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Over five years ago in 2012, a question was posed by the MIT Technology Review: “What’s been the single biggest innovation in education [in the last 200 years]?” No one could answer that question at the time. But, in today’s EdTech world, this might not be as tough a question as when it was asked in 2012.

I remember when I was in college it was frowned upon at the very least to use mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets in class. Nevertheless, today’s schools actually have made them an essential school supply. On top of that, almost all school districts in America and the UK have implemented computer-administered common core testing, which forced many schools to adopt modernised systems, no matter if they wanted to or not. And while primary and senior high schools are going through these changes, many of the world’s top universities have embraced Massive Open Online Courses (known as MOOCs).

Many tech companies have contributed to the technology behind these new innovations, and they seem to be continually building on them. Some of the smaller EdTech companies have even been founded by school teachers themselves. The education industry can be very stubborn to technological change, which would benefit them greatly. This is what drives these startups.

The EdTech industry is gaining some momentum as private investors and the governments begin to pour money into it. Private investors put $2.5 billion alone into EdTech companies. A lot of that funding came from sources like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Andreessen Horowitz and other venture capital giants.

Here are some 2017 through 2018 EdTech trends to look out for.

More Schools and Universities Adopting SAP S/4HANA

Big Data isn’t just a problem for insurance and financial institutions. The education sector is increasingly becoming more and more connected to the IoT world as many technological solutions are being developed. If any sector is need of help for their Big Data issues, it’s in education. Employing data analytics tools, such as SAP S/4HANA, allows schools to notice trends among both teachers and students, improving the school’s overall performance.

Detecting these trends allows early intervention of students and faculty and avoiding disappointing students’ parents before things get out of hand. Schools are able to back up their decisions made by administrators and school districts by using meaningful Big Data analytics.

Shift in Educational Direction With Advances in Technology

As things such as advances in artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and mobile business intelligence grow, the workforce will need highly trained individuals. Machines will be authoring 20 percent of business content; autonomous software that doesn’t need human intervention will handle 5 percent of financial business; more than 3 million workers globally will have robots for bosses – all of this between the year 2018 and 2020. And there are other major disruptions that will occur in the next two to three years that will change the workforce, which means many jobs will be lost.

Small Cities for Kids for Hands-On-Learning Experiences

Coming to Chicago and Dallas first, KidZania is the world’s fastest growing experimental learning centre for children. It brings a unique educational experience that only a kid-sized city could. Kids can role-play as firefighters, doctors and even television personalities. You name it, they have a real life profession available for kids to try on for a day. As of now, only 24 will be opening up nationwide.

Partly an amusement park (but much better), KidZania provides children with real-world, experiential learning that is meant to expose them to how real life might seem, but in a fun and entertaining way. It boosts behavioural and motor skills help foster economic principles and teach them collaboration. Children are able to earn “Kidzo” currency as they work the make believe jobs, which they then deposited into the KidZania bank so that they can “buy” goods and services within the interaction.

These type of trends are making education easier for both educators and parents as they struggle to cope with the ever growing age of IoT. There was a time when technology such as game stations and handphones were a separate aspect of a young person’s life. But now, technology is becoming a vital tool for learning.

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