Education Technology Trends Aspiring Teachers Need to Know

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mooc-learnRemember when the only tools needed for students to learn were sharp pencils and even sharper minds? While these skills are still vital, advancements in technology have replaced many traditional teaching methods forcing educators to rethink what goes into a classroom curriculum.

This is especially true for newer teachers who grew up during the Digital Age. They are bringing what they’ve gained with their education degree into schools where technology has changed the entire teaching and learning process. These educators are also looking forward to many technological trends in education that will continue to bring 21st century learning into the classroom.

How Technology Changed Classroom Teaching

Today’s technology gives teachers alternatives to traditional lectures by giving learners immediate access to interactive resources and materials. Schools that have been consistent in implementing instructional technology initiatives are finding positive transformations in student learning. These changes include:

  • Increased engagement — Students can connect with their teachers, other students and resources outside the classroom. This helps them stay connected with what they learned in school.
  • Vital skills — Continuous use of technology at school and at home helps learners practice vital skills, such as multimedia creation and digital storytelling.
  • Differentiated learning — Students can learn at their own pace, if necessary, as well as use technology in ways that work best for them.

Top Education Technology Trends

We know that technology in the classroom is beneficial for students, so it’s important for new teachers to look at some of the up-and-coming trends in the field so they can implement technology in the best ways:

  • Flipped learning — This is a form of blended learning where students view video lectures at home, and the homework on the lesson is completed the next day in school. Students become more engaged, and teachers are able to create fun and synchronous learning experiences.
  • Personalized blended learning — This type of learning brings together teachers and students who come together and outline a student’s instructional experiences.
  • Mobile learning — This type of learning is prominent in many schools across the country. It allows teachers and students to teach and learn across various mobile electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets and laptops.
  • Assistive technologies — Students with learning and attention issues benefit from schools that adopt the use of assistive technology strategies such as audio players, reading guides, calculators, speech-to-text software, iPads and more.

What Are the Fastest Growing Trends in Education Technology?

Combining education and technology make it an exciting time to be a teacher. As one of the core competencies in 21st century learning, the digital literacy skills learned by students will only benefit them throughout their lives.

Digital literacy includes the skills, behaviors and knowledge received from electronic devices such as tablets, smartphones and laptops. More classrooms today are equipped with these learning devices, which proves they are becoming more productive. By incorporating some of the following fastest-growing trends in education technology, new teachers can help keep their students ahead of the pack:

  • Mobile apps — Mobile apps have become essential tools for both teachers and students. They help foster creativity through content creation and are even being integrated into curriculums. Work that began in the classroom can be finished at home through an app without a skipping a beat.
  • Game-based learning — Game-based learning provides students with skills and knowledge such as critical thinking, communication, problem-solving and collaboration.
  • BYOD movement — Classrooms that don’t necessarily supply students with electronic learning devices mainly for budgetary reasons can consider allowing learners to bring their own devices to school. This is especially true for older or high school students who normally carry them anyway.

Education Technology Poses Opportunities and Challenges

The emerging trends in education technology create opportunities and challenges for students and teachers. Unfortunately, these fast-growing trends can also pose a few challenges. Many schools will need to search for money in their budgets to play catch-up with these innovations. Many districts also don’t have the funds available to keep up with these changes, causing some students to fall behind.

By overcoming these challenges, though, learners will gain greater access to multimedia content through the large range of electronic devices available in the classroom or at home. For new teachers, you can use the growing number of social networking tools for both learning and professional development. Overall, the evolution of educational technology in the classroom is allowing teachers and students to find out what works best for both of them.

About the Author

Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer, blogger, and aspiring world traveler. Sarah is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a site on which she shares advice for young professionals on navigating the work world, and finding happiness and success at work. For more on all things career follow her @SarahLandrum

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