Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, news, and advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

Written by Gaggle
on February 16, 2017

While we can’t predict what the future holds for EdTech tools, we can make educated guesses as to which resources will see success in years to come. Some of the most impactful technology of the future is already available today, even if it’s not currently in your school or district.

Here are some EdTech tools already making an impact and others that show a lot of promise for what lies ahead.

3D Printing
It’s becoming increasingly clear that 3D printing is not just a passing fad, but already is making a huge impact inside the classroom. 3D printing is already being utilized in a number of fields today, including aerospace and defense, the automotive industry and healthcare. For an education-focused 3D printing company, check out Printrbot, which wants to bring an affordable 3D printer to every school. It offers discounted pricing for educators to meet this goal.

Virtual & Augmented Reality
There are a lot of companies working on bringing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to K12 schools. Don’t be fooled into thinking that VR and AR are entirely about gaming. Some schools have already started to implement VR due to its ability to simulate environments for training and educational purposes and its immersive nature. In particular, some schools in Spain have identified benefits of VR and AR for teaching a second language.

Interactive Hardware
Interactive hardware is supplanting the antiquated use of projector-based technology. Interactive displays allow educators to produce more engaging and memorable lessons for their students. Companies like SMART and Promethean have already established a presence in the marketplace with touch boards, tablets, interactive displays, interactive whiteboard systems and interactive tables.

Open Educational Resources
Many open educational resources are run by universities (like MIT OpenCourseWare), whereas you can find some within interactive online environments like Khan Academy and Codeacademy. Beyond the engaging model of education and supporting the flipped classroom, one of the greatest aspects of these materials is that they can offset limited resources at your school or district. Even if you don’t have a large staff that can support coding education, open educational resources can provide a small staff with the ability to help more students.

Cloud-Based Learning Systems
If the success of G Suite for Education and Office 365 can teach us anything, it’s that our future will most likely be dependent upon the cloud. The list of benefits is impressive: freedom from on-premise hardware and software; the ability to link computers, mobile devices and other devices like printers to a central database; the ability for students and educators to work from home; and an increasingly digitalized capacity for assignment submission, communication, and resource-sharing.

Gaggle Safety Management
To paraphrase Gaggle Founder & CEO Jeff Patterson, while a lot of people consider what will change in the next few years, it’s perhaps more important to be mindful of what will not change. EdTech resources could develop and evolve continuously for years to come, and student safety will remain a key concern for schools and districts. The transition to online learning has already proven this to be true. Bullying doesn’t stop in the hallway and the classrooms; it follows students on social media, in email communications and shared documents. Gaggle Safety Management will continue to be a need, as we provide students with increasingly sophisticated technology.

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