Looking at 2021, the up-and-coming trends in educational technology include Head Mounted Devices (HMD) or Virtual Reality (VR) and Immersed Virtual Reality (IVR); Augmented Reality (AR), Electronic Books (ebooks), and other online digital tools.
The thing is:
When we speak of education and technology, the exciting new trends are all about enhancing the learning environment with digital technologies.
However, there are other innovative ways in which educators are implementing technology. Learning management systems (LMS) and Training Management Systems may have been around for several years now, but they still have untapped potential.
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, many educational institutions have been running classes in a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Many are likely to continue doing so. Lastly, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education is also on the agenda.
So, what are the recent trends in education by the numbers?
At Mark in Style, we decided to find out. Let’s dive right in.
Exciting Trends in Educational Technology (Editor’s Choice)
- 65% of teachers say they use digital learning tools on a daily basis.
- 78% of students find ebooks to be more effective than traditional paper books.
- 97% of students would like to enrol in a VR course.
- 85% of teachers agree or strongly agree there’s great value in using digital learning tools in the classroom in the future.
- The total value of AR in education will be approximately $5.3 billion by 2023.
- The US has the highest rate of laptop usage in classrooms – 71% of students.
- 9 out of 10 UK educators agree that traditional teaching and technology will be seamlessly combined in the future.
Digital and Online Education Trends
1. 71% of principals fully support the increased use of digital learning.
The most recent New Schools report focuses on new technology in the classroom, especially digital tools (apps, online tutorials, games and videos, websites, and programmes). One of the findings is that the majority of teachers (85%) and principals (96%) fully or somewhat support the increased use of such tools in their school.
However, somewhat surprisingly, more principals (71%) than teachers (53%) fully support the increased use of digital and online learning.
2. 35% of educators agree that online digital learning tools allow for personalized instruction based on students’ skill levels.
The school trends online and digital tools used to support the learning process have to meet specific standards. Educators select those tools that meet the most important criteria for use in the classroom.
Here’s the scoop:
35% of educators say that following student progress is possible with digital tools. Additionally, 30% agree that such tools allow students to engage in the learning process. Finally, 30% of educators agree that digital tools are easy to use.
3. 65% of teachers say they use digital learning tools on a daily basis.
This technology trend in education shows how integral to teaching and learning digital learning tools are. Just shy of two-thirds of teachers say they use digital learning tools daily.
Another 22% use them a few days a week, and 13% use them once or less per week.
At the same time:Seven out of ten students say that they are using digital learning tools for schoolwork outside school at least a few days a week. Click To Tweet
4. 85% of teachers agree or strongly agree they see great value in using digital learning tools in the classroom in the future.
Teachers see tremendous value in using digital learning tools both now and in the future. As many as 81% agree or strongly agree there’s value in using digital learning tools in the classroom now. An even higher percentage, 85%, expect to see better value in the future.
Current Trends In Education: Ebooks
5. 78% of students found Apple Multi-Touch ebooks to be more effective than traditional paper books.
(Source: Apple, Educational Technology & Society)
Ebooks, also known as e-textbooks, digital-textbooks, or electronic textbooks, contain multimedia and include interactive functions. Both teachers and students welcome ebooks, as they enable collaborative work.
Research about technology in education has shown e-books containing interactive content allow students to better interact with the learning material. Also, combining the use of ebooks with other learning methods has positive effects on students’ learning efficacy and their accomplishments.
And that’s not all:
Lynn University in Florida has been following student progress since the launch of an iPad program for technological teaching. According to a 2018 survey, 78% of students found Multi-Touch Ebooks (Apple ebooks suitable for education) to be more effective than traditional paper books. The report also noted an increase in these results by 13% from the 2013 levels.
6. In the University of Central Florida (UCF) bookstore, digital materials comprised about 3% of course material purchases in the 2016/17 academic year.
One reason for using ebook technologies is affordability and accessibility. A 2016 study at UCF showed that 70% of students reported spending at least $300 on textbooks. Due to the high cost, students may decide to either take fewer classes or not to purchase the textbooks needed.
Research published in technology and education articles reveals 30% of respondents had opted not to purchase a textbook at least once, 41% had delayed purchasing one, and 15% had taken fewer courses or decided not to take a particular class due to the prohibitively high cost of textbooks.
As a result, the UCF bookstore offered approximately 40% of required textbooks in digital as well as paper format in 2016/17.
7. In 2016, 66% of survey participants reported using an e-textbook at least once in their college studies, teaching trends reveal.
The same year, 55% of participants who reported using an e-textbook said it was a required course component. The rate at which e-textbooks are becoming required reading is increasing.
E-textbook use among students has been rising at an even more rapid rate. Still, undergraduate and younger students are significantly more likely to use e-textbooks than postgraduate and mature students.
8. 51% of students reported using ebooks with basic features.
The 2016 survey results revealed students use a variety of types of ebooks. In addition to the roughly half who use ebooks with basic features, 37% use “Flat” PDFs. Other types include ebooks with interactive elements (24% of students), open access (20%), instructor-created ones (5%).
9. 74% of students reported low cost as the reason for the adoption of e-textbooks, trends in education technology reveal.
Low cost was the most-cited factor, with nearly three-quarters of students reporting it as the reason for the adoption. Just under half (48%) cited the ability to read offline. Additionally, one-third (33%) highlighted the ability to print pages.
In contrast, only 17% preferred print, while 6% were not familiar with ebooks.
Future Education Technology: AR and VR
10. VR in education is predicted to be a $700 million industry by 2025.
(Source: VRARA, Abi, ET & S, BJET)
VR is one of the most promising trends in educational technology. Because VR provides a personal perspective and enables a sense of immersion while learning, it’s also called immersive virtual reality (IVR).
