The changes set in motion in 2020 offered the world of higher education the chance to explore new opportunities and get a deeper understanding of matters previously only partially uncovered. Technology played a major role in this respect: in fact, with the massive shift to remote and hybrid schedules, EdTech helped completely reshape learning and teaching. The following list features 10 EdTech trending topics in higher education to keep an eye on right now and in the future post-pandemic world.
1 – Promoting inclusivity and accessibility
This entry is a bit of a stretch. Inclusivity and accessibility go beyond the concept of trend. They are pillars of the world of today’s education and their importance is growing more and more every day. Schools will need to keep on providing adaptive solutions tailored to meet the learning needs of different students, be them learners with learning deficiencies, disabilities, speakers of minority languages, or disadvantaged in general, in order to make sure nobody is left behind.
2 – Blockchain
Based on growing lists of records (blocks) linked using cryptography, this technology is becoming increasingly central in several organisations and educational institutions worldwide. Blockchain allows exchanging information and data with the protection of highly secure protocols. It could be implemented to safely issue diplomas, transfer student information between universities, and share academic data with companies for recruitment, just to name a few.
3 – The consolidation of the HyFlex model
The best of both worlds: the hybrid flexible pedagogical approach combines online learning with face-to-face lessons. This model has been already widely adopted in schools to create a dynamic learning agenda: with the support of the proper technology infrastructure and tools, each class and learning activity can be delivered synchronously online and asynchronously online or in-person.
4 – Big data
One of the issues raised during the days of distance learning concerned the difficulty for teachers to offer the same supervision they usually offered during school hours in-person. Through the use of specific apps to collect data from their students, teachers are enabled to monitor their classes effectively, evaluate their performances, understand what can be improved, and ultimately bring better outcomes and adjust school curricula.
5 – Adapting tools for the future
Online education has offered the perfect proving ground for the adoption of platforms that could bring better and more effective achievements. The tools that cemented themselves in supporting remote and hybrid learning won’t be dropped. They will keep on standing by teachers’ and students’ side even in the post-pandemic future, improving new features and becoming even more central in higher education’s programs.
6 – Cloud-based technologies
The current global scenario already accelerated the transition towards cloud-first technologies, but shortly their importance will increase even further. Their role will still be crucial in helping institutions connect with learners previously unreachable worldwide, offering major support in the online learning scenario when it comes to student relationship management, learning, and assessment management systems, and more.
7 – Increasing Use of Virtual Reality
Bringing learning and entertainment together, virtual reality-based education can offer a better understanding of a concept through an immersive and engaging experience. VR technology is getting more accessible today, and it can be easily implemented for virtual tours, interactive scientific experiences, and simulations of any sort, leading to better knowledge retention by the students.
8 – Esports
Be them an alternative to conventional sports in times of social distancing, or simply a trending topic among higher education students, Esports is definitely here to stay. It teaches students the sense of sportsmanship and healthy competition, stimulates their minds in building rapid-changing strategies, and opens the door to brilliant professional careers.
9 – Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has proven to offer a wide range of possibilities and uses in colleges and universities. From the most common implementations, such as face recognition to secure infrastructures, to cases of exam security to identify students who are potentially cheating during online exams, such as video and audio proctoring features, Artificial Intelligence is destined to grow and expand in the upcoming future.
10 – Internet of things (IoT)
Internet of Things can really represent a turning point for the future of education and school management. It connects physical objects through the use of the internet. It opens the door to online resources such as e-books, it can be implemented in schools and universities to identify assignment timing patterns and switch on and off devices and electricity in a classroom when it’s empty.
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