The future is edtech
Two of the biggest events in the edtech world are the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in the USA and British Educational Training and Technology (BETT) show in the UK. At the beginning of each year, industry experts from all over the world head to these shows to talk about edtech. This year the focus was split over what is available and how it should be used in schools.
The 2018 conferences saw some very interesting talks and seminars about some exciting new technology. However, the overriding theme for the year at both was collaboration. The world is becoming a more collaborative space thanks to technology, and schools that don’t teach their pupils how to do this effectively are doing a great disservice to our future.
BETT 2018 and the edtech available
The two conferences may have had a similar theme, but they focused on different aspects. BETT 2018 showcased a lot of the new, innovative edtech that is actually available right now. AR and VR, as well as 3D printing technology, were highlighted as teaching aids. The collaborative nature of most edtech was also highlighted as a significant factor. Many of the speakers looked at how to use these technologies in the classroom. It’s no longer about giving lessons in how to use the devices, but rather how they can be incorporated in all aspects of the curriculum.
One of the main takeaways from this conference is that it’s essential to focus on the future when it comes to education. It is our duty to prepare children for a world that is transforming constantly and this rate of change is only gathering speed. A big question that was raised is how do schools prepare children for their future when they are likely to be going on to jobs that don’t even exist now. The answer: staying up to date with trends in technology and ensuring that edtech is implemented properly in schools.
FETC 2018 and the role of edtech in the classroom
The keynote speaker, Sir Ken Robinson, hit the nail on the head when he spoke about the importance of collaboration in schools. “Very few of us know much, but collectively, we know a great deal,” he told the audience. The other two main focus points for the conference were diversity and creativity.
All of these themes were discussed in relation to the role that edtech plays in the modern classroom. Speakers also looked at how it is helping to create a more personalised learning experience for children. In the USA, there is a heavy focus on standardised testing and many educators would like to move away from this. They want to explore the diversity that exists in their students and teach them in a way that makes sense to each individual. With the right edtech in place, it’s possible to allow students to explore their lessons in their own way, and still collaborate fully with their peers.