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2023 K-12 Edtech Trends

If you can believe it, we’re a little over halfway through 2023, and K-12 education continues to witness exciting advances in educational technology! From greater access to edtech tools to the rise of personalized learning, these trends are shaping the future of education! In this post, we’ll explore the coolest K-12 edtech trends for 2023 and uncover what these trends mean for the future of classrooms everywhere. 

via Giphy

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Flexible Learning Environments 

By now, it’s no surprise that at least some form of technology is an integral part of most K-12 classrooms. In an article for eSchool News, Reema Amin discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has improved access to devices for students in New York, leading to more technology being incorporated into teaching presently. In the past, some teachers were hesitant to assign computer-based work because not all students had equal access to devices. However, when schools shifted to remote learning, the New York City education department invested in iPads and Chromebooks, making devices more accessible than ever.

Amin reports that most students have adapted well to using technology for homework, however, there are still challenges when it comes to integrating technology into the classroom. Some students find technology distracting, and there are challenges when teachers post assignments without discussing them in class or set inconvenient due dates. Despite these frustrations, many teachers have found creative ways to incorporate technology into their lessons, for example, they can assign online tasks and even use virtual labs for hands-on experiments.

In a similar article for EdTech Magazine, Alexandra Frost investigates the shift from traditional classrooms to more flexible setups that embrace different kinds of technology. She specifically highlights the concept of “untethered classrooms.” Similar to the idea of flexible classrooms, where students can choose (to an extent) where and how they learn, untethered classrooms refer to environments where students aren’t tied to stationary technology. This approach puts students at the center of their learning.

For example, the Lakota Local School District outside Cincinnati, Ohio, has an innovation lab that provides a flexible space for students to collaborate and explore different teaching methods. Tiffany Rexhausen, an Innovation Specialist in the district, shared how teachers have used the space creatively. One social studies teacher used it for group projects, allowing students to spread out and use the tools available. Another teacher used mobile green screens, enabling multiple students to record in various parts of the building.

With technology becoming more prevalent in classrooms, and with audiovisual tools becoming increasingly mobile, teachers have more opportunities to encourage creativity and engagement in the learning process. Frost writes that the untethered classroom model will continue to gain popularity in 2023 as it supports student collaboration and alternative teaching approaches that keep students engaged.

Technology-Fueled Communal Spaces

In addition to untethered classrooms, Frost’s article also highlights the exciting trend of schools embracing technology to create innovative communal spaces. There’s a real buzz among students and educators as they eagerly pursue the development of STEM labs, esports arenas, and broadcasting studios. Just look at Steubenville City Schools in Ohio—they’re going all out with a $12 million STEM building! Similarly, over at Greensburg Junior High School in Indiana, they’re setting up a tech, engineering, and math lab where students can explore design and robotics tools for manufacturing.

Additionally, the Chandler Unified School District in Arizona is taking things to the next level by actively expanding its esports program. They’re integrating virtual reality lessons into a dedicated space complete with devices and managed services for gaming systems. The overwhelming student interest in a game design class fueled the district’s decision to expand the esports program. They brought in experts to handle all the nitty-gritty details—setting up the infrastructure, ordering the right CPU units, and even providing training. Now, Chandler USD proudly boasts seven high schools participating in the esports program, with each school forming teams of 40 to 100 students.

The School District of Palm Beach County in Florida has also found significant success and unique benefits to its high school esports programs. Learn more in the video below. 

Schools across the U.S. are shifting gears and transforming their communal spaces into cutting-edge hubs that prioritize mobility, collaboration, and enhanced access to technology. STEM labs, esports clubs, broadcasting studios, and specialized labs for subjects like tech, engineering, and math are all rising in popularity. In 2023, we anticipate a wave of schools creating these spaces that cater to specific technology-driven activities, providing students with unparalleled hands-on learning experiences.

Personalized Learning

According to Matthew Lynch of The Tech Edvocate, the focus of education has recently shifted from high-stakes testing and funding to filling gaps in student skills and knowledge. Personalized learning has emerged as a significant trend, made possible through the use of online learning platforms and customizable tools. Discover why personalized learning is so important (and relevant in 2023) by checking out the video below from Extra History

Two specific areas of personalized learning that are gaining traction in 2023 are adaptive learning and augmented intelligence. Adaptive learning tailors content to meet individual student needs, while augmented intelligence assists teachers by automating tasks and providing immediate feedback. 

Likewise, in this article for eSchoolNews, Oleg Vilchinski tackles the future of education and edtech, emphasizing the need for personalized and lifelong learning solutions. He states that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital transformation in education and highlighted the importance of continuous learning and upskilling in a rapidly changing job market.

To succeed in this evolving landscape, edtech companies need to be adaptable, flexible, and focused on meeting the needs of learners at every age and skill level, Vilchinski asserts. They should build data-driven ecosystems that accompany learners throughout their lives, offering personalized experiences and progress tracking through machine learning. 

This envisioned ecosystem would prioritize the learner and be highly customizable, offering apps, devices, and hands-on learning experiences. It would anticipate learners’ needs, provide engaging content, support transitions between home and school learning, and even suggest internship and post-secondary education opportunities. 

Beyond graduation, this proposed ecosystem would help learners find suitable employment and continue their professional development by offering courses and content aligned with their interests and goals. It would become a trusted partner that evolves alongside learners throughout their educational and career journey.

When reading about Vilchinski’s vision ourselves, we thought back to our previous blog about how technology (and specifically, game-based learning) is the perfect vehicle for effective personalized learning. Personalized learning aims to provide individualized learning experiences tailored to each student’s needs and characteristics, and while achieving this in traditional classrooms is challenging, digital games offer a unique opportunity. Video games, whether commercial or educational, collect a vast amount of data on players’ gameplay metrics, such as button usage, time taken to complete levels, and failures

By applying this data to educational games, teachers can receive insights into students’ performance and identify specific areas where they may be struggling. This enables teachers to provide targeted support and resources to help students improve. The instantaneous feedback provided by digital learning games enables educators to adapt their teaching strategies to meet individual student needs, leading to more effective use of in-class instruction and improved learning outcomes. 

Video games are a promising platform for personalized learning and are going to be an important part of the personalized learning ecosystem of the future as it takes shape. We’re proud to be an educational game developer that is leading the way toward an educational future that is more personalized than ever!

Overall, 2023 holds great promise for the integration of edtech in K-12 education. The trends discussed in this post highlight the transformative potential of technology in fostering engaging, personalized, and equitable learning experiences. These advancements are paving the way for a future where education is genuinely tailored to meet the needs of every student. As we embrace these trends, it is essential for educators, administrators, edtech companies, and policymakers to work together to ensure the effective and ethical use of edtech, ultimately benefiting the learners of today and tomorrow.

Interested in harnessing the power of educational games for a K-12 setting? Check out our portfolio to learn more about the titles we’ve created for groundbreaking academic companies such as McGraw-Hill, Scholastic, and more. Then, contact us for a free consultation – we’re here to help you create meaningful game-based learning experiences for any age group.  

More on edtech for K-12 students:

Social post: What’s cool for school? 😎🏫 Discover some of the biggest 2023 K-12 edtech trends here! 📈

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