Do you find that you no sooner get a grip on one technology, than a new one has hit the scene?
Emerging technologies has become something so integral to the education landscape today that it sometimes seems impossible to keep abreast of the changes. Regardless of whether you are a primary school teacher teaching STEAM subjects in an integrated way, or a high school teacher with a classroom of students focusing on a particular branch of the STEAM curriculum, you will want to stay up-to-date with the latest and emerging trends.
Some of the emerging technologies that will begin to or continue to impact on education, include:
Virtual Reality (VR)
An artificial environment generated by a computer. The use of virtual reality can help students to visualize what they are learning and therefore give them a stronger connection between the content they are learning and what they are learning in its real form. By using tools such as Google Cardboard, students can experience deeper and more contextual learning.
Augmented Reality (AR)
This allows students to manipulate their environment and superimpose objects onto their existing environment. There are many AR apps available for use in the classroom, particularly of use to STEAM subjects. For example, the Amazing Space Journey app allows users to download the augmented reality board and have the solar system in their hand or on their desk.
This is a programming language that not only teaches students a useful skill for the future, but develops critical-thinking skills, and complex adaptable problem-solving skills that will assist them in life, as much as in their learning. At Tactile Theory we believe robotics is a tangible, playful and engaging way of teaching coding to today’s students. With the added benefit of enabling the teaching of robotics through project–based learning, this is a logical way of teachers developing Futures Learning skills in their students, while engaging them in their learning and developing skills of leadership, teamwork and self-directed learning.
Teaching students via games and having fun, has long been a simple and effective way of engaging students in their learning. While the theory is the same, the technology is more advanced, but then the skills reaped from classroom gamification have also increased. Using elements of game design in the classroom has the ability to engage, motivate and reward students for complex problem solving and higher-order skills. As long as teachers remain vigilant and use classroom gamification as a useful teaching tool, rather than simply as a gimmick, gamification can lead to authentic and complex learning experiences for students.
Digital fabrication is the tangible production of design elements that students create in the classroom. It enables students to design a product or solution to a problem, digitally fabricate it and use the physical prototype to assess how successful their design was. Supporting critical-thinking, problem-solving and sequencing, while helping students develop resilience and tolerance of failure, digital fabrication has real value particularly in STEAM classrooms where design process is a focus.
Changing Learning Spaces
Evolving learning spaces make sense when we think that new technologies, new styles of teaching and new skill sets requiring to be taught, all require more flexible spaces than the traditional desks in the classrooms of old. Flexible and collaborative learning spaces have the ability to transform and facilitate futures learning classrooms when the decisions around the learning spaces are driven by the learning needs and technology demands of modern education.