EdTech is a growing field in the education and tech industries. In fact, research firm Holon IQ predicts that the global EdTech market will be worth $404 billion by 2025. Last year’s predictions were around half of that amount, but this year’s sudden adoption of technologies has accelerated its growth. EdTech for 2021 is looking very bright at the moment—and here are some trends we’re expecting to see.
To protect public health, online learning has become commonplace. Still, even if the world didn’t have the pandemic calling the shots, online learning is something that’s slowly being adopted by students and school administrations. Before these testing times, the e-learning market was forecasted to surpass $243 billion by 2022. Moreover, 65% of faculty members encourage the use of open educational resources. Online learning will continue to become a big part of education, regardless if a solution is found for the pandemic or not.
In a traditional classroom there’s not a lot of opportunities to indulge students in online games. However, with online learning there’s an entire library of games waiting to be used. A teacher’s favorite is the virtual flashcard platform Quizlet. Quizlet is a library of study sets that teachers can use to play “Quizlet Live” with. They can make their own sets or borrow others’.
Meanwhile, older students appreciate games that are strategy-based, like Classcraft—an educational RPG game. With it, teachers can design the entire curriculum based on a monster-slaying journey, where students can receive boons for answering questions or supporting their classmates’ quests (against a boss that’s weak to right answers, of course). Online games work really well for student engagement, so we are very likely to seeing more of them in 2021.
Virtual reality (VR) use has increased in the classroom, mostly because of immersive learning experiences. Manufacturers design hardware by creating 3D components in a footprint library, allowing them to visualize smaller circuits better to create complex PCB layouts. The result is an integrated mechanical design that’s lightweight but can still play heavy graphics simulations.
Indeed, titles such as HoloLAB, The VR Museum of Fine Art, and HistoryMaker VR are examples of games that have improved the classroom experience. Since distance learning is encouraged this year and very likely in the next, the out-of-the-house experience VR simulations provide will become more valuable than ever.
It’s no secret that textbooks are expensive. For example, college students are estimated to have spent $1,240 on books and minor supplies during the last academic year (2019-2020). However, with online learning, the spending has significantly lessened. Since eBooks don’t need to be manufactured or distributed, greatly decreasing their value. Plus, since they come in PDF format, it’s much easier to navigate its pages and highlight passages. Because online learning is something that we will see more of in the coming school years, eBooks are going to become commonplace. Their benefits may even allow them to see more use when the health crisis has passed.
From digital textbooks to virtual reality headsets, the future of EdTech is looking bright. While these technologies will become a huge part of next year’s market, it’s doubtful that they’ll be the only ones on the list. It’ll be exciting to see what the industry comes up with in 2021.
The Edutech Post team offers news and reviews on edtech products for learners, parents, educators and edtech businesses.
Their aim is to assist in making education accessible to all with the help of technology.