Education technology is a rapidly evolving space that must be adaptive to fully address the needs of students globally. In 2022, we are seeing that investments in edtech are crucial for our students who have grown up seeing the influence technology and its conveniences have on our lives, playing a part in everything from monitoring performance and goals to reinforcing core academic concepts. As a municipal advisor for charter schools, Matthias O’Meara recognizes that staying up to date with existing technology trends in the educational industry is integral to having high-level insights on school systems and the students they serve.
Here, Matthias O’Meara explores a few educational technology trends that experts note are gaining traction in 2022.
Gamification of Learning
Gamification—when educators apply elements of game design in educational settings — is nothing new in our classrooms. After all, many of us can remember playing Jeopardy in our history classes or various typing games in keyboarding. Playing games can give students interesting ways to interact with the curriculum and reinforce important concepts by keeping them fully engaged. Educational experts have found that the existing $697 million global market for gamification is ripe for growth and expected to expand by about 29% by 2027, in part because many platforms have emerged to bring the concept of education based games to the next level. According to Matthias, we can expect to see more platforms rise as contenders within the educational gaming space as well as existing games tying in educational concepts. We have already seen this happen with popular titles such as Minecraft’s Education Edition or the less well received Fortnite’s MLK exhibit from last year, and many believe that future attempts will fine tune the formula for more successful learning opportunities.
Investments in Asynchronous Learning
At the height of the pandemic, asynchronous learning was crucial for many districts to address as absences were at all time highs and students were beginning to show signs of falling behind in their curriculum. As the impact of the pandemic wanes, experts are finding that investments in asynchronous learning channels are still essential be it for addressing COVID-19 or for any number of reasons a student may be absent for a prolonged period of time. The mission here is to ensure that students can have access to crucial learning materials with no or very limited internet connectivity, as the technology gap found between students was a large contributing factor to some falling behind during the pandemic. This is best facilitated through advanced systems that can increase the accessibility of learning materials, and we are seeing more school systems make investments into these intuitive platforms to give students that need flexibility the opportunity to learn unencumbered.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence and its various potential uses are an ongoing topics in many industries, with education standing as no exception. AI is already being utilized for several applications within classrooms ranging from cyber security to classroom management. In education, AI developments are proving that the technology can be a useful tool for enhancing the educational experience for more positive learning outcomes. For example, edtech experts speak to how AI can be used to personalize learning through adaptive technology. AI can track students’ proficiencies and preferred learning styles to adjust content based on their performance in real time. In higher education settings, AI solutions can streamline learning paths by showing students clear trajectories based on their educational and professional goals. Much like gamification, AI is also ripe for growth, with experts predicting that the adaptive learning market will grow to $9 billion by 2028. One caveat to the growth of AI in the education sector is that, at this stage, its efficiency will depend heavily on our inputs and monitoring of the programming.
There are a lot of interesting developments in the education technology space in 2022, and many are excited for the profound impact these adaptations can have for students around the world. What we are noticing currently is that many of these technological trends involve increasing intuitiveness and flexibility in our classrooms. No two students are the same, and each have their own set of preferences, skills, and goals as learners. Ensuring that our schools can utilize technology to adapt to the evolving needs of students is a goal in 2022 that will certainly continue into the foreseeable future.