When it comes to technology in the classroom, many teachers balk at the idea of switching to a completely virtual learning module for fear of students not being able to easily access the content. Still, both teachers and students are relying on technological advances more than ever in their quest to complement traditional methods of learning. Read how video, 3D printing, and gaming are just a few of the latest technological trends in the EdTech community.

1. Video & The Flipped Classroom

According to the 2013 Speak Up Survey from Project Tomorrow, 46% of teachers use instructional videos in the classroom, and one-third of students find online videos for homework help.

Then there is the “flipped classroom.” In the traditional classroom, the student listens to a class lecture and is then expected to complete a lecture-inspired activity at home to enforce the material. But with the flipped classroom, students watch video lectures before class and participate in activities and discussion in class.

Whether or not the flipped classroom will gain or wane in popularity over the coming years, no one can know with any certainty. But if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that the use of video technology and education are not parting ways anytime soon.

2. 3D Printing

3D printing technology has existed for roughly 30 years, yet it is just now making its way into the classroom. Why the delay? In a word, cost. But now schools, retailers and others are making a combined effort to overcome this barrier. For instance, The MakerBot Academy initiative aims to put a 3D printer in every U.S. school as part of the push towards greater STEM education for students (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math).

Educators envision students from every academic discipline benefiting from the advances in 3D printing technology. Biology students could study the cross-section of organs; geography students could study the topography of the land; and architecture students could make 3D models of whatever buildings they design. Money is in short supply, but the potential applications of this technology in the classroom are endless.

A recent study by WeAreTeachers shows that 55% of teachers incorporate virtual gaming technology into their curriculum. That should come as no surprise, as the human race spends 3 billion hours a week playing video and computer games. Although many regard gaming as a mindless, passive hobby, students can actually use educational games in the classroom to increase their knowledge of many different subjects. For instance, students can learn probability by playing Dungeons & Dragons, engineering by playing Bridge Builder, and money management by playing Monopoly. It may also be possible for game-embedded progress markers such as points and levels to boost self-esteem and reduce academic disengagement.

As you can see, technological advances in the form of videos, 3D printing and gaming are revolutionizing the way students learn. One can only wonder what new EdTech trends will spring up next, and what this will mean for classrooms across America.

Sources/Inspiration:
http://thejournal.com/Articles/2014/02/03/10-Major-Technology-Trends-in-Education.aspx?Page=1 http://k6educators.about.com/od/Technology/fl/Technology-Trends-for-2014.htm
http://teach.com/education-technology/a-new-way-to-teach-and-learn-5-technology-trends-in-education
http://www.teachthought.com/technology/10-ways-3d-printing-can-be-used-in-education/ http://www.knewton.com/gamification-education/
http://oedb.org/ilibrarian/7-ed-tech-trends-watch-2014/
http://www.knewton.com/flipped-classroom/
http://www.makerbot.com/academy

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