What do you think will be the main things we'll be seeing in ed tech in 2018?
Schools are already beginning to offer coding and programming as a language requirement so I’m confident we’ll see computer and data science become increasingly important in education. This promises to be as big a part of the school curriculum, as reading and writing was in the 20th century. Related to this, we will see increased integration of gaming into education through so-called gamification in order to engage with young people more effectively, particularly in primary schools.
2017 saw a growing number of libraries around the country adding makerspace and coding clubs to their range of public services. I predict the transformation of libraries from quiet places of study to spaces providing opportunities for hands-on exploration and creativity will continue apace in 2018. Digital technologies are rejuvenating libraries, making them more relevant to modern ways of learning by offering new materials and resources to engage people of all ages beyond the classroom.
What do you think will be the main ed tech challenges in 2018?
Children are often more knowledgeable than the teachers as they have grown up with technology. Schools will need to commit to providing resources to train and educate their teachers on STEM subjects and modern classroom technologies. This is especially true in primary schools, where most teachers aren’t technically minded.
I see this every day in my role as STEM Ambassador at CEL when I host 3D design and 3D printing workshops in schools around the country. Young people are far easier to engage with digital technologies; teachers, especially those from analogue generations, are often reluctant to spend what little time they have learning new skills when they aren’t given additional resources.
Teachers, particularly those in primary schools, will need to be provided with more flexibility to get grips with new technologies that enable alternative learning methods as the move away from traditional textbooks to digital technologies, online services and gaming continues.
Grant Mackenzie, Robox Business Development.