Top Trends In Edtech: 2019 And Beyond
Many innovation-driven companies like Germany’s Steinbach AG rely profoundly on their highly specific materials expertise, as well as their qualified and experienced staff. For their diverse range of high-technology products from the area of technical ceramics, long-established learning curricula no longer apply.
Promising new developments now finally start to embrace both human and technological aspects of edtech. Usability and immersive technologies to the rescue!
5 Top Trends in Edtech: The Road Ahead for Europe in 2019
Industry sectors as diverse as aerospace, plasma technology, medical technology, and even spaceflight are markets for Steinbach AG, who offer high-performance manufacturing solutions that have been unfathomable only a couple of years ago.
They, as well as other innovation champions, stand to benefit greatly from new learning technologies and educational opportunities that further the understanding and adoption of design-driven construction processes, complex technical solutions, as well as resource-friendly and cost-efficient engineering solutions.
With a brand new year ahead, let’s take a look at the most pressing issues and ensuing trends for edtech in Europe and beyond.
2018 has seen a dramatic increase in growth for the edtech arena. Startups and established actors alike have undertaken many efforts to transform the educational landscape. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality did see an early bloom, formats like podcasts or data-driven decision making have seen a renaissance in growth and transforming the edtech arena.
International topical champions like Schoology and Edtechmagazine have tried to decipher the road ahead for top trends in edtech in 2019. Here, we are summarizing their findings, and drawing a bigger picture for, what we believe, to be defining developments for the edtech ecosystem in Europe for 2019 and beyond.
New Developments & Continuing Trends
While Europe has been lagging in most areas of edtech development for the last years, compared to the United States, and even some Asian innovation hotspots, there seems to be a ray of light at the end of the tunnel for the top trends in edtech 2019 and beyond. In this outlook for the months ahead, we will concentrate on the following key focus areas:
- Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
- Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality
- STEM, Coding & Gamification
All of the above topics seem to be congruent with overarching developments in other areas, like the advent of autonomous systems, augmented analytics, or immersive technologies. What will these converging megatrends mean for the education sector?
Trend #1: Accessibility
Already a hot topic in the last year, this ongoing development continues to stand out as one of the most important edtech trends in 2019. How can we make learning technology more accessible to more people? And who will have a say in the realization of the high expectations associated with the promise of accessibility?
There seems to be more than one side to this medal, even at first glance. In countries with easy access to digital education, like Western- and Northern Europe, efficacy and exploration of new edtech opportunities seem to be at the forefront of the debate. Enabling students to master their digital ecosystem, and to take full responsibility for their learning curriculum seems like an outstanding challenge in order to reap the benefits of the new edtech-driven learning environment.
Scaling the effects of growth to lower price points and hence reducing the cost of edtech solutions seems to be in the foremost interest of countries that have been laggards in regards to the penetration of new systems, in Eastern or South Europe, respectively. At the same time, only a fraction of edtech licenses is pro-actively used at all in schools and universities, pointing the finger in the direction of further UX and usability improvements.
Trend #2: Standardization
One of the main challenges will be to build comprehensive, effective digital ecosystems that are interoperable, while at the same time developing standards, information and structured data processes on a larger scale, says Jannie Jepsen, CEO with the Swedish EdTech Industry.
There will also be a distinct need for edtech providers to prepare methods to integrate the latest edtech trends with everyday classroom practice, giving way to capable solutions that integrate with other solutions, according to Niclas Mein from EdTech South East Sweden.
Trend #3: Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning in EdTech
Artificial intelligence and machine learning applications have seen a stellar rise in the edtech arena for the last years. Still, this ongoing edtech trend shows no signs of slowing down for the years ahead.
Among the top edtech trends in 2019, the progression of immersive technologies with a focus on the improvement of user experience through AI will stand out. AI aided learning platforms will play a pivotal role in the ensurance of quality education thinks Meri Sestola from Metka. This is where transparency and the social impact of AI will play an important role to further the adoption of edtech trends at schools and universities.
Trend #4: Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality
Another continuing trend in edtech will be seen in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. AR and VR are set to gain enormous momentum over the next years, with 5G on the horizon, and standalone headsets becoming more affordable.
AR and VR, again, with the fast developing ecosystem of hard- and software for educational uses, will become more easily accessible as the prices for equipment and licenses will see significant drops.
Trend #5: STEM, Coding, and Gamification in EdTech
The buzzword of the “digital century” has gripped the entirety of Europe, and dominates many political and economic decisions. Conversely, this will have to lead to a more wholehearted approach in the teaching of STEM classes (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
Outstanding usability, immersive content and the empowerment of students to become creative content creators are deemed to play a major role among the edtech trends 2019 and beyond. As always, with a grain of gamification, the perpetual champion of edtech ideas pitched into the mix.
There lies little prophecy in the statement that edtech will continue to grow and offer even more immersive and convergent education solutions for 2019 and beyond. However, there are still many challenges ahead in regards to the adoption, adaptability, and integration into the everyday use of educational best practices in Europe for edtech.
Most importantly, the mastery of the human aspects surrounding edtech, like considerating the learning culture, the incorporation of empathy, and human/user-centered UX/usability aspects will separate winners from losers among the top edtech trends in 2019.
To take a glance at the opportunities for startups and edtech entrepreneurs, we recommend our list of the top 9 edtech incubators and accelerators in Europe.
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