The development of the “Tech Age” has changed our world forever! Think about it, where would we be today without our smartphones or the Internet? These improvements, while unimaginable thirty years ago, are now normal aspects of our everyday lives. Our education system has also experienced many benefits from the development of new technology. And no one understands the importance of educational technology more than our Agora community of students, families, teachers, specialists and staff. As a Cyber School, technology is our backbone and we are always on the lookout for innovative technology that provides our students with the most up-to-date, quality education.
So, what are the current trends in education that utilize the latest technology to enhance curriculum and provide better learning opportunities? Experts are already looking towards promising breakthroughs, and have begun to offer their take on some of the bigger eLearning trends in the short term for 2016. Here’s the latest information on key innovations for online learners and their educators this year:
So many aspects of our everyday lives are enhanced by our use of mobile devices, so it’s no surprise mobile learning is the next step in education. Some of the benefits of mLearning are:
- Shorter videos and segments
- Easily accessible information any time of the day
- Informal learning structure (shown to increase retention rates)
Combined with some of the great features our mobile devices offer like language translation services and strong apps for science and mathematics, mLearning could be a huge breakthrough in the way we educate and learn. If people are going to be glued to their phones at every other moment of the day, they may as well be doing constructive - or in this case - downright educational!
Gamification (or gaming) can bring the fun back to eLearning. Luckily for students, experts have recently uncovered that incorporating games into education can often boost engagement, and thus recall rates, by up to 90 percent! Now that children in traditional brick-and-mortar schools are getting Chromebooks and laptops like cyber students, look for much more developing over the next year in terms of utilizing gaming in education.
- Learners recall just 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear – but up to 90% of what they do!
- Good news for adult learners, too: Almost 80% of learners say that they would be more productive if their university/ institution or job was more game-like!
Big Data will allow districts and administrators to cleanup stale practices, while allowing educators to be smarter with their approach. New data analytics will allow educators to adjust their methods in real time based on results. They gain a deeper and richer understanding of their students as individuals and as a group. By implementing big data searching and reporting capabilities into eLearning, schools will be able to identify problem areas in curriculum and procedure. From there, important decisions can be easier made with more insight into each area of the school district. Big data helps by:
- Providing a deeper understanding of the learning process including completion time and rates.
- Identifying where learners spend more time and which parts they find harder.
- Compiling a comprehensive ROI report for learning, by combining multiple sources of information.
Continuing as a trend from years past, personalized learning is still a key trend in education. Tailoring curriculum and learning environments to meet the individualized needs of students is key to success in the classroom – whether in a building or online! Personalized learning includes:
- Adjusting the pace of instruction as well as the learning approach so instruction is differentiated.
- Allowing the users/students to choose their own learning path.
- Adjusting the form of content presentation between text and audio or video, allowing for greater interest in curriculum – and leading to better comprehension.
- Leverages student interests and experiences for optimal learning.
The world of educational technology is constantly changing, and these are just a few of the many exciting trends for 2016. Don’t forget to keep checking back to the myAgora Blog for more helpful information.
Happy New Year from Agora Cyber Charter School!