What are Emerging Technologies in Education?

What are Emerging Technologies in Education?

emerging technologies in the classroom

There are tons of emerging technologies in education and every other area of all of our lives.  And some of it is absolutely incredible.  But some of it is just "extra."

As teachers, we need to be very discerning about what emerging technologies go into education.  It is a wonderful time to be introducing our students to technology. They will be able to use it to navigate a very rich life outside of the classroom.  And that makes it a wonderful time for us to help train them to discern what technology is beneficial to us and what we can and should do without.

But what are emerging technologies in education that will help us to teach our students better and more efficiently?  In this article, I would like to share some of the best examples of emerging technologies in education. Then we can all use that knowledge to make our classrooms a better place. What a great accomplishment it will be to prepare all of our students to go live their best life!

Survey Says...

There is an excellent report on emerging technology in STEAM programs on the Tech & Learning website.  It says this about the direction that technology is heading:

When asked about future innovations, respondents named virtual reality/augmented reality (28%), coding (23%), and biotechnology (16%) as areas where they saw the most promise for student instruction. The following best represents educators’ current implementation of STEAM in the core curriculum: computer science courses (75.9%), project-based learning (75.2%), intro to technology (72.3%), robotics (70.7%), and career and technical education (69.4%).

To read the full report, click here.

Using Technology to Reach Your Students

An article in US News (read it here) talks about a teacher, Stacey Roshan.  She was an Advanced Calculus teacher at the Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland.  Because of the difficult nature of the subject she was teaching, she had difficulty reaching her students for years.  She saw the frustration they faced because they didn't have enough time in class to really understand the concepts.  And she was always short on time to really drive home those concepts with them.  She needed more time to work on their homework with them.

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So after putting some thought into how better to do this, she came up with a genius idea.  She videotaped herself giving the actual lesson and assigned that for her students' homework.  Then the next day, after they had watched the video at home, she would only work on their homework with them.  Because they got to spend the whole hour on it with her, their questions were answered and their confusion dissipated.  The first year that she started doing this, her students' overall test scores rose dramatically.

What an awesome way to meet the needs of your class in a very unconventional way!  Surprisingly, using technology enhanced her ability to reach her students by allowing her the freedom to change things up.

Tablets Weigh Less than Books

Well, as long as we are talking about electronic tablets and not stone tablets, then yes, tablets weigh less than books!

So what is my point?  For years, we have known about the damage done to students (especially younger ones) when they carried large backpacks full of books around school all day five days a week.  And there have been many attempts to rectify this problem. Streamlined backpacks that were easier on the backs of students seemed to be the best route.  Less homework so they didn't have to bring the books back and forth also helped.  And of course, for many years, lockers to keep extra books in has always helped.  But none of this eliminated the problem.

For many years, it never occured to the people doing the study to eliminate the books themselves in favor of tablets.  Plus add the fact that those tablets could hold way more than the backpacks they were carrying their books around in.

And finally, you will almost never hear your students complain that they would rather have their huge backpacks back instead of the tablet they are carrying around!

Drawbacks?

Some drawbacks to this exist, though.  Keeping tablets appropriately charged can be an issue.  Having one or two charging docks for multiple devices solves that problem easily.  This is the one on Amazon that I got a few of so all of the kids had a slot to use.  Also, you may want to wait for those classes using tablets until after a break or other class period.  Then the tablets will have had plenty of time to charge.

Another perceived drawback is the expense of tablets for all the students.  But when you factor in the cost of the physical books they are using instead, the books are actually more expensive than the tablets.  This is because they need at least one separate book for each class/subject.  But they only need one tablet for all of their courses.  The savings come quickly once you realize how much is saved when you don't have to buy all those books.

One final advantage to tablets over textbooks is that you don't have to store textbooks on rows of bookshelves in your classroom (or keep them stuffed in lockers for the ones that the kids keep with them throughout the year).

Let's Play Games!

For so many years, teaching focused very heavily on academics and not so much on fun ways to learn.  Then somewhere along the way, some pretty smart teachers realized that adding games to the academics allowed the students to remember the academics much better.  The games served well as object lessons. Thanks to emerging technologies in education, there are plenty of game themes to add to and enhance your classroom's academics.  And because teachers changed up the routine by using these games that students were eager to be involved with, kids were more alert and able to make the connections better.

Fast forward just a bit.  And then you can add technology to the games bit.  There are some tremendous options out there for adding gaming to any of the subjects that you want to.  And there are some great games (such as Minecraft, Classcraft, and Code Builder, all of which have been immensely popular in classrooms) that not only help with the academics, but also with behavior and social skills.

There are also nearly limitless games for learning math concepts, reading and grammar, and foreign languages.  Honestly, teachers will have more of a problem with finding the time to pick the one they like the best more than trying to find any options at all.  We live in an age of too many great options for our classrooms!

