What emerging technology trends do you think will have the greatest impact on teaching and learning within the next five years?
Technology is a widely used tool in the classrooms in the 21st century. Technology keeps growing on a daily basis, as well as learning techniques for students. Everyone everywhere use technology on a daily basis, no matter where you are and what you are doing technology exist in all professions. Educators are trying to get students exposed to the workforce use of technology, this way students do not face any challenges in future workforce and have knowledge to adapt to the growing technology in the world. The most debated topic in education even today is ‘what does the future of learning and technology holds for teachers and students?’ As much as we have seen thus far, classroom have changed drastically from long rows of desk and teacher centered learning to collaboration and makerspace learning.
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As the technology grows there are many trends that will have impacts on not just students but teachers as well. The top technology tends I believe will be the greatest impact on students and teachers in the next five years are: Gamification/ app innovation, Augmented reality, online learning, and Cloud-based computing.
Gamification/ app innovation
As Gamification is already trending in education, as of 2015 the EdTech industry has invested over 2.51 billion dollars and plans to be at a 5.5-billion-dollar industry by the end of 2018 as Sam S. Adkins, chief research officer at ambient insight research stated. Well-designed games and apps are providing students with personalized learning experiences while it covers required state lessons and standards. Gamification also allows students to get into the programming language such as coding at an early age. Such apps such as Scratch by MIT developers allows students to use computational thinking and coding to make a small video and growing their intelligence, as well as learning a high computer skill can have great benefits for the future.
Several schools are looking into the technology plan for the next five years and the top of the plan is professional development, badging and game-based learning opportunities in the classroom. Richland school district in Texas plans to innovate and use emerging technology to transform teaching and learning through gamification. They also plan to provide teachers with extra learning coaches that are trained in the gamification process, so teachers are not hesitant in using the tools in the classroom to enhance student learning. As some teachers in Texas are already giving the gamification learning a try. Jason Sellers a 10th grade English teacher wanted to give his students motivation to learn writing. His idea was to incorporate, graphics-based games in which users can view graphics and maneuver through the game by using controller buttons, text-based games require players to read descriptions and maneuver by typing commands such as go north or unlock the door with a key. (NETP, 2017) Sellers states that some of his students wanted to play the text-based came and other wanted to create. He allowed the makes to work in groups and collaborate to make the games and the other to play the game. Both sets of students were learning the reading topic by creating and learning from one another.
Gamification is a tool that can be used in schools all over the world. All children are in need of play and motivation to learn in new ways. Gamification has been taken global as well. The global gamification market from 2014 is expected to grow to 64.34% by 2019 according to Global education gamification research. “Children are intelligent creatures that have the magnificent ability to absorb and adapt – more than adults can … By promoting gamification in the classroom … we have a unique opportunity to engage children and get them interested in learning through play. Children are usually keen to finish school, go home and play. Mixing play with learning means that we increase the chances that children will take learning into their own hands, and volunteer in the learning process” – Talent LMS. As the quote by Talent LMS states gamification has made a keen difference to learning by providing students the ability to take their own learning into their hands, this gives me a belief in how gamification is a great emerging trend in continuing in the education field for five or more years.
Augmented reality (AR)
Augmented Reality has become the biggest hype in education as of 2015 (Brown, 2015). The Virtual reality of going on virtual trips to many places around the world from a classroom has been a great impact on socioeconomic students. Augmented reality helps the students easily gain, process, and remember the information. Additionally, Augmented reality makes learning itself more engaging and fun. Augmented reality is not expensive and can be done at any point of time in the classroom. Students are more engaged in lesson with Augmented reality and allows them to be interactively be involved.
