In educational technology, change is the only constant and 2019 brings with it several new, innovative ideas and changes surrounding how we approach edtech. From new classroom management solutions, to teaching trends, tech developments and more, we’re in for another exciting year of new information, resources and strategies to enhance the ways edtech is utilized in classrooms. Let’s explore 3 new and essential edtech trends to watch in 2019, that are certain to be educational staples for teachers.
1. Differentiated Instruction
Different types of learners require different types of teaching styles. In its simplest terms, differentiated instruction means ensuring that every student is given the tools, information, skills, or guidance needed to meet their specific learning goals.
Here, educational technology has a role to play. For example, GoGuardian allows teachers to tailor their teaching style to meet each student’s individual needs: perhaps a student is SPED, struggles with ADHD, or has dyslexia. As educators, we know too well that a student can’t “read to learn” if they’re struggling to “learn to read.” In this scenario, a teacher can use the dyslexic extension in Chromebooks to help kids who are struggling with reading, so they can keep up with their peers. For ADHD kids who have difficulty staying on task, teachers can use GoGuardian Teacher to freeze a screen and send a friendly message to them to keep moving or prompt them to get off of a Fortnite fan page. Grouping students according to their skill level with technology like GoGuardian’s Scenes can also facilitate differentiated instruction, and ensure that students can equally collaborate on projects with their peers. Regardless of your classroom’s make-up, there have never been more technological tools available to curate lessons to fit the needs of each student.
2. Gamification & Digital Learning Tools
As seen in our Benchmark Report, over the course of the last year, there’s been a meteoric rise in the gamification of learning trend. Learning games and apps like Quizlet can help incentivize kids to memorize new information and apply key takeaways from lessons. They can also be a refreshing change of pace in a classroom, and get kids to actively participate in their education instead of just passively listening to a lecture.
In GoGuardian’s report, we saw that Kahoot holds the #1 spot for Educational Sites overall and Cool Math Games takes the #1 spot for Trending Sites (which evaluated YoY growth). Quizlet occupies the #2 spot on top educational sites overall, and the #1 spot for middle school and high school students. These findings are consistent with trends in the larger edtech landscape, where integrating digital flashcards, self-made quizzes, and online study tools into the classroom are on the rise. In 2019, it’s likely that digital learning games, puzzles, and apps will continue to provide a useful tool in helping kids to apply new information and more fully grasp concepts.
3. Social-Emotional Learning
Across America, many schools are changing their curriculum and teaching strategies to accomplish one goal: to teach the “whole child.” Educating the whole child means not only focusing on their test scores, but also giving credence to their social-emotional well-being. The concept behind social-emotional learning is akin to Maslow's hierarchy of needs: If children don’t have their financial, emotional, or basic human needs met, they won’t be able to learn— at least not in any meaningful way.
Here, educational technology can play a role in helping kids to grow behaviorally, socially and emotionally.
Apps like Touch and Learn can help kids identify emotions. Learning solutions such as Connect support positive SEL growth by improving student engagement and confidence with personalized content, and feedback. They also enhance metacognition: the ability to examine your progress and understanding of educational content. Initiatives such as The Compassion Project also help students to practice empathy.
Social-emotional learning goes beyond a grade on a test. It helps foster the behavioral competencies that lead to functional adult life. Core competencies teachers might focus on cultivating in classrooms may include teamwork and collaborative ability, critical thinking, ethical and social responsibility, professionalism, and effective communication.
Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching
There is now a plethora of technology that can be used by teachers to help make students more aware of their behavior. For example, GoGuardian Teacher allows educators to monitor student behavior devices and give them gentle feedback on their browsing, or when they go off-topic. This feedback makes students mindful of how they spend their time online, and can even foster in kids awareness regarding their “digital footprint.” Other leading technologies such as wearable devices and smartwatches can now provide physiological indicators of stress and feedback for students with behavioral disorders.
Ultimately, in 2019, educators and teachers can look ahead and see new developments and tech trends on the horizon. A natural consequence of innovation is that the world of education technology is continually evolving. At GoGuardian, we’re honored to help contribute to this continued evolution.