Here are the top technology trends that will impact education in 2021
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Here are the top technology trends that will impact education in 2021

Here are the top technology trends that will impact education in 2021

A strong focus on connectivity, adaptability and student-centred learning is expected

The Covid-19 has served as a catalyst for positive disruptive change in the way teachers teach and students learn and assimilate information. It has accelerated the need for technology-enabled education – something that will define the very future of education – and this paradigm shift away from conventional patterns of teaching and learning is expected to continue long after the end of the pandemic.

In 2021, we can therefore expect to see a strong focus on connectivity, adaptability and student-centred learning. Indeed, I see the top technology trends that will impact education as follows:

Video-assisted Remote Learning
Remote learning became the top trend overnight in 2020 due to the pandemic. This has given rise to new and improved online education and management platforms that enable students, teachers and school administrators to effectively deliver and access their learning journey without disruption. The use of video-assisted remote learning, which allows a teacher to reach students wherever they may be located, will increase in the year ahead.

Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
It is no longer just a buzzword; it is a booming trend with increasing relevance to education. At its basic functionality, it can help automate certain teacher and administrator tasks, such as grading and tracking attendance. However, the true potential of machine learning lies in its ability to learn the progress and needs of an individual student and provide deeper insights for enhanced learning outcomes. Educators can use these insights to better cater to each student’s academic and personal growth.

Hyper-personalised and Adaptive Learning
Leveraging cognitive technologies in the development of numerous applications unlocks a level of personalisation not seen before. We will be better able to understand what a student is looking for and what he or she needs in order to learn, re-learn or explore. This allows course content and pathways to be tailored to the individual learner, meaning students may not always experience the same class in the same way, as content will be increasingly personalised.

Immersive Learning with AR and VR
The increase in demand for virtual experiential learning has boosted the adoption of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Pushing the boundaries of traditional learning to make it more interactive, immersive technologies allow for virtual transportation into scenarios previously deemed unfeasible or even unsafe. By providing a digitally constructed reality or an enhancement of their surroundings, students can perform surgeries without risks, explore Mars, perform science experiments, or even attend a music concert with their peers around the world.

“Bigger” Data
Big data is getting bigger. With the multi-fold increase in usage of technology and digital tools, we can expect to see an exponential rise in the amount of data being transferred and collected. Data is being used to support predictive analytics use cases such as early alert systems in student success, or to determine future courses based on analysis of historical course-taking patterns by students. The possibilities to enhance the quality, access and personalisation of education in 2021 will be endless. Content creators and instructional designers will be able to use the insights they have gained into students’ experiences to better customise and create digital learning resources. Educators can not only benefit from their students’ understanding, but also use the data to improve their skills and delivery where needed.

On-Demand Learning
Remote learning will lead to an enhanced understanding of how we want to better use our time. With fully-online and blended learning models on the rise, students want greater adaptability and flexibility in their education experience. Students will have increasing power in terms of what, when, how and where they learn. On-demand learning will see an increase in adoption, while ‘traditional’ school will be less limited by geography.

All in all, we can expect 2021 to be an optimistic year, powered by resilience and new learnings. Technology-assisted learning will be the central priority of any school, university or education model in the new year.

Krishnan Gopi is the group chief disruption officer at GEMS Education

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