Top Edtech Trends for 2021
Are you ready to look ahead?
Schools will soon be reflecting on what’s been working this year and what’s not. They’ll also begin thinking about their budgets for next year. It’s not too soon to look at what 2021 will bring in edtech trends.
Instruction must take into consideration several factors. All students should have equitable access to the curriculum and materials. We must find ways to engage students at deep levels of learning. And finally, we must prepare them to become their personal best.
You can expect that digital learning will continue to be a mainstay in K-12 classrooms, especially in four areas: assistive technology, adaptive technology, simulated learning, and growth coaching.
Assistive technology provides learning support in ways that teachers haven’t been able to provide. It’s not that they didn’t want to. Before technology, they didn’t have the time to differentiate individually for each student.
For some time, technology has been the resource for text-to-speech and speech-to-text programs. Impaired students can use alternative input devices and benefit from sensory enhancers that help them communicate.
These devices have been part of classrooms for years, but they’ve become more integral to the learning experience. Assistive technology includes all students.
The best edtech meets students where are in the curriculum and takes them forward. Each lesson adapts as students answer questions. Correct answers advance the student. Mistakes take the student back to experiences that reteach learning concepts in different ways.
While there are many adaptive learning technology apps available, the Techevocate has already identified the top performers. Our favorite is Lexia PowerUp Literacy by Lexia Learning. There’s no doubt that this and many of the others will continue to be significant tools in the classrooms of 2020.
The excitement about augmented and virtual reality is just as relevant now as when it first appeared in learning circles. Simulated learning encourages deep learning – the kind that embeds deeply in memory. Through AR and VR, students immerse themselves in hands-on experiences. Models become not only real but relevant, while students explore scenarios not otherwise possible to offer in the classroom.
Helping others reach their potential is a key trend for 2020.
One of the hottest ways to make it happen is called growth coaching. The idea is to focus less on performance and more on personal growth. For students, that means more than earning a score on a high-stakes assessment or getting into the first college of choice. Those are great goals to have, but growth is what will catapult the student toward success. Apps like Seeing is Believing provides face-to-face video coaching. The sessions are aimed at helping teachers become more reflective in their instructional practices.
You can expect that coaching will also include students so they can take responsibility for their learning.
Edtech trends in 2020 won’t be the panacea for which educators are hoping. They will, however, be the necessary tools that assist teachers in meeting instructional goals for their students. Most importantly, they’ll be the tools that make learning meaningful to each student.