Over the next 20 years, Australia’s workforces will be fundamentally transformed by technology, with many existing jobs and career paths replaced entirely.
However, some changes are already apparent in several industries, including self-driving cars that are used by mining companies, drones delivering pizzas and robots being used to verbally book appointments in corporate offices.
In schools across Australia in 2019, a number of key ed-tech trends will be taking shape, changing the available tools at students’ and teachers’ disposal to enhance the learning experience.
One of them is collaborative learning, which is already having a significant impact in classrooms around the world.
Damian Aivaliotis, strategy and portfolio manager of digital automation at Ricoh – said the trend towards collaborative learning makes it incumbent upon schools to explore tools and solutions which facilitate this practice.
“Schools are undergoing a transformation capable of driving the focus to the future of education, encouraging a new wave of teaching and learning that are inclusive, with spaces specifically signed for collaboration,” Aivaliotis told The Educator.
“Collaborative technology, like large format touchscreens and distance learning platforms, play a key role in daily learning and devices including iPads and laptops are also used prolifically.”
Another noticeable trend shaping education is blended learning. According to Dr. Matthew Lynch – award-winning author and editor for The Edvocate – the future of education will include AI-based tutoring systems, broadcasted lessons, and access to interactive classroom experiences all over the world.
Senior scholar and adjunct professor at Georgetown University, Bryan Alexander sees this trend growing on college campuses in the form of AI experiments. This year, Alexander expects to see experiments involving ‘automated staff’ and ‘automated campus information bots’ as the role of AI becomes more prominent.
Daniel Hill is the director of Edumate, which helps schools manage critical administrative tasks, says the emergence of machine learning to produce unique insights into student data is a “revolution” that will soon hit schools everywhere.
“Whilst only a few schools have the resources right now to start looking at their student data in depth and really looking for the insights and stories buried within it, this soon will become an expectation for every school to deliver upon,” Hill told The Educator.
“Schools can start to prepare for this disruptor by looking at the data they have and assessing its validity, cleanliness and reliability.”
Mixed reality is also making waves across K-12 education in Australia. Mixed reality allows students to interact with virtual worlds in new ways that have real-world applications to their future careers.
As a Microsoft Showcase School, Brisbane’s Ormiston College has been able to use the company’s HoloLens technology to create a mixed-reality curriculum that allows students to put virtual objects into the real world.
Tamara Sullivan, the College’s dean of innovation and learning, said mixed reality technology has far-reaching benefits to the way children learn in Australia’s schools.
“Mixed reality expected to completely revolutionise the way we live and work, so to be at the forefront of that in a school setting is exciting for us,” Sullivan told The Educator.
“We have spent many years building our technology program, so this is a really proud moment for the college.”