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Education is often seen as a one way process. Teachers have knowledge and pass it on to students. But there’s a continual exchange of information and new technologies in play within the field of education. Teachers provide feedback to researchers and in turn they’re able to provide a variety of new tools. But as with any other technologies, some show vastly more promise than others. There are seven emerging technologies in education which are going to dramatically improve the face of education.
7. Low Price Educational Laptops
Chromebooks are already a huge success story. At the moment, the estimated market share of Chromebooks in schools is 49%. This number might not seem huge at first. But it’s one of the more important emerging technologies in education for good reason. It’s managed to get 49% of the market in only a handful of years due to meeting a strong demand.
Chromebooks scale to almost any need within schools. They’re easily wiped and repurposed when needed. And all it takes to set up a new student on a chromebook is a Google login. But the devices are still powerful enough to support a full linux desktop for children if the need is there. And all of this comes at a low price point. These low price educational notebooks are only going to keep becoming more and more useful for schools.
6. Classroom Tablets
Tablets aren’t quite there yet. But Apple has been putting quite a bit of work into beating out Google for dominance of classrooms. There’s a lot of potential there for ease of use too. The light form factor of tablets will beat out even the lightest laptop. It’s true that there’s been some work put into making Chromebooks that can easily convert into tablets.
But the cost of a laptop that can convert to a tablet is rather high. While the cost of adding bluetooth keyboards to a tablet is fairly low. Apple’s not quite as close to making an educational tablet as many people assume. They tend to focus on perfecting things as much as possible before a real release. But it’s quite readily apparent that they want to bring the iPad into the classroom.
5. E-Ink Based Writing Devices
It’s important to keep in mind that innovation can appear from unexpected areas. Sony’s not a name most people think of these days when the topic of classroom computing comes up. But not too long ago they were a major player in the e-book industry.
And today they’re taking e-book technology into some interesting directions. The DPT-RP1 is a very different take on what most people think of when they hear about electronic notebooks. Instead of a computer, the DPT-RP1 is quite literally an e-ink based replacement for traditional paper notebooks.
It’s easy to see the promise for students when looking at the DPT-RP1. One can write on it with a special pen, and the results look almost exactly as one would expect from a piece of paper. The main difference is that it’s actually a digital file that brings along all the benefits of modern technology.
4. Flashcard Solutions
This is software rather than hardware. But it also showcases one of the reasons why hardware development is so important. At the moment there’s still heavy competition for the title of best digital flashcard solution.
It’s clear that digital flashcards will be the future of education. But it’s not clear just how that’s going to happen. Right now Cram is arguably the leader in the digital flashcard landscape. Students can create flashcards on almost any device and then use them on any other. If linked with a Google account it will even follow along with a Chromebook when the student goes to school. But there’s also support for iOS, which includes Apple’s tablets.
Cram is betting that the most important feature for the future is cross platform compatibility. But it’s also placing a heavy emphasis on new forms of studying in order to help students make the most out of digital flashcards.
3. Optimized Content and Learning
It’s important to remember that emerging technologies in education should always place an emphasis on the individual. This is why one of the most exciting emerging technologies in education has to do with tailoring content for individual students.
Right now the difficulty in implementing this idea has left the field rather barren. But there is one notable example which in many ways has been responsible for spreading the concept. Knewton is arguably the first and best example of personalizing content for optimized learning. At the moment it’s primarily aimed at university level students. But it’s easy to see how the idea of adaptive and personalized material would be perfect for students of any age level. It’s simply a matter of waiting for the technology to evolve.
2. Personalized Funding Efforts for School Projects
In a perfect world teachers would be among the top earners in the country. But the moment the average public school is usually running on fairly measly funds. And teachers themselves are paid at a rate far lower than most people would assume. Worse, they’re often stuck paying for projects out of their own meager pay. This tends to artificially limit what students can be taught.
Online funding campaigns have the potential to change all that. Online funding is best known for tech projects. But Donors Choose is a new way of using that idea while applying it to education. Teachers can put in their ideas for school projects. Parents and even people from outside the local community can take a look at the project. And if it’s something they like they can help fund it and make it a reality for the students.
1. Child Blogging and Communication
Communication is a central part of education. Adults might look back at their memories of the classroom and remember teachers telling them to be quiet. But in reality one of the hardest parts of teaching is encouraging kids to communicate with each other about the subjects being studied.
Child focused blogging tools such as Kid Blog encourage students to communicate with each other using a wide variety of tools. It’s one of the emerging technologies in education that can make a difference almost instantly.
It even helps teachers involve themselves with the conversations students have about their studies. It’s also a fantastic way of helping shy children open up and express their ideas in a way they might be more comfortable with. Kid Blog is one of the first examples of this technology but it’s sure to grow larger in the future. And one can expect it to further integrate with other emerging technologies in education.
In the end, it’s important to remember that emerging technologies in education face issues not present in other industries. It’s essential for people to be an active part of these technologies. Parents need to be involved with schools as they move forward with new ideas. And students need to talk to their parents about emerging technologies in education that are under consideration for schools. One can see this in practice by considering how many of these technologies focus on communication.