10 Technology Trends In Education This 2014

books in an iPad screenWe all know how technology and education has to be integrated in order to facilitate a better learning experience for students. All of us are exposed to gadgets and devices outside of school and if our educational system cannot keep up with the technology trends, students might lose interest in learning. If we stick to the old ways or be too slow to implement these advancements in technology, we will be compromising the education of students in schools.

That being said, we will be sharing with you the 10 technology trends in 2014 as published by TheJournal.com. The list published in the article came from the 2013 Speak Up Survey done by Project Tomorrow. This list was revealed at the FETC 2014 conference earlier in 2014.

The survey was done in the US and it involved 403,292 survey participants across 9,000 schools. The participants are composed of students (81%), parents (10%), teachers and librarians (8%), district administrators (1%), and community members (less than 1%).

According to the survey, the technology trends in 2014 are as follows.

  1. Mobile devices. To be specific, it is personal access to any form of mobile device. More and more students are owning mobile devices (laptops, tablets and smartphones). They have their own computers in their backpacks or phones. 89% of high school students and 50% of those in Grades 3-5 in the US have smartphones with their own Internet connections.
  2. Internet connection. As mentioned, the mobile devices of students have access to the Internet. 64% of students are also knowledgeable of the difference between 3G or 4G-enabled gadgets. Other connection options are done through the TV or Wifi.
  3. Video utilization in both class and homework. Teachers are using more and more video presentations in their lessons. In fact, 46% of teachers who responded to the survey said they use this tool. Some students are also inclined to access videos online for homework purposes – even without the prompting of their respective instructors.
  4. Mobile device utilization to improve schoolwork. Students know how to use their devices to help make their progress in school work more efficient. 60% of students admitted to using mobile devices to access research tools anytime in the day.
  5. Utilization of tools for varying tasks. Students are learning to use different tools to cater to different needs. This encourages them to explore new tools and find new ways to solve different requirements in school. It does not matter what device is being used, there will always be a different tool for specific task.
  6. Being cautious of their digital footprint. With cyber crimes being more prominent than ever, students are more cautious about what they post online. Admiringly, 44% of high school students are perceptive enough to know that positive digital behavior is good for their future.
  7. Increasing interest in online learning. It is not clear if the growing interest is due to financial or convenience reasons but more students are opting for online learning. Or at least, they have a growing appreciation of it. The survey revealed that students also like the idea of being in control of their learning. Math, foreign language and science are the top three lessons that are being explored online.
  8. Gaming is a growing interest among students. A lot of the mobile devices owned by students are primarily used as gaming tools. This is probably why Bill Gates is currently working on creating lesson-infused games that will be included in future learning initiatives.
  9. Social media in school. Another influential technology trends is the use of social media in school. The expectations of students on the use of these networks are higher than their teachers, administrators and parents. It had becomes deeply integrated in student’s lives – even while in school.
  10. Identifying the top device used in schools. The survey revealed that students think that their laptops are most important. It is followed by digital readers and then tablets.

This survey, although displays primarily American behavior, should be taken into consideration by Australian learning institutions.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2012 to 2013, 83% of Australians were Internet users. The highest proportion came from those within the age of 15-17 years (at 97%). That means almost all people in this age group use the Internet. Closely following are those within the ages of 18-24. This means high school and college students are greatly exposed to the Internet. This can be used as a tool to help keep them interested in learning. In the same data published on ABS.gov.au, 97% of Internet users access it at home.

Obviously, technology trends are growing in influence and schools should know how to use it to their advantage.

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