The future of education technology 

Jarrod Brown
Jarrod Brown

In the ever-evolving realm of education technology, one thing remains constant: the need to innovate how we engage and stimulate the students of tomorrow. But what is the future of education technology and how can teachers implement fresh, tech-driven ways to help students find deeper connections with learning?

Amidst the massive leaps in technological advancements made in the last decade alone, the static Australian education system remains essentially unchanged. Today’s educators (and families) still fight for students’ attention — both in and outside the classroom. 

To combat this, companies are looking ahead. Edtech’s mission —  to bring the world of the future inside the classroom by implementing the latest technological advancements — is clear. And with projections that the global industry of education technology and innovation will be worth USD$605.40 billion by 2027, the best seems yet to come.

From virtual reality classrooms to AI-led learning experiences, the line between science fiction and reality becomes blurred as the rapid Edtech evolution keeps our nation’s students at the forefront of modern education.

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Gamification of learning

Once upon a time, gamification was limited to use within early education. But as new chapters in the gamification-led learning story are created, incorporating game design and play elements into the learning experience has become a valuable tool in a teacher’s arsenal. 

By riding the recent wave of popularity that gaming culture has enjoyed, teachers can engage students with exciting educational material. 

Khan Academy pioneers this approach, providing a free, high-quality online learning space that covers much of the school’s STEM curriculum. 

Students then work through engaging videos and problem sets at their own pace, with customised experiences based on their strengths and weaknesses. 

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Other companies, such as Kahoot and Quizziz, also spearhead the gamification of learning material, and are used to transform workplace training, events and seminars into memorable digital learning events.

Personalised learning with student data 

With the emergence of online-led learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, schools can now use data analytics and machine learning (AI) to collate data on students’ interests, abilities and learning styles. 

This information allows educational material to be optimised individually to suit each student’s unique learning style. With the newfound ability to closely track student behaviour, content progress and learning preferences, schools can respond quickly to improve students engagement and content retention.

In the United States (U.S), personalised learning in some form is already being implemented across many states, with a $14 million donation from tech billionaire Mark Zuckerberg funding early research in the space.

With targeted lesson plans, uniquely tailored assignments and flexible learning times, students can now receive the personal care that, until now, was available for only a select few. 

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For teachers, the ability to easily optimise learning material for an entire class helps deliver the type of tailored education experience that was once only accessible through one-on-one tutoring.

VR and AR learning 

With the recent advances in the quality and commercialisation of Virtual Reality (VR) systems, students can now experience immersive educational material like never before. 

By using Augmented Reality (AR), students are swapping their textbooks for a memorable virtual learning experience that is undeniably more engaging and interactive.

ClassVR utilises the latest in VR technology to deliver sophisticated immersive learning experiences that are “designed to help raise engagement and increase knowledge retention for students of all ages”.

By introducing this cutting-edge tech into the classroom, ClassVR technicians claim that “learning through experience can boost knowledge retention by up to 75 per cent”.

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Read more: Secondary students use VR to increase empathy

Even with limited use of these VR tools, the ability to interact with curriculum-approved material quickly has already seen student exam scores improve by up to 20 per cent.

The University of South Australia (UniSA) is already successfully running a VR program to help children with intellectual disabilities practice vital everyday skills, such as dressing up, sorting colours, and more.

AI in the classroom

While we haven’t decided if AI is ultimately here for good or evil, it’s definitely here to stay. Every day, more and more AI developments shape the future of industries worldwide, and the Australian education sector is no different. 

By leveraging AI’s superior computational and analytical power, students can now access personalised one-on-one tutoring sessions that offer flexible hours and curated lessons suited to their learning styles. 

Programs like Knewton also enable teachers to leverage AI as a learning management system. For example, tracking student progress means teachers can provide individually tailored learning materials and share personalised feedback quickly.

With AI already used as an automatic grading system for essays in many U.S states, the future of education truly will be a brave new world.

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Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. Jarrod established his journalism career working on the education news and information site The Bursar. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.