As we approach the key install season for schools and universities in the UK, we’re seeing some trends emerging which will impact on the future the classroom. Here’s some hot topics to watch in the coming year.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is *the* hot topic across the board in technology over the last decade, and will probably continue to dominate technology conversations for the next. A key application of AI in education is in delivering personalised teaching in schools. This is already being rolled out in Belgium by British start-up Century Tech. AI has the capacity to bridge differences in ability and remove that which prevents full access to education such as language barriers, or hearing impairments. In the not-too-far future, it may even be possible for AI to read confused expressions of pupils and adjust the teaching accordingly.
The immersiveness of virtual reality (VR) means lessons which involve difficult or unfamiliar ideas can be brought to life in a much more engaging way so that pupils can get to grips with the idea a lot faster. In the same way that we all remember places we’ve visited much more vividly than places we’ve merely been told about, ideas that pupils engage with through VR can create a much deeper understanding than concepts we’ve been informed about through conventional methods.
Cloud computing has been an important service in higher education institutions for some time. Student email and cloud-accessible course material for example, has become a mainstay in universities’ IT infrastructure across the world. When it comes to schools, the biggest attraction by far is the potential cost saving. Outsourcing data storage to cloud computing means a school can maintain a skeletal IT department, reducing on payroll costs. Today’s cloud computing platforms are also significantly more secure than IT servers run on site.
As the importance of focussing on STEM subjects in education mounts, technologies which channel creativity into these subjects are generating a lot of interest in the educational community. By incorporating creative design with engineering and IT, 3D printing manages to do exactly that. This cross-curricular application is demonstrated perfectly by this news story of an A-level student in Derby who used a 3D printer to create an insulin pump for diabetics. As the price of 3D printing technology goes down and becomes more accessible, more and more schools are taking advantage and letting pupils explore the endless possibilities it provides.
Bring your own device
From shopping to banking, more and more everyday tasks are migrating to our smartphones and education is no different. Although there’s a lot of fear around pupils having access to devices in class and the distraction this may cause, if executed properly, a “bring your own device” (BYOD) approach can encourage collaboration and active learning. Especially when coupled with a cloud-accessible resource bank for pupils to find class material, adopting a BYOD approach can make lessons seamless and straightforward for everyone.
And our latest Superior Series is the ideal solution for the classroom, allowing up to 40 devices to connect at once, while the teacher has full administrative control. To find out more on the full range click here.