What do you think will be the main things we'll be seeing in edtech in 2018?
With an ever-widening digital skills gap, I think we will see a much greater focus on aligning education with the wider world. We need to be able to demonstrate to students that what they are learning in the classroom appears routinely in industries relating to STEM – where our future economy lies.
One of the ways we can do this is through the learning environment. We need to be able to replicate industry settings and give students the right tools to get creative, imaginative and collaborate. Using practical resources will see students learning key skills relating to designing, prototyping and testing, and will help them become active, confident and lifelong learners that understand the purpose of what they are being taught and how it can be applied post-education.
What do you think will be the main edtech challenges in 2018?
The main edtech challenges in 2018 will be to do with school budgets. With increasing cuts, it’s going to be hard for schools to justify spending for new resources and tools, despite the fact that they will most likely boost teaching and learning.
Rather than simply investing when things get old and broken – which can actually end up costing a school more – it’s important to work out the long-term value of resources. Look to invest in products that can be used across multiple classrooms, time and time again. Look for recommendations and feedback from other schools; of course, there is never a one-size-fits-all solution, however, being able to see things in action and how it benefits other teachers and students will help to determine whether those edtech resources will be a valuable investment.