“A picture is worth a thousand words” this quote is perfect for Augmented reality, this allows students to discover unknown things with their own eyes and as feeling as they here there. 80% of school students own smartphones and allowing them to use those phones in the classroom for learning would create a great learning point. Some student will take the learning outside of the school and use it at home with friends and even younger or older siblings. They would transfer their knowledge to others. Augmented reality is a great tool in the classroom and has great benefits. Although Augmented reality was introduced in in classrooms in 2015, it is highly growing and being more widely used in the classroom (Brown, 2015)
AR technology allows students to view and experience from several social perspectives. Research focuses on the potential of AR technology in inquiry-based fieldwork for disciplines in which analysis of change across time is important to promote understanding of how very small changes across long periods of time may add up to very large changes (NETP, 2017). AR learning is not contained within screens or classrooms and that technology can enrich how students engage in the world around them. The AR technology can be combined with several aspects in the classroom from apps like Aurasma where one picture can take you to a video for learning. AR has lots to provide for the future of education and will be part of the education system for several years.
Online learning has been in the education system for a long time, offered with higher education, allowing students to take one or two classes online. As of 2009, 7.1 million people were taking a online course for their respective colleges. (Kolowich, 2014) The emerging trend of education with online learning/ e-learning is that most college degrees can be earned all online then being physically in school. As school started to get more and more students interested in online learning than being in a physical classroom, flipped classroom trended in early education classrooms. Students from a early age are being exposed to online learning with home schooled online schools and tutors and even full based schools online for degrees. As majority of colleges now offering bachelors and masters degrees online, education is advances day by day and more opportunities are being available to students online. Online learning allows students the flexibility to work at their own paces and be able to help families out if need to work to provide and still being able to go to school online to get a degree. Online learning allows more and more people to get degrees and learn with the continuation of their daily lives.
The online learning has changed education but this will not affect regular classroom as they will always remain for those that do not learning particularly well with online school. As teachers in the K-12 are involving classroom learning with blended learning, which is like online eLearning. Teachers are able to put certain portions of their lessons online for students to interact with their technological tools to complete assignments and even watch video that pertain to the classroom learning.
Cloud-based technology is a new development and has become more well known in the education field. Teachers and students are able to gather their documents and data over the so-called world cloud and be able to access it from anywhere unlike the old times of flash drives and emailing documents. The cloud base world is growing day by day. People all-around the world are on tablets, computers, and phones, and with the cloud base world, less paper is being needed and its environment friendly. One click allows students and teachers to send documents and share things in collaborations with one another.
Google drive, the highly used cloud drive, has made it easy for teachers and students to share documents and even collaborate with one another on the same document as group work. Teacher are able backtrack and see what part was written by what students, with the history log. Google cloud has changed the way people do anything. When students work on homework and/ or format pictures on other devices and locations. All the students need to do is upload their pictures to their google account and it can be accessible from anywhere. Google drive in not the only product out there with a cloud base technology there are many more, but in schools many have used google and continue to use google. As the cloud is super helpful for document sharing and keeping documents accessible from anywhere, this emerging technology has really helps shaped education to make it more environmentally friendly.
2. What do you see as the significant challenges to their adoption?
Technology is not always the best and there cannot always be positives, there are also negatives to everything. The one big challenge to technology is availability at the moments we need it. Other issue for teachers are always concerned about is the internet access. The internet can be a big problem on a day to day bases in school, some days the internet works great and some days we have technical issues that no one can control. Although there is wifi access to the internet in many places around the world for free or for a small charge, there are other barriers to the internet. Barriers such as high-speed internet which creates great deals of problems in completing one task when the internet is not working in your favor at a good speed. Online learning cannot happen without the high-speed internet. As bring your own device (BYOD) has been in most schools, but many do not have the internet service on their devices and rely on the public Wi-Fi linkage. Efforts to mitigate these issues are necessary to promote full participation, communication, and education within global society.
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Another significant challenge is the adoption of emerging technology for teachers that have not received the formal training and support in their respective school districts and in teacher preparation programs. Training the upcoming teachers with the best knowledge on using the technology will be a big step in helping the students learn. As teachers are told to attend hours of professional development many teachers focus on other subject training then technology, due to the fact of thinking “what they will get out of it”. Teachers lack the will to try new learning using technology due to personal technology related experiences or stories from other teachers that have tried the use of technology in the classroom.
