Technology has disrupted and digitised many industries across the globe, including, in more recent years, education. In 2017, global investments made to learning technology companies reached over $9.52 billion, up 30% from 2016, according to Edtech Times.
Apps and online resources are changing the way we learn, and the application of digital technology in the classroom and at home is making the process more democratic and accessible than ever before.
Photo by Rob Hampson.
Emerging education technologies yield a number of benefits: they improve engagement by appealing to different styles of learning, enable professionals to gain a better insights into their student’s progress and attainment, and in many cases, accelerate learning for the user.
From early years to higher education and beyond, these five resources should be on any edtech enthusiast's radar.
1. KOKORO Lingua by BIG BANG Generation
BIG BANG Generation is a Switzerland-based non-profit association whose mission is to democratise education and enable the learning of languages through the promotion of diversity around the world.
According to research, early years education is the best time at which to introduce children to languages as synaptic connections make the process more intuitive.
However, many educators lack the knowledge and resources to be able to teach another language efficiently.
The KOKORO Lingua program makes teaching English to primary age children easier for teachers by providing a weekly lesson complete with video and educational cards. Set up time comes in at around two minutes, and evaluations have shown excellent results, both in memorisation and in the pleasure associated with learning.
2. Explore Geography by London Grid for Learning
Explore Geography makes use of augmented reality to explain geographical concepts at KS2 and KS3, and is specifically designed to coincide with the UK National Curriculum. The resources comes in two parts; a website and an app.
A number of fundamental geographical concepts can be difficult to teach and understand without visual aids. As with any subject, it can be hard to engage the whole class when explaining an idea, especially if the cohort consists of learners of differing abilities.
Explore Geography uses AR reality to bring key concepts to life, engaging different types of learners along the way. Topics covered include ‘Our Spinning Planet’, an interactive demonstration of the distribution, naming and spin of storms and ‘Volcano!’, an interactive 3D model of a volcano with eruption and pyroclastic flow.
3. ENGAGE by VR Education
VR Education is virtual and augmented reality software company on a mission to revolutionise how educational content is delivered and consumed around the world. They’ve designed a set of online tools to enable educators and corporate trainers to create their own virtual classroom environments.
Virtual Reality is still an emerging industry and its potential as an aid for learning has only recently started to be explored. Because it’s fairly new, many educators don’t have the knowledge or confidence to be able to integrate VR into their teaching.
ENGAGE is a social education, presentation, and corporate training platform that allows educators and corporations to host meetings, classes, private lessons and presentations with people from all over the world in a secure, virtual, multi-user environment.
The possibilities are endless, and teachers can even conduct their marine biology lessons from the bottom of the sea!
VR Education has worked alongside educators from Oxford University, New Haven University, The Royal College of Surgeons and large corporations such as the BBC to deliver innovative VR learning programmes, and are a global leader in virtual and augmented space.
Learn more about ENGAGE in this video:
4. Explorify by Wellcome Trust
One of the best things about this resource is that it’s free for anyone to use! Explorify aims to change the way science is taught in schools by providing a range of resources designed to inspire and engage.
Explorify’s expertly produced image, video and kinetic activities aim to spark curiosity and get students thinking like scientists. Each activity is linked to the curriculum and doesn’t require a lot of preparation, making it ideal for teachers who are low on time.
Each activity is outlined clearly on the Explorify website, with details about how much time it takes, the age range it is appropriate for and where to go for further information on the topic. There’s also a video for each so you can see the activity in action.
5. Whatuni by Hotcourses Group
Hotcourses Group is behind some of the world’s most popular higher education search websites including The Complete University Guide, Whatuni, Postgraduate Search, Hotcourses Abroad and more. Their aim is to equip students with the tools they need to make informed choices when deciding where to study.
At a glance, Whatuni enables students to find out information on what and where to study. Among other things, there’s a tool that matches the user to an appropriate course, a comprehensive list of open days together with blogs and vlogs on everything related to university life.
Whatuni at the Student Choice awards in 2018:
Edtech tools and solutions are quickly overtaking text books and paper publications to become the go-to way of teaching - and learning - new ideas. Technology allows for tangible, ‘real life’ learning experiences and in a digital age, using these new tools in the classroom makes a whole lot of sense.
If you’re using an online education resource that you think we should shout about, tell us on Twitter @fullfabric.