As Term 1 2020 approaches, a key consideration for educators is ensuring that when kids start flowing back into classrooms, their school’s technology architecture is solid and can enable better teaching and learning.
Indeed, certain technological innovations are helping principals reduce their own workloads and streamline learning, tailor technology to individual students’ learning needs and even improve their digital privacy both in and outside of school grounds.
Notable developments in the ed-tech space, such as increasingly sophisticated and effective cloud technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning continue to disrupt Australia’s education sector for the better.
While many schools are already seeing the impact of these innovations on teaching and learning, there are a number of other trends that have the potential to change the way schools structure their teaching and learning models.
Below, The Educator speaks to Myles Carrick, director of customer success at Instructure, about the biggest movers and shakers in ed-tech and how schools can navigate the significant technological shift likely to shape 21st Century education.
TE: What do you see as the biggest emerging ed-tech trends in K-12 education, and what do you think is the most exciting trend?
MC: In many ways, the issues schools are facing are the same as they have been for years, with their main priority being the enhancement of student learning through the use of technology. However, as schools steadily move beyond focusing on IT infrastructure, devices, and gadgets, student learning is increasingly at the fore.
The three emerging trends for 2020 are:
- Ongoing and deepening integration of learning tools and content services: Schools are looking to make the most of the investments they’ve already made, and for new ways to smoothly bring together new technologies their teachers are wanting to use in the classroom.
- Student success and portfolios: More emphasis will be placed on the student’s overall success at the institution not just exam marks, to develop well-rounded, future ready individuals.
- Continuous formative assessment: There will be a shift to continuous formative assessment, rather than weighted exams at the end of each term/year. Teaching will move to be tailored based on these continuous assessments/feedback cycles to enable students to progress to higher levels of achievement.
TE: Given the fast pace at which ed-tech is evolving, and drawing from your experience in the K-12 sector, do you think schools will be more digitally competitive in 2020 or fall behind amid this rapid technological shift?
MC: Many innovative schools are exploring ways to engage students and help them develop the capabilities they need for a rapidly changing world. Digital skills are a major focus as students use online learning tools to develop deeper knowledge, communicate, collaborate, and creatively solve problems. Effective use of technology places the student at the centre of their learning and enables teachers to understand and address the needs of each student.
TE: What is Instructure doing in 2020 to help school leaders navigate this shift?
MC: Schools often realise it is hard to “pick winners” when looking for tools and technologies that focus on services that save time and help enhance learning for all students. Successful schools often share with us that the tools Instructure invest in have helped them use data effectively and efficiently while supporting the integrating of different learning tools from Australian and global ed-tech leaders. We’ve recently partnered with Microsoft to develop an Immersive Reader integration, and a new integration for Google Assignments, formerly CourseKit. These partnerships give Instructure the ability to seamless integrate different tools while enabling teachers to offer continuous assessment, ultimately producing a more well-rounded student.