Top 4 Emerging EdTech Trends in K-12 Education 2020

In this modern world, with technology that is constantly evolving and advancing, we have seen so much progress in the tools we use and the softwares launched. Communication has never been easier with digital communication apps, tools and gadgets. Certain work processes have also been minimised and made convenience with the development of technology such as artificial intelligence. However, in this article, we are going to be focusing on educational technology.

Today, Educational Technology (ed-tech) trends to help teachers or tutors to boost and enhance their process of teaching beyond text-based learning and engage students through more hands-on application, and at the same time create a more friendly environment for students to learn. One of the major parts of ed-tech which is evolving rapidly is the online learning space. With the outbreak of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, more and more schools switching to e-learning.

So in this article, we are going to explore 4 such trends in the online learning space in detail:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Collaborative Technology
  • Video-based Learning
  • Interactive Whiteboard

EdTech Trends in K-12 Education

1.    Artificial Intelligence (AI)

In 2020, the use of AI has been an increase in personal learning. For example, Querium in Austin (http://querium.com/) uses AI to provide tutoring lessons that are customizable for High School and University Students. This software works by analyzing topics and the period of time it requires to complete the tutoring session, thereby also enabling teachers to find out students’ weaknesses. Another example is that Kidaptive’s Adaptive Learning Platform (https://www.kidaptive.com/), also using AI algorithms to assist schools in enhancing student engagement and collect data.

Benefits:

  • Personalised education: It can be hard for a teacher to cater to the needs of all their students, be it different learning styles or coping levels. 
  • Saves the teacher’s time: Using AI can be very time-efficient for the tutors, and thus reducing workload for them.
  •  Can detect students’ weaknesses: It is crucial to able to understand where the students’ weaknesses are in order to help them improve, and AI is a useful tool to do so.

Challenges:

  • Cost: Cost of setting up AI systems can be too expensive and not all students or schools are able to afford such an elaborate setting.
  • Lack of personal touch: It may not be the best option to rely heavily on AI, because machine-learning lacks the human interaction a normal teacher would have with their students – being an integral part of the students’ psychological development.

2.    Collaborative technology

Collaborative technology is used to enhance online learning through the use of  chatbots, or any platform or applications that improve the engagement of the pupils. To collaborate during lessons, other than Facebook, Whatsapp or Skype, teachers or tutors may use the chat tools provided by Zoom or Heyhi which are tools specifically provided for teaching and online tutoring that help increase the engagement rate of the students and prevent them from being distracted.

Benefits:

  • Saves costs: Collaborative technology gives you the freedom to do work anywhere, even at the comfort of your own home, and with everything made digital, it is highly cost-efficient.
  • Interactive: These tools can really engage the students more, thus making lessons interactive. This way, students stay focused and learn more effectively.
  • Productivity: With travel time being saved, and the convenience of these tools and softwares, the extra time can be used to cover more content, lesson planning or to finish up pending tasks. This increases levels of productivity.

Challenges:

  • Internet speed and connection: Not all students/teachers have access to high speed internet connections and thus it can create technical problems.
  • Lack of face-to-face interaction: Although this is a much more interactive way to conduct e-learning, there is still that lack of face-to-face teaching. This might create concerns of the lack of socialisation and potential mis

3.    Video-based learning

Video-Based learning has been becoming increasingly popular among younger generations. The platform which is preferred by Generation Z is definitely Youtube. There are various sources of educational channels such as CrashCourse and Khan Academy

These channels provide a comprehensive explanation of a variety of topics and explained in a way that is easy to understand. 

Benefits:

  • Saves time: Teachers can use videos to explain parts of the lesson that does not require tedious explanations and demonstration, thus using that time to spend on heavier topics.
  • Cost: Some of the channels like the ones mentioned above are free of cost, and can be viewed by anyone who has access to the internet, so teachers do not have to worry about paying extra.
  • Keep students interested: Videos can often be engaging with their attractive illustrations and motion graphics, and they can also be bite-sized summaries which is easier to understand. This would help to keep students focused and learn better.

Challenges:

  • Can be a cause of distraction: If the video is not really aligned to the content it is supposed to cover, or if the quality is not that great, it can pose as a source of distraction rather than a method of teaching.
  • One-dimensional: There is no interactivity when videos are being used to teach the students. For this reason, tutors are much more keen to use the tools like Zoom and Heyhi as it not only provides the feature of Video Calling for teaching but also collaborative features that strengthens engagement of the students.

4.    Interactive Whiteboard

Online interactive whiteboard has become popular over the last few years, and it appears that their use will continue to grow exponentially. Similar to the traditional blackboard or whiteboard, the Interactive Whiteboard acts as a traditional whiteboard and marker which allows the teachers or tutors to write, draw, brainstorm, explain or teach by using this online whiteboard. The online whiteboard in fact provides a platform for teachers or tutors to teach or provide tutorials online.

Benefits:

  • Variety of features: There are numerous preloaded features and powerful options attached to the online whiteboard compared to the traditional ones, such as graphs, tables, images and presentations. Tutors will be able to adopt these features to assist their students in understanding a particular concept easily. 
  • Engage students using games and activities: An interactive whiteboard also enables the tutors or teachers to turn the standard lessons into various kinds of interactive activities and games. These are useful to engage students better during lessons, especially when they can apply concepts they learn in those games.
  • Easy to use and accessible: It is very simple to familiarise yourself with the online interactive whiteboard. Heyhi, our video-conferencing app is one such tool that has the feature an interactive whiteboard, and is incredibly easy to use. You can watch this tutorial as a reference below. 
  • Anybody can have access to it as long as they have a stable internet connection!

Challenges:

  • Lack of face-to-face interaction: This is probably something that is inevitable when it comes to e-learning, or online learning. However, digital whiteboard might be the closest thing to a classroom-style teaching because you can still use a ‘whiteboard’ to explain while you teach, and with Heyhi, you can even do it in real time as there it is a video-conferencing app! You can take a look at this video to see how it looks like when a live lesson is being conducted on our app below
  • Need a stable internet connection: As with all the tools above, you need an internet connection in order to access the app. Hence, it is important to make sure that all students are able to get access to the internet before switching to this method.

Conclusion: EdTech Trends in K-12 Education

It is undeniably true that technology has had a great impact in teaching, and is the new disruption to traditional teaching methods in education. However, as a tutor, it is important to choose what is best for your students so as to not compromise on the quality of education compared to when taught in real life.

We understand how important it is to be able to close the gap in the differences between teaching online and offline, and the importance of preserving the quality of teaching regardless of the medium. Hence, we would definitely recommend you giving Heyhi a try as an online tool. Heyhi is an app with video, screensharing and interactive whiteboard, specially built for educators like you and collaborative work. It is available to use on PC, and you can also download it on your devices via Google Playstore and Apple App store. 

With the blend of an interactive whiteboard, video-conferencing, document sharing and a lot of other features, this is a really useful tool to use to mimic real-life teaching as closely as possible. To try it out for yourself, you can request for a demo or sign up for an account! 

We hope this article has been useful to you in providing more insights on ed-tech trends. For more articles like this, as well as interesting tips and tricks to use our app, feel free to check out our blog!

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