Virtual Reality

I have mentioned virtual reality in previous articles.  But maybe that is the sign of how significant it really is in the classroom.  It definitely goes to the top of most lists of emerging technologies in education because it is constantly improving on itself and making waves with the advances that continue to occur.  The more popular it has become in the classroom, the more companies have worked to improve programs and technology to make it even better.  This snowball effect has been great for the educational world.  And it is also why even though virtual reality "emerged" quite some time ago, it is still considered emerging because it is constantly evolving and improving.

Virtual Reality can be used to allow students to tour places that they will likely never see in person.  It can be used to play games that they don't even realize are related to the lesson. And then sometime later they will be able to make the connection after the lessons.  Watching that light bulb light up for them is worth its weight in gold to the teacher who worked so hard to make the game/academics balance work the way it needs to.

code.org

code.org is an incredibly valuable resource.  The byline on their homepage reads, "Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science."

I almost didn't put this site in this article because it isn't quite emerging technology anymore.  In fact, code.org says that 1 million teachers use code.org and 40% of US students have an account.  But the reason I did include it here is because of what is emerging based on how it is so highly used in American classrooms.

The strength in this program is how much it builds on the creativity and individuality of the students.  That is so counter-intuitive to traditional learning in all the right ways! Steve Jobs once said, "Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer...because it teaches you how to think."

There is no better way to do this than to include it in school AND in the younger grades.  Then students who already intuitively know how to function with technology from infancy can move into programming comfortably.  And they can do it without being intimidated by the process.  It just becomes the next thing.

Some Final Inspiration

I would actually like to close this point by encouraging you to watch this video by code.org. Then share it with your class.  It is one of the most inspirational pieces I have ever seen!  It talks about all of the greatest contributors to our technology world and how they were first inspired and started out.  Plus it only takes 5 minutes, so it's easy to slide into your school day somewhere. The beginning of the school day may be the perfect place.  It makes such a perfect way to inspire us all by starting our day with it.

For us to see where these amazing people started and what they ended up doing that changed our world so dramatically inspired my students and me in ways that may enable US to change our little part of the world too!

Let me know how your class liked it and where they want to go with their ideas!

For more information on technology in the classroom, click to read the following article:

Creative Ways to Integrate Technology into Lesson Plans

This Post Has 52 Comments

  1. Candace Hampton

    Such an interesting read! I believe that technology plays a big role in the learning process and it should be incorporated in the class rooms. It’s not the enemy, it’s a tool if used properly. I love the idea that you mentioned about recording the lesson and then having a whole hour to answer questions and to go over homework.

    1. Marie

      You are exactly right, Candace! It is a great tool when used properly. Thank you for weighing in.

  2. Nyxinked

    I 100% believe that technology such as Ipads etc can be utilised to help with education. There are so many ways that people learn, or prefer to learn. For example I prefer to learn at my own pace and much prefer typing to writing.

  3. Cristina pop

    What a great article. Technology can bring such a good education for kids, but only if it’s used properly.In my opinion, there should be some clear guidelines about how much time can kids stay on a laptop or Ipad.

    1. Marie

      Yes Cristina! And the classroom is such a perfect way to do that because time is so strictly allotted already. It is necessary, but not all the time and for everything.

  4. Cristina Petrini

    Difficult to say, I can certainly help in part, but as you say in the blog post you have to know how to choose which ones to use and how.

  5. Valerie

    Technology really has taken over the world of education.

    1. Rose Ann Sales

      Great article! Technology is great,no one can deny it,and we should embrace all the convenience it has to offer. 🙂

      1. Marie

        I fully agree, Valerie! Thank you for sharing.

  6. Olya Aman

    There is no way to ignore technology in education. It is part of our life. Great timely post.

  7. It is crazy to think back and see how technology has evolved and has become impact on education. There are so many ways technology can be utilized in education.

    1. Marie

      It is really amazing and inspirational. But also tricky to keep everything in balance!

  8. Papa Jack

    Technology has a lot to teach the students. But this technology also takes the students away from the most important one which is family.

    1. Marie

      It does if the family is not involved. As long as the family is working together intentionally and actively, the format is not the most relevant aspect. It is the working together in many different ways that is most relevant. Thank you for weighing in!

  9. Interesting read. Technology is growing day by day and it is good it is used to teach the students. The only concern is that the time limit should be defined on how much time students can spend on gadgets at school.

    1. Marie

      Yes, travelandhikewithpcos, it can be a problem, especially for kids that are really hooked to devices. But one of the advantages of tech in school is the time limits and need to move to the next activity. When you keep kids engaged and busy and keep a variety of activities, the technology doesn’t dominate the space anymore. The biggest problem right now is keeping up with the advances!!!

  10. Karen

    Great post. I agree, since technology is emerging, everyone should try to put it in good use rather than making it an enemy. It would be easy and fun to have technology in class.

  11. Technology is so troubling – yes it’s great but it can be a disaster too! I guess it depends on how it works and what it’s used for. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!

