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EdTech Report: 6 Key trends you can’t miss

Imagine holding the colosseum in the palm of your hand, while teaching students the fascinating story behind it. Or maybe having an innovative workshop where students can create, design and explore new ideas. These are some of the trends that researchers brought forward, and that they belive will shape the future of higher education.

New Media Consortium have released their 13th annual Higher Education Edition Horizon Report  that include findings based on surveys conducted with 58 EdTech-experts on the future of the industry.

Listed below are the six key trend that will shape the future within higher education. The year represents the time projected before the trend is widely adopted by a broader educational industry. 

BYOD- Bring your own device (1 year)

Since the majority of undergraduate students own a smartphone, tablet or a laptop they want to be able to use their technology in their work environment. Bring your own device enables  students to work with devices they are familiar with and comfortable using. Many students are entering the classroom with their own devices to gather data, takes notes, and to learn more efficiently.  BYOD strategies is implemented in more than 42% of colleges and universities in the U.S and is rapidly increasing.  By decreasing the investments on hardware such as computers, Schools are now shifting to invest in software customised for adaptive learning and assessments.

Learning Analytics and Adaptive Learning (1 year)

Researchers and companies are working to design analytics that will show the pattern in learning- related behaviours. (In a similar way that the consumer sector are measuring and analysing consumer behaviour and preferences). Analytics from student data include information such as student course selection, pace of programme, learning platform and engagement statistics. At the moment leaders are beginning to understand what type of data that is useful for learning outcomes. The spread of using learning management systems like Moodle, has increased the interest from universities to analysing the available data given to them through the system. It is a great benefit for the students as well, 87% of students report that having access to their academic performance data-analytics have positive impact on their learning.


Augmented and Virtual Reality (2-3 years)

Augmented reality and virtual reality are two different technologies but tightly related to each other. Augmented reality is characterised of digital information such as video, audio and images into real-world spaces. The purpose of augmented reality is to blend the real world reality with the virtual environment. Users are then allowed to interact with physical and digital objects and are able to distinguish the difference between them both. Virtual reality can be refered to as computer-simulated reality. The virtual world should be designed so that the user can’t really tell what is real world and what is not. These technologies  can impact students learning by transporting them to imaginable location across the world. This is a way to empower students and engage them into deeper learning.

MakFil 000erspaces (2-3 years)

Makerspaces is about exploring, discover new ides and creating. It is an informal workshop environments where students can combine manufactoring equipment, education and community. This enables students to design, create prototypes and products in a “do-it-yourself” setting. Makerspace engages students to innovative thinking and promote  creative and solution-oriented thinking.

Affective computing (4 to 5 years)

Affective computers recognise emotional and behavioural signals that trigger a reactionary process. In online learning situations affective computing can be used to react to facial indications from students. This can then be used by the online teacher to help motivate students or boost confidence.

Robotics (4 to 5 years)

The usage of robotics may be a few years away from mainstream use within higher education. But within medical studies we can see that the use of robotics is starting to gain traction. At the Nation Autonomous University of Mexico medical students are practicing procedures on robotic patients. The robotics are connected to a software system that can simulate the symptoms of different diseases.

Download the whole report here 

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