanding, helping students learn in and outside the classroom, all while preparing them for careers that will require tech-savvy workers. As we embark on a new decade, these technologies will continue to expand student’s concept of learning, with integrated and interactive learning experiences thanks to digital technology.