3 ways technology will transform education for the better:
The classroom is more immersive than ever. Here's why that's great news.

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When you were a teenager, you may have scrawled some bullet points in your history notebook regarding a reliable pattern – sustained crises lead to accelerated periods of innovation. From wartime creations like the telegraph (Civil War) and radar (World War II) to depression-driven ideas like Scotch tape, necessity has often spawned creative renaissances.

Predictably, innovation in education has bