Over the last few years, the educational system has gone through a digital transformation. In the past, the education industry has been notoriously slow in adapting to new digital trends due to tight budgets, inconsistent practices, and a lack of unified plans. Since 2016, the use from classroom tech has increased by 55 percent. And 47 percent of teachers are beginning to embrace social media as a medium to collaborate and communicate with other teachers. Here are the current digital learning trends to watch out for!
Digital Learning Trends for Hybrid Students and Educators
1. Adaptive Learning
Gone are the days of large class sizes with cookie-cutter lesson plans. Adaptive learning delivers personalized learning experiences to help solve the learning gaps that are unique to each individual by using pathways, resources, and just-in-time feedback. Each student learns at their own pace, as it’s unrealistic to think that all learners will grasp understanding at the same time. Struggling learners have different needs than advanced learners. Struggling learners may be disengaged because the content is too challenging or unrelatable, while advanced learners may get bored of the content and feel the material isn’t challenging enough. Teachers may design adaptive content to meet students’ varying needs. If a student answers a question with an incorrect answer, the teacher can provide direct feedback, such as providing hints and review materials to help them improve.
2. Open Education Resources
Open education resources (OER) are online materials or content that are easily accessible to the public. This may include online articles, videos, blogs, case studies, courses, tests, and software. Purchasing new course material may be expensive, but OER allows educators to conveniently share information to students, often at no or low cost. This content is typically produced by the community instead of vendors or publishers.
3. Learning Management Solutions
A learning management solution is an all-encompassing software application that allows educators to deliver educational courses, training programs, and other materials to students in one place. Additionally, teachers can track, monitor, document, report, and set automations on this platform to make teaching easier. Digital learning platforms also include classroom management and collaboration tools like GoGuardian Teacher™, which enables educators to start video conferencing with students and assign online tasks to students. This technology also allows you to remove distractions to help ensure that your students are focused.
Gamification is frequently misunderstood by most educators. It’s not simply just about sprinkling games into teaching, but taking the approach that learning is fun. The human brain is designed to respond better to discovery, rewards, pattern-recognition, role play, a sense of progress, and risk. It’s challenging to learn if students don’t feel engaged. Your students will find satisfaction is leveling-up their knowledge instead of feeling forced to learn in order to pass. Gamification is taking gaming elements and incorporating it into the classroom. One way to immediately gamify your classroom is to add a running scoreboard. This could be a scoreboard that has a point system to reward students who have done a great job and have shown exemplary effort.
5. Nudge Tech
Nudge tech is a perfect tool to send reminders, inspire, and incentivize students into the right behavior. These technologies usually come in the form of a cloud-based system, mobile, or social. This technology will notify you by providing timely personalized interactions with faculty, students, and staff. It also can send SMS text reminders for class, home assignments, and other tasks. The motivation behind nudge tech is to impact behavior like establishing great study habits or making time for sleep and exercise. Lastly, nudge tech is a key component to achieving personalization at scale.
6. Wireless Presentation Technologies
Educators can benefit from wireless presentation technologies that enable them to project content from a mobile device or laptop onto a screen using just a wireless network. This eliminates the expenses of purchasing audio-visual equipment, such as a TV screen or projector. As technology advances, the design of a classroom will change, and that means more wireless and technology that can be controlled from a simple device. Remember when your computer had to be connected to a printer in order to print? That distant memory will soon be the case for projecting presentations as well.
7. Blended Learning
Blended learning is utilizing online content materials with interactions similar to a traditional classroom setting. This can be applied using webinars to make learning more convenient and accessible. Students can partially control the pace of learning, while the instructors are there to guide the remote learners along the way. This allows students and educators to “meet” without a physical location. As educators, you may record your webinars and give access to students who didn’t attend the session or need to review the material discussed. Blended learning seems to be an efficient way for learning when a physical classroom isn’t always attainable.
8. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence can be a tool used to aid learning, especially when providing real-time feedback and a continual targeted practice. An educator can facilitate and inspire learning, while AI can offer personalized tutoring. Duolingo and No Red Ink are language learning apps that use AI technology to personalize one’s learning experience by showing real-time analysis and progress. Using AI softwares helps educators to better understand what students need to improve on and come up with more personalized lesson plans. As more AI apps are developed, educators will need to develop digital learning competencies to operate them.
9. Augmented Virtual Reality
Augmented virtual reality helps students who learn best by visualizing or feeling things. AR programs enable educators to project things that are abstract, like turning a flat diagram into a 3D model. An educator may demonstrate a solar system in a 3D model or give a live detailed look of the human nervous system. These AR projections help students to interact with these models, which activates their motor centers inside of their brains. The AR experience provides students a chance to immerse themselves in learning.
10. Hybrid Homeschooling
For parents who opt to teach their kids through homeschooling, a hybrid option might be more suitable. Homeschooled children may attend a self-directed digital learning center that teaches a wide array of subjects. Parents who don’t feel comfortable in teaching certain subjects or have gaps of knowledge can send their kids to these learning centers. Additionally, homeschoolers have the chance to socialize with other homeschooled students and choose how and what they want to learn. Homeschooling that includes hybrid schooling is designed to add flexibility to both students and educators.
11. Genius Hour
Genius hour is an activity that gives students an opportunity to choose what they are interested in learning. This allows students to step away from the prescribed and structured curriculum and pursue their passions. This self-paced and self-directed type of learning helps to promote creativity, autonomy, and inquiry. Students must have a passion about their topic and answer a specific question that drives the project. There are three guidelines for a genius hour session.
- Students come up with a question that can’t be answered by a quick Google search.
- Students create something like a video, blog, book, or physical project.
- Once completed, they will share their creations with their classmates, teacher, community, school, or the internet.
This exercise encourages students to take their curiosity and run with it. Students share their findings and further improve their understanding of a topic by teaching the class.
As the internet evolves, digital learning will weave into the fabric of our education system, and more students and educators are opting to use a hybrid model to learn online. As technology evolves, it's becoming more efficient to use new tools and apps to enhance our learning experience, whether online or not. Check out GoGuardian Teacher’s classroom management software that’s designed to help educators stay connected with students online and keep them on-task.