Global investment in educational technology, or edtech, has risen from $500m to $16.1bn in the past decade, reflecting a growing demand for disruptive technology in education.
The rise of edtech goes hand-in-hand with an increased demand for online learning. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), demand for online MBA programs has increased year-on-year since 2014.
The pandemic has also seen more institutions turn to edtech tools to support a transition to online learning. Given the shift in learning preferences, these technologies are here to stay.
How can we expect education to change in 2022? Here are the hottest edtech trends to look out for:
5. AI-Enabled Adaptive Learning
Artificial intelligence isn’t just the remit of ultra-lifelike robots—AI can also be harnessed by to offer a more personalized and interactive learning experience.
While a traditional degree program may offer some personalization including choices of modules or specializations, AI could enable schools to take hyper-personalized journeys through the curriculum.
Dynamic AI could interpret the interests of each student and predict their behavior, consequently offer them the exact content that they need.
4. Even More Flexibility
Technology undoubtedly brings more flexibility to our working lives and it can do the same for online degrees.
While full-time MBAs tend to be fixed one or two-year programs, some online MBAs, such as the Birmingham Business School Online MBA, can be completed in anything from two-and-a-half to five years. Birmingham’s Online MBA is delivered 100%-online.
Andrew Parker, director of digital education and distance learning at Birmingham Business School (pictured), explains that the use of technology could offer business schools the chance to “break from a totally fixed timeline.”
With the advent of more streamlined virtual learning tools, and utilizing video conferencing alongside other tools, Andrew says people will be able to pursue education when, where, and at the pace that suits them best.
Gamification has been creeping into classrooms for years already, with hackathons and virtual business games becoming a mainstay of the business school experience. In the future, however, gamification could offer new ways to teach students.
Gamification can help keep students engaged throughout their learning experiences. This is a challenge for online programs, when there is no in-person requirement and busy lives may get in the way of students’ learning.
“One of the challenges of education is getting student involvement, and it’s a no bigger challenge online or in-person,” says Andrew, who teaches operations management on Birmingham’s Online MBA.
With the global education gamification market expected to grow at a rate of 29% between 2021 and 2027, it’s bound to be one of the biggest edtech trends to look out for in the years ahead.
2. Harnessing Big Data
Higher education institutions are already using data analytics to identify students who may need more support before they’ve even started their learning journeys.
At business schools, this could be hugely valuable for online MBA students who don’t have in-person support available to them, allowing schools to identify when students may need more personalized support and to improve engagement.
“With my modules, I look at the analytics; who is engaging and who isn’t,” Andrew explains. “By using big data analytics, you can better stimulate student involvement and engagement and build more of a community.
“We can compare what students are doing, look for patterns and similarities, and see who would be good to work together in a group.”
1. Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
VR technology enables students to learn more materials faster, according to a recent study by PwC.
As edtech tools like video conferencing software become more versatile and incorporate aspects of VR and AR, it will become easier to bring learning experiences to life.
“Our students are desperate for access to experts or more situations where they can get involved in things.” Traditional case studies, for example, can be transformed by VR, says Andrew.
As business schools across the world look to tap into the latest edtech trends, Andrew too is looking to integrate VR and AR into the Birmingham Online MBA.
“If I want to go and visit a factory and walk through it, the technology is getting there now when you can go and do that without ever leaving your desk.”
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