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The BETT Show, formerly known as the British Educational Training and Technology Show, is the first industry show of the year for the education community. Held in London, BETT 2018 brought together 850 leading companies, 103 educational technology start-ups and around 35,000 visitors. Each year at this time the education community comes together to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education and the role that technology and innovation plays in enabling all educators and learners to thrive.
ASI’s National Education Manager, Michael Eggenhuizen, and Education Training Manager, Grania Pourbozorgi attended this years event and below are some of the key trends that emerged:
Digital technology requires a concurrent focus on technology, content and pedagogy. As educators we need to ensure that the technology we use is truly enhancing educational outcomes, through enriching, meaningful content and effective pedagogical practices. Our schools and learning environments have greater potential now than ever before, to empower every student to learn at their own pace, in their own way, in a way that truly engages and captivates the individual learner.
Research and a growing understanding of students needs shows that children benefit more by applying knowledge rather than by simply acquiring knowledge. Education needs to be about allowing children to experiment with their surroundings as a form of problem solving, encouraging creativity and collaboration, motivation and self-direction. Interacting with tools that expand mental capacities and magnify the way we acquire and use knowledge, ultimately paving the way for a more meaningful, holistic teaching and learning experience.
2018 is the year of adaptive learning technologies. We are engaging with students from a ‘phi-git-al’ generation, a generation that rarely draw distinctions between the physical and digital world. The students we teach now, will be the graduating class of 2030 and entering into a world that we simply struggle to imagine yet with 65% of these students entering into jobs that currently do not exist. It is not enough anymore to hold onto ‘what used to be’, the excuse of ‘I’ve been teaching for 10+ years and therefore I know best practice’ or ‘I didn’t use it then why should I use technology now?’ as the fact of the matter is….the students we teach now learn in ways far different to those prior. Today’s students want centricity, they want to be able to navigate their own learning, problem solve and discover for themselves.
In a world that is rapidly changing, where jobs and services are becoming more and more automated each day, teaching is in fact, the least expected job to become automated, but rather one that will experience rapid growth in years to come. Our students today want personalisation not automation. The future of learning, work and life is profoundly social. This concept is not new to educators but is newly important to more people and will take center stage alongside deep cognitive learning. We can’t keep preparing our students for yesterday, we need to provide them with the skills needed to create a stronger tomorrow.
Augmented and Virtual reality is a growing trend in education and offers amazing potential when thinking of a shift from teacher directed to student centered learning. Traditionally, play and learning were kept as two very separate entities. However, research has suggested that when play based learning is effectively embedded into a teaching and learning experience, the opportunities for students to discover, problem solve, collaborate and develop their social and emotional skills and capabilities go far beyond those able to be achieved from traditional ‘front of class’ methodologies. The idea of a classroom existing within the confines of 4 walls is somewhat of the past. We need to be thinking on a larger platform, thinking of ways that will spark curiosity and wonder amongst our students and create immersive environments that truly foster learning and provide them with experiences that go well beyond the classroom. We retain roughly 10% of what we read, yet 90% of what we experience ourselves. VR and AR learning experiences can help provide opportunities for our students that would have once been inconceivable and assist in providing deeper engagement and retention. VR helps us experience new worlds, whilst AR helps us experience this world in new ways.
— Grania Pourbozorgi (@grania89) January 25, 2018
By Grania Pourbozorgi – Education Training Manager, ASI Solutions