For more than three decades Bett has been uniting everyone with a passion for improving the future through education and its focus this year will be on educational game changers. Bett 2017 is set to offer invaluable insights into the future of education worldwide, so what do those working at the forefront of education think that future will look like?
Headline tech developments for 2017
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
BYOD infrastructure is something more educational establishments are installing – or certainly looking to install in the near future. Involving technology owned by the student and, indeed, the teacher or lecturer, is becoming more widely accepted. With BYOD technology in the classroom students can easily collaborate on projects and even with students from other schools. Collaboration is key to engagement in today’s classrooms. A BYOD approach should enable all technology to be connected whether a Windows, Apple or Android device, including smart phones and tablets. Connecting student devices can increase classroom engagement, improve collaboration and create a better all-round teaching environment.
An increasing number of education establishments are implementing ‘flipped classrooms’. These rooms create a collaborative working environment giving students a more engaging experience where they can work with their peers. For those students who, at times, struggle when working in groups, this can really help them thrive; they become less passive than they may have been previously and are more engaged – not only with the teacher or lecturer but also other students. This model also helps the teacher or lecturer as they are not teaching each student individually and can, therefore, spend more time with each group, resulting in a more productive session overall.
Monitoring and management technology
Monitoring and management technology isn’t new but it’s something that is no longer just for universities. More and more schools and colleges are looking at the management of technology as a way to address issues, faults and also to save time and money. Currently, when an issue arises, the norm is for a technician to run to the classroom; with effective monitoring, however, issues can be eradicated before the teacher or lecturer even arrives in the teaching space. With management there is also the added value of power saving which means a cost saving too. Too many times technology is simply left on; with technology management the system installed can manage the times for this technology to be on or off and also gives the AV/IT teams the ability to switch off remotely, once again reducing power consumption.
Gaming companies are struggling to make the transition into the education sector but when they do it will be big news. This includes incorporating virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to support learning through ‘immersive’ environments. For example, one school has a Minecraft room, where Minecraft is projected onto all the walls, floor and ceiling. It’s currently a little clunky and crude, but it’s clear that this stuff is only going to get slicker, and quickly.
Virtual and augmented reality
There is at least one known university team which is developing AR solutions with manufacturing companies where people use smartphones to augment images with information (e.g. don’t lick this wire or you’ll die!) This stuff will start to trickle down into schools too – you can easily imagine Google’s new 3D Earth being used in geography, history and other subjects.
We’re going to see more collaboration, remote working and lessons delivered in multiple locations, simultaneously and technology, of course, will play a key role in facilitating this. Engaging parents in their children’s learning is the one thing shown to have a significant impact on the child’s attainment so solutions that engage parents (without showing them up) will continue to have a big impact. In higher and further education there has always been a ‘push’ from business and that is likely to accelerate as there is an increasing skills gap.
This is an excerpt from an article that appears in January’s issue of Education Executive. Take a read for some expert advice for SBMs on ICT procurement, as well as energy saving tips, PR suggestions, performance-related pay and more. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect with us on LinkedIn!