Last but not least, economic disadvantage students not getting enough exposure to technology outside of schools. Some students have not seen the technology that is being available in the schools if such technology is even available at the schools because of funding issues. Finance is a big rising issue in all schools. There is rich well-developed area where the students get all new advantages in learning with new tools. Then there are schools that don’t get any funding in a small area of town and all socioeconomic students don’t get those advantages due to public education funding within the United States. Even if the funding is there and schools get the technology for students to have exposure at home and school with the technology but many students don’t have the internet service or the capability to use the technology at home and than the learning does not transfer from school to the outside environment, but it does give them a chance to be exposed to the great advantages in the classroom.
3. How will the role of teachers be impacted by these trends?
The role of teachers will be impacted in two ways. The first, is that teachers will need more professional development and the second, online learning will be more sought of and higher education teachers will be working online with students. As trend have already changed in many places, teachers will be seen as only facilitators rather than center of attention as they have been in the front of the classroom and teaching for many years. Tread have changed but will be more in effect in the coming years as we train the new preservice teachers being facilitators of the classroom rather than the center of attention, this will have a great impact in the role of the teachers.
Online learning is highly used, but as more and more online learning is taking place especially at the higher level of teaching, where majority of students are not attending classroom and doing their degrees strictly online with online teachers and faculty. This will have a great change in the role of the teachers were teachers will have to modify the teaching style and have more and more students in their online learning classes.
Last but not least professional learning is a big issue and the role of the teacher will be impacted on how they have to teach and facilitate a classroom. Teachers will have to attend great amount of training to learn how to use the technology with the students. This will improve teachers knowledge about the new developments to enhance their learning as well. As well as grow the teacher in making changes to the old style of teaching in the classroom.
As trends grow everyone needs to adapt to the new ways and most of the time it’s not easy and lots of work needs to be done to make changes.
4. What changes to teacher preparation programs do you think are needed?
“Today’s teachers need to know and be able to do things their predecessors did not. They have to be prepared to educate all of their students to achieve the highest learning outcomes in history. This is a fundamentally different job than that of past generations of teachers,” Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, stated in his 2006 “Educating School Teachers” report.
“Research shows that the strongest way to prepare effective teachers is through immersive experiences in schools, but too few teachers are trained this way,” said Dominic Brewer, the Gale and Ira Duiker Dean of NYU Steinhardt. This is a big issue for some teacher prep programs. The more immersive experience you get the better prepared you are to teach. As I have seen in the school of Education, the preparation program allows student teachers to go in the classroom for about 2 years before getting their degrees. The teachers are able to go to the classroom to teach short lessons and get the sense of teaching through small group work and lesson planning. Then teachers are placed in the classroom to teach two eight-week periods. The more exposure in the classroom the better.
The other change that need to be made are the professors that are teaching teachers need to have good background in teaching at the schools so they can share their experience. The biggest complain preservice teachers have are that professors have left the classroom several years ago and the education system has evolved a lot since then and those professors are still stuck teaching them about hoe classrooms were.
The ISTE study found much the same situation in today’s teacher education programs: most faculty-members do not, in fact, practice or model effective technology use in their classrooms (Milken exchange & ISTE, 1999) Colleges and universities must make their own decisions concerning the integration of technology into the teacher education curriculum (Munday, Windham, & Stamper, 1991). Some colleges have the accessibility to teach teachers the new tech in the classroom but most programs have just one course-work class involving technology and by the time the course is taken and the teachers leave to the real world the technology has outdated or the school used an even outdated tech to teach teachers.
- Anderson, T., & Elloumi, F. (Eds.). (2004). The theory and practice of online learning. Athabasca,AB, Canada: Athabasca University Press.
- “Hanover research” (2014, October). Emerging and Future Trends in K-12 Education.
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- “National Education Technology Plan.” Office of Educational Technology, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, 2017, tech.ed.gov/netp/.
- The Milken Exchange & the International Society for Technology in Education. (1999). Will new teachers be prepared to teach in a digital age? [Online]. Available: http://www.mff.org/publications/publications.taf?page=154
- WILLIS, ELIZABETH M, and PEGGY RAINE. “Technology and the Changing Face of Teacher Preparation.” CITE Journal, CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN TECHNOLOGY AND TEACHER EDUCATION, 2001, www.citejournal.org/volume-1/issue-3-01/current-practice/article1-htm-28/.