    1. Marie

      You are so right, Krysten. It is very much a double edged sword, which puts more pressure on teachers to make sure it is used in the best ways and not unproductively. But yet in today’s world it is so necessary.

  12. My kids school started using tablets instead of books. There was some trouble with the kids visiting the internet but they installed a program on the tables so the teacher can see their screen

    1. Marie

      Yes, Tara, my sons’ friend’s school also started using tablets, but they had online restrictions in place from the start. It was a Catholic school.

  13. Hollie

    It’s honestly amazing how much technology has changed and evolved since we were in school. I come from a family of teachers and they are always talking about it, I cannot even imagine being in a classroom now.

    1. Marie

      Yes, for sure it is so different now, Hollie. I have been able to keep up pretty well because I was either in the classroom or my kids were pretty consistently over the past 20+ years.

  14. I think it’s a great idea keeping technology up to date in the classrooms, with the use of such things as Tablets. I understand there are some cons, but the pros far outweigh them. Technology is the way of the future, and our children need to be prepared for it.

    1. Marie

      I agree! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  15. Fatima D Torres

    I’m surprised biotech is so low, but I have to admit coding is a great industry to get into. Trying to get my niece to do so.

    1. Marie

      I am curious to see what happens with the numbers over the next 5-10 years. I think we will see some shifting around. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Fatima!

  16. Nyxinked

    I remember when my dad started in the local community tech and they had ipads (this was a number of years ago prior to any schools having them as a general rule). We were fascinated by the use of technology like the iPad in a school setting. He found it frustrating (he’s generally not great with technology as I get phonecalls frequently asking me where the ‘chrome’ button is on his Chromebook) but he shortly got the hang of it and ended up buying himself one to help with his schooling! Tech can be amazing!

    1. Marie

      That’s awesome, Nyxie! He can now tell everybody the stories of how he was so far ahead of the times!

  17. I love how technology seems to be growing and growing. It is so useful in classrooms now.

    1. Marie

      It’s pretty awesome to see how much different it is even from a few years ago. Constant change, but it is mostly good! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  18. Technology definitely has a place in the classroom. Plus, kids need to keep up so they will be able to translate that knowledge into the real world.

    1. Marie

      You are exactly right! The classroom is one of the best ways for kids to learn how to use technology for life!

  19. Lyanna Soria

    Technology has helped us since it’s release, it made our lives much more easier and it would be great if it would influence classrooms. Playing games to learn about certain topics would be an interesting idea and that would surely have my kids to participate more in classes.

  20. Gervin Khan

    I am so happy how technology works in our life today, to be honest it makes our life more easier compare before and I wish that all kids will learn this thing too.

  21. Nkem

    I am inspired by how knowledgable and dedicated you are as an educator!

  22. Matt Taylor

    Yes, there are so many incredible emerging technologies. I would couldn’t even have imagined something like a tablet when I was young. Just gotta keep them off those games when they should be learning. lol

  23. WorldInEyes

    Technology truly plays very important and vital role in education specially these days..indeed this blog post is very helpful and useful..Glad to know about this..Thanks indeed for sharing..great work though…

  24. the joyous living

    looks very interesting. it is so interesting about using virtual reality in the classrooms. great way to learn.

  25. Kuntala Bhattacharya

    Interesting read. Well recently I was researching an article on andragogy and pedagogy. Technology to be leveraged in both also need to be different, which is quite interesting. While adults prefer self-learning, kids prefer guided learning. Technology needs to be moulded into that fashion too.

  26. Lily

    Technology is the future and now! These kids definitely need to know about emerging tech!

  27. Melanie williams

    As always you have provided an in depth article to explain, but not made it over complicated of fussy. Love this x

  28. Emman Damian

    I think everything is shifting to digital. It really helps us. It is more convenient too.

  29. Amy Kaur

    This is a great topic, a very timely one as parents are now struggling now to choose what kind of education that our kids might need during this time.

  30. Kathy Kenny Ngo

    Video calls and online classrooms are definitely it. The biggest drawback that I can think of is kids will spend too much time on gadgets.

  31. Jackline A

    This comes just in time with kids not being able to go to school. Utilizing technology for education is crucial especially now.

  32. My Kitchen

    I’m faster in writing than in typing that’s why I never went with a laptop to school but a lot of people in my class used to come with their laptops and they loved typing.

  33. Hhhhmmmm….Virtual Reality is a good one and will be, for a very long time. We all need that fantasy distraction, every once in a while, as we are learning.

  34. Natalie

    World is changing and use of technology can’t be avoided any more even in schools. During lockdown my son made some serious progress in learning by using his Chromebook. So I’m all up for that.

  35. Josfolio

    Now we are in a situation where every bit of technology has to be used for better and efficient education. New technologies are definitely worth it if used in the right way.

  36. Elizabeth O

    Technology is an important part of learning and especially with the pandemic, it is key to have all kids on board. My greater concern is for kids at schools with no budget for upgrades,

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