5 Emerging Education Trends for 2017 | Michael G. SheppardIn this day and age, every industry is being drastically altered by technology, and the education field is no exception. With online learning becoming an exciting new way for education to become easy and accessible, there are a number of changes to education that we have seen in the past year, from the integration of 3D printing to the use of Virtual Reality.

The new year is bound to see the growth of these aspects as well as the emergence of many other techniques that involve tech in education. Here are a few ways technology is likely to change education in 2017:

  1. Coding in the Classroom

While there is an increase in careers that require coding, there is still a marked lack of coding in public schools K-12. There have been efforts to change this for a while, but 2017 might finally be the year that we see this transformation begin to unfold. Computer science is one of the top hiring college majors and leads to extremely lucrative jobs, so by including computer science into high schools and even earlier education, we are setting children up for success in the digital world.

2)  Wearable Technology

When it comes to the STEM disciplines, wearable technology can play an instrumental role in providing students with a hands-on education. Wearable technology helps with a number of design and engineering challenges that students of STEM disciplines often face. Wearables can also provide the educators with a number of benefits. They can record point-of-view lessons or ping students’ locations during a field trip. Overall, wearables provide teachers and students alike with the ability to better engage and communicate.

3) The Internet of Things

We can’t talk about wearables without mentioning the larger system they are a part of, the Internet of Things. Throughout 2016, there was a lot of exploration as to how IoT technology could be used in education. Some classrooms experimented with gesture-based controls that fed data to Internet-connected devices. The interaction of devices truly has the power to make classrooms a more integrative environment, and 2017 just might be the year that this happens.

4) Digital Textbooks

Just as the articles we like to read appear on digital screens, children’s textbooks are doing so with more and more frequency. A growing number of schools that are switching to one to one digital learning environment, so there’s not denying an increase in digital material. Students will have a more updated way to learn, and their backpacks won’t be as heavy either.

5) Online Learning

The number of students who are taking online courses is rapidly increasing. Undergrad students at small colleges and community colleges are more likely to turn to these alternatives than their traditional classroom counterparts. While there has been in the past a perceived disparity between the quality of distance education and that of in-person education, schools will most likely put more effort into finding quality faculty and materials for online instruction given the increase in popularity.

With technology making its way into education, there is a wealth of potential for the future. By using technology to teach students, we can better prepare them for careers in the digital word, and perhaps we can get through to more students who learn in different ways than the traditional teaching methods.