As we begin 2019, there are several technology trends that impact the Education sector. There are two areas that stand out, that will change the face of Education for years to come.
Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of several devices which are interconnected, exchanging and compiling different kinds of data over a network. Think of a SMARTClass that uses a network and devices to interact, shares information and data, receives instructions and becomes the data hub for the Class. The SMARTClass is the backbone of information sharing and collaboration, keeping track of different resources, creating smart lesson plans, automating attendance systems, adapting assessments, and designing personalized learning content. It can enable enhanced learning experience by linking resources, such as videos, assessments, animations, books, and websites to become a content repository. This can become the source of custom dashboards for all associated stakeholders which then enables a high level of interaction and collaboration between students, peers, parents and teachers. Connectivity and smart devices improve collaboration through crowd sourcing with students around the world, and allowing interactions to research answers to problems, exposing different points of view through different sources. Smart boards and digital highlighters allow printed text to be digitally transferred to mobile phones or other devices, and interactive boards can then receive, acknowledge, and reciprocate information, making learning more interactive, fun, and accessible.
IoT can also enhance the security and efficiency of schools and universities through 24×7 monitoring. Smart monitors can detect students in a class, thereby doing away with manual attendance. In the case of non-attendance or tardiness, alerts can be sent to the school administrators, and even to the parents. Technology can be used to monitor student behaviour and raise early alerts to initiate any intervention.
Now that the systems are interconnected between students and teachers, real-time performance data of both students and teachers can be available. Assessments and projects can be pushed to the student automatically, if they work at a faster pace, without waiting for an assessment cycle to arrive. This will quickly identify advanced and struggling students and enable early, personalized intervention.
The second trend that started as a revolution last year is promising to improve education and help educators. Machine Learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI). With Machine Learning, computers are programmed to learn to do things they are not already programmed to perform. It allows for the capture of all interactions made by the student with the computer and is not limited to just capturing the student responses to assessments and building a personalized curriculum. Software for K-12 analytics and higher education are fast becoming accessible. Such applications are developed to provide actionable recommendations which can be applied directly to the classroom. Such software is also playing a significant role in improving assessments and evaluations by removing biases. Bots can become pseudo tutors to the students which will further feed information to the AI/ML systems to increase the knowledge base.
Analytics technology will help educators to predict students’ future learning behaviour, as well as discover and improve domain models.
It is an exciting time to observe the impact of the convergence of connected devices, and continuous intelligence gathering through machine learning. They allow for different learning paths for students, as well as providing information and options for educators to give the best possible personalized attention to students.