Virtual reality in education has been the subject of much recent research into emerging technology trends in education. Recent estimates reveal total revenues from VR Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) are expected to grow beyond $640 million by 2023. VR is predicted to be a massive $700 million industry by 2025.
Even more impressively:Education is expected to be the fourth biggest sector for VR investments by 2025. Click To Tweet
One study that examined technological trends in education utilised VR to evaluate student learning gains. It also looked at the learners’ sense of personal development, their relationships with their teammates, and how the classroom was orchestrated in general.
Besides VR, the study also included other technologies, such as robots and web-based digital tools, but we will get into that later.
The use of technologies provided an engaging learning experience.
11. 97% of students would like to take a VR course.
(Source: VRARA, ET & S)
A recent report on VR and AR in the educational sector shows that virtually all students would like to take a VR course. In general, studies of this trend in educational technology showed that such immersive and interactive technologies may provide experiential learning, conceptual and procedural understanding, and psychomotor skill development.
It gets better:
An examined learning outcome with the use of HMD showed learning efficiency, skill acquisition, and conceptual understanding.
Last but certainly not least, equipping the learning experience with HMD environments may also have positive effects on simulated problem-solving tasks and in transferring the competence to real-world tasks.
12. Seven out of ten teachers want to use VR to simulate experiences that are relevant to the material covered in class.
In recent years, immersive technologies have advanced and become more readily available. This gives more students the opportunity to engage in various educational subjects in alternative ways. No wonder more than two-thirds of teachers want to use VR to simulate experiences relevant to the material covered in class.
However, more empirical research into the technology impacts on education, most specifically Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR), is necessary to discover whether it will consistently facilitate higher academic achievement and engagement scores (cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and social).
13. The total value of AR in education will be approximately $5.3 billion by 2023.
(Source: Abi, ET & S)
When we speak of the future trends in educational technology, incorporating several technologies into the learning design is probably one of the main trends. AR is one such digital technology that’s being increasingly integrated as it becomes more affordable.
This is important:
The adoption of AR and VR showcases learning information in dynamic and interactive formats. Research has revealed they’re helpful in explaining and presenting abstract and scientific phenomena. So, they can be incorporated as instructional means to support teachers in providing a more engaging learning environment.
One study used both quantitative and qualitative data to determine if an AR-enhanced learning experience with ebooks has a positive effect on learners’ thinking ability and creativity.
The key takeaway was:
Integrating AR and ebooks supports and encourages active thinking and enables fostering independent learners.
Global Tech Trends In Education
14. Results and attainment are the top priority for 59% of UK educators.
A recent survey about the emerging trends in educational technology in the UK education system shows that engaging pupils and enhancing collaboration by means of technology is on the rise during the 2020/21 school year.
On the other hand, upgrading and providing adequate training is proving quite the challenge. Unfortunately, these two crucial aspects are still relatively low on the priority list.
15. When it comes to technology, 48% of UK educators stated maximising online safety was their school’s top priority, the trends in educational technology 2021 report reveals.
Boosting student engagement by means of new technology in school is also essential, with 39% of educators seeing it as their school’s highest priority. At the same time, 43% of Senior Leadership Team members feel strongly about the importance of technology as a tool for collaboration.
16. Nine out of ten UK educators agree that traditional teaching and technology will be seamlessly combined in the future.
Educators agree that new technology in education will be highly beneficial in the years to come. And yet, they worry about the possible downsides. They agree that technology-enhanced learning can only be beneficial when it supports the learning outcomes of the students in a thoughtful manner. These are some of the key findings from the Promethean trends in educational technology 2020/21 report.
But wait! There’s more:
Educators also agree that the classroom should be kept at the centre of the learning experience because the deployment of new technology in schools will only be valuable when it can be monitored.
Finally:Educators report that face-to-face interaction is imperative and should only be complemented by technology. Click To Tweet
17. The US has the highest rate of laptop usage in classrooms (71% of students).
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) uses the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) every three years to qualitatively examine all the stakeholders in the educational system. Respondents are asked about their attitudes, resources, behaviours, and ICT use, including new educational technologies.
The most recent survey gathered responses from 340,000 students across 51 countries in 2018. The data analysis aimed to answer critical questions regarding technologies for education like the optimal use, which technologies positively affect student outcomes, and how these parameters vary across different countries and regions.
One finding from the 2018 PISA shows that US students who use laptops score 17 PISA points higher than those who don’t. Perhaps it’s because the US has the highest rate of student laptop usage in classrooms.
Our overview of the latest trends in educational technology highlights the benefits of the fusion of education and technology. Learner and educator perceptions as well as learning outcomes are quite positive.
However, it’s clear that the educational system has to develop new learning design models, such as those offered by neuroeducation, to support the implementation of digital technologies. Also, a dialogue about possible technology issues in education is necessary.
Q: How does technology impact student learning?
Overall, digital learning technology stimulates learners’ motivation and engagement. On the other hand, even though many studies highlighted the positive effects of technology, others argue that learners are less engaged in such learning environments.
Q: Which new technology has most improved classroom instruction?
Digital learning tools have been improving student classroom instruction. Some abstract phenomena are relatively difficult to understand because it’s impossible to observe them. So, digital representation can be a rather effective learning tool. It also makes it possible to simulate and animate concepts to allow further experimentation in a practical way, simply by using software and a device.
Q: What is the most used technology in schools today?
Today, educators are utilising ebooks, social networking, apps, online tutorials (synchronous and asynchronous), games and videos, websites, and programs.
Q: What are the modern tools of education technology?
The modern tools of education technology include audio and video, mobile devices, tablets and computers, whiteboards, online classrooms, AR, learning management and content management systems, computer-aided assessment, and training management systems, the latest trends in educational technology reveal.