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Edtech Predictions for 2024

It’s officially a new year, and with that comes new edtech predictions from your friendly neighborhood educational game developer! While we can’t gaze into the future, this blog contains our educated guesses on the edtech frontier of 2024. We believe innovation, accessibility, and immersive experiences will take center stage!

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A Boom of AI and Personalized Learning

Artificial intelligence is set to usher in a new era of personalized learning. With the ability to analyze vast amounts of data, AI can tailor educational experiences based on individual student performance, preferences, and learning behaviors. In the coming year, we believe that the education industry is poised to witness even more of a surge in AI applications, ranging from adjusting the difficulty of learning materials to providing targeted feedback and recommending personalized learning paths.

Communications company Umnico notes Duolingo Max as an example of the type of personalized learning technology that we’ll likely see more of as this year progresses. This new part of the popular language learning app introduces Roleplay and Explain My Answer, AI-driven features using GPT-4. Roleplay enables conversational practice with an AI chatbot, while Explain My Answer offers detailed insights into correct or incorrect responses. Initially accessible to English speakers learning French or Spanish on Duolingo’s iOS platform, these AI enhancements aim to enhance users’ engagement and ultimately bridge learning gaps.

AI won’t only improve students’ learning experiences, however. As this article from the eLearning Industry explains, artificial intelligence can streamline educators’ routine administrative responsibilities, including grading and managing courses. This will enable educators to more easily prioritize valuable interactions with students. When implemented and used responsibly, AI tools and solutions can benefit everyone in the classroom.

The Rise of Blended Learning Environments

The fusion of traditional and digital learning, known as blended learning, is another trend that we believe will become more prominent in 2024. This approach seamlessly integrates in-person and online instruction, offering students and teachers increased flexibility and adaptability. 

As EdTech Magazine reports, post-pandemic changes in higher education have resulted in a departure from traditional classroom setups, with flexible learning environments gaining popularity among colleges and universities. These setups cater to a range of activities, from collaborative group discussions to remote learning, all within the same environment. 

This article notes that designing blended learning environments starts with movable furniture and extends to technological integration, including displays for virtual interactions and secure connectivity. Blended learning offers students diverse learning options, allowing instructors to refine their teaching methods for the 21st century, and enabling institutions to align spaces with evolving curricular needs. As the education sector continues to navigate the post-pandemic landscape, blended learning emerges as a versatile solution that combines the best of both worlds.

Increasing Emphasis on Accessibility and Inclusivity

As the public’s call for greater accessibility and inclusivity in education grows louder, 2024 is poised to be a landmark year in addressing these imperatives. We believe that this year, edtech solutions will increasingly prioritize features that cater to diverse user needs, ensuring that learning materials are available to all students, regardless of their abilities or learning styles.

Alcino Donadel, writing for University Business, points out that the pandemic-induced shift to online learning has significantly impacted students with disabilities, fostering a revolution in educational technology. Two key trends have emerged, Alcino writes: the rise of digital-based learning tools and a focus on web accessibility. 

For instance, visually impaired students using digital textbooks can leverage disability solutions software like Kurzweil 3000 to convert files to .mp3 audio, supported by services from Google and Microsoft. As more tech companies make room for assistive technology options, it enhances overall accessibility for students with disabilities. 

Additionally, Alcino asserts that a societal shift has elevated digital accessibility as a crucial component of education, with a growing recognition that access to online courses is a civil and human right. The Biden administration’s increased focus on accessibility compliance has further propelled the adoption of inclusive practices in higher education, emphasizing the need for accommodations across various digital platforms. 

What to learn more about the status of inclusivity and accessibility in educational technology? The Global Education Monitoring Report and Inclusion International recently collaborated on a presentation unveiling crucial insights and recommendations from the 2023 GEM Report on technology in education, focusing on access to education for students with disabilities. The event explored diverse technologies’ potential to enhance educational access for marginalized groups, with a specific emphasis on students with disabilities. It sheds light on promising practices, real-world examples, and persisting challenges in leveraging technology to promote inclusive education. Watch here:

From adaptive technologies to inclusive design principles, edtech developers in 2024 are set to champion an inclusive educational experience for every learner.

