Important EdTech Trends at SXSWedu Conference


Important EdTech Trends at SXSWedu Conference

In the recent SXSW conference in Austin a lot of new discoveries and education technology theories and trends were revealed. SXSW is at a stage right now where it’s massively popular and plays a big role in technology and education. There’s an offshoot 

of SXSW called SXSWedu where Edtech startups and other brilliant education folk gather. In this series of 4 days where everyone meets, discusses, and plans for the future of education. There are panels, keynotes, and demonstrations just about all day, every day.

Each day of programming features special presentations from the 2013 keynote and distinguished speakers highlighting some of today's leading trends in education.

So let’s discuss the few future trends discussed by the speakers.

  1. MOOCs: In a special keynote conversation moderated by award-winning writer with The New York Times Laura Pappano, Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng and edX President Anant Agarwal will focus on massive open online courses (MOOCs), a rapidly growing interest in the education space, designed to offer large-scale participation through the web. These courses will have everything, from video modules to guest lectures to additional information and assignments and tests as well, with a certificate of completing the course successfully. These MOOCs aim at reaching out to millions of students by removing the physical barriers.
  2. Gamification and Adaptive Learning: One of the recent changes in Edtech trends is gamification . As posted in the article, nowadays everyone wants to put some enthusiam, some fun into their learning and in this fast paced environment, boredom can come in minutes. So to make education a fun experience many educators believe to create applications that lead to learning in a fun and gaming manner rather than the traditional methods of mugging up. It has been noticed that many students are learn more and are motivated through these applications rather than through books that seem monotonous. The whole idea of keeping a score system and winning brings enthusiasm and willingness to learn and instant feedback. Here is the Educator's Checklist for Game-Based Learning. Also e very student is different and has different learning needs, here is where concept of adaptive learning and personalized learning comes in. There are various tools for this like the famous Knewton, Dreambox, and new ones like KnowRe.
  3. Creativity: Another field to be imposing upon in the Edtech trends is creativity and creating different and new environments for students to learn. It is argued that technology will lead to a higher premium being placed on the personal, well-designed and handmade. Thus everything will be customized keeping in mind the learners. Educators now aim to try different unconventional methods to see how it influences and increases the attention of the student.
  4. Data and analytics: There seems to be a consensus, which Bill Gates highlighted in his keynote, that the most important potential—as yet unrealized—contribution of technology to teaching and learning is the ability to extract meaningful insights from the myriad information that students generate as they travel through life on their learning journeys: diagnostics, individualized goals and plans, demographic information, performance evaluations, and on and on from cradle to mortarboard. Companies like Inbloom (earlier SLC), have been working hard on such concepts with a mission to inform and involve each student and teacher with data and tools designed to personalize learning.
  5. Virtual world: The whole aim is to break the barriers of school and colleges and the traditional unidirectional learning of a single teacher teaching dozens of students. Now the trend will come wherein students would prefer to share and discuss and learn more through these open discussions, here is where Connected Learning has its role. As what one may know the other may be oblivious of it. Accumulated knowledge is the best knowledge. And as there will be no limitations, the students will be more driven and enthusiastic to learn more.

What are your views on these trends, and how do you think these trends will change the education industry in the coming years? Drop your comments!

Also you can check some SXSW Edu interview that Dr.Rod conducted before with some good names from the education industry. 

1. Interview with Richard Culatta, Director Office of Educational Technology, US DOE
2. Interview with Knewton’s Business Development Director- Sara Ittelson
3. Interview with Samsung’s Ann Woo
4. Interview with John Bailey, Executive Director Digital Learning NOW!
5. Interview with Edutainme Founder - Vladimir Sinelnikov

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