Education technology trends for 2018
As is customary at the start of a new year, industries look ahead to predict the next big trends and, in this digital world, technology inevitably plays a big role. And with tech progressing at a staggering rate, each year will bring innovative new solutions.
So, what’s in store for ed tech this year? Times Higher Education (THE) predicts the following big trends:
Across all industries, blockchain is being heralded as a miracle solution to solve all existing problems. But what exactly does the technology underpinning the bitcoin cryptocurrency have to do with the higher education sector?
THE notes that a start-up company, called Doctors Link, has used the technology as a base to create “digital passports” for doctors, generating a verifiable record of professional accreditation and training, which could act as a perfect tool for those training to become doctors.
Meanwhile an initiative supported by the University of Northampton, called Blockchain Alliance for Good, has created a cryptocurrency that stores social value. This means that students could gain ‘eduCoins’ for volunteering in the local community or for releasing their research data for reuse.
Increased competition among universities means that establishments are working harder to ensure that they provide students with great experiences, both in the classroom and out. Learning analytics may be overlooked but this data can be used by universities to improve student engagement.
Everything from taking a library book out on loan to clicking on links in the virtual learning environment can provide insights into how engaged a student is with their course. Artificial intelligence can then use this data to predict and suggest ways of ensuring students reach their full potential.
Academia heads to the ‘Dark Web’
In this era of fake news, it is perhaps not surprising that, on both sides of the Atlantic, there has been a growing distrust of experts.
In the US there has been a deliberate destruction of online climate change data from US federally funded programmes. To fight back, the science community has come together to preserve as much data as possible, collaborating on initiatives such as Data Refuge and Climate Mirror.
THE believes that, in some countries, certain areas of academia could be forced to use tools such as the Dark Web in order to continue in their line of research.
Technology will put universities at the heart of their community
As a result of funding cuts, many local councils have had to close down facilities, such as community centres and libraries. However with their access to the latest technology, this could provide universities with a greater social purpose in the future, making them play a more active role in their local community.
The Code Club project from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which has taught over 86,000 children how to code at more than 6,000 individual clubs across the UK, could be used by universities and colleges as an example of how to provide adults and children in the local area with the necessary digital skills.
In 2018 technology will not only increase the social purpose of our universities, it will also enable these institutions to provide students with greater learning experiences, and provide those in the higher education sector with innovative tools.
To ensure that our learning institutions have the latest technology required to provide students with up-to-date digital skills, educational institution should invest in IT life cycle management that allows them to refresh technology sustainably. Speak to 3 Step IT today to discover the right solution for your learning establishment.