A Golden Era for Microlearning

We predict that microlearning will gain more traction this year, allowing students to consume educational content in short, focused sessions. This trend aligns with the modern learner’s preference for concise, easily digestible information, fostering a culture of continuous learning.

In case you haven’t heard of microlearning, it is made up of short bursts of learning lasting 10 to 15 minutes. Lindsey Sudbury, an academic instructional technologist at Northeastern University, tells EdTech Magazine that microlearning, although now digital, is rooted in an age-old concept exemplified by flashcards. The approach focuses on succinct learning moments, allowing students to reinforce concepts in concentrated and digestible forms. Sudbury highlights microlearning instances where students create content, often on platforms like Twitter and Snapchat, to share their knowledge with peers and faculty.

Moreover, microlearning addresses the increasing complexity of educational content, breaking it into smaller segments to alleviate cognitive overload and mitigate burnout. Clair Waterbury, an academic instructional technologist at Northeastern also interviewed by EdTech Magazine, notes that the repetition inherent in microlearning facilitates information synthesis and more frequent connection of dots. The digital nature of microlearning content, often delivered through videos or social media posts, aligns well with the learning preferences of today’s students, offering accessibility and flexibility. 

Sudbury and Waterbury both advocate for leveraging social media platforms for microlearning, creating opportunities for deeper information retention, building learning communities, and enhancing student engagement. They emphasize the benefits of breaking the classroom walls and encouraging real-world learning experiences beyond traditional educational settings.

Creating Immersive Classrooms with VR and AR

Virtual reality and augmented reality are already transforming traditional classrooms into immersive learning environments, but in 2024, we foresee an increased integration of these technologies in educational settings. VR and AR provide students with hands-on, interactive experiences, transcending the limitations of traditional teaching methods. From virtual field trips to immersive simulations, immersive technology brings learning to life, making complex subjects more tangible and engaging.

According to this article from EdSurge, experts note AR’s potential to enhance learning, improve understanding of complex concepts, and enable real-world applications of knowledge. AR adds an interactive layer to the existing real-world environment, offering students a unique blend of digital information and real-world context. AR applications in education range from creating 3D models of historical artifacts to overlaying digital content on printed textbooks.

The benefits of AR extend beyond engagement, reaching students who may typically be less engaged in traditional learning environments. It acts as a bridge, connecting students in the classroom and providing a safe space for exploration. By creating opportunities for deeper information retention, building learning communities, and increasing student engagement, AR aligns with the diverse learning preferences of today’s students. Importantly, the ease of integration, requiring only mobile devices, makes AR a practical tool for educators, promoting a learner-centric approach and breaking down the walls of the traditional classroom.

When it comes to VR and other forms of mixed reality (MR), this article from EdTech Magazine investigates how the integration of mixed and virtual reality in career technical education (CTE) classes is providing students with realistic simulations of various career fields, offering a hands-on and engaging learning experience. Examples include an Immersive Learning Center (ILC) in a bus at West Potomac Academy, where students explore human biology using MR technology, and a trailer in Harnett County, North Carolina, equipped with both real and virtual tools for CTE classes. These initiatives aim to create a safe learning environment and support critical thinking by simulating scenarios ranging from chemical lab explosions to car crash scenes. The adoption of MR and VR in CTE programs reflects their potential to prepare students for high-skill, high-wage jobs while overcoming digital inequities and expanding awareness of diverse career opportunities.

Beyond the pandemic-driven shift to online learning, we think that K–12 schools will continue to integrate these technologies, recognizing their ability to enhance engagement and prepare students for the evolving workforce. As MR/VR tools become increasingly mainstream, educators will be encouraged to embrace these technologies to advance students’ skill sets and provide immersive, hands-on learning experiences.

As you can tell, the edtech landscape is poised for transformative changes this year. As education embraces these trends, the focus remains on creating inclusive, engaging, and dynamic learning environments to meet the diverse needs of students in 2024!

Interested in kicking off the new year with a game-based learning project tailored to your needs? We’re educational game developers with 19 years of industry experience, and we want to hear from you. Send us a message and let’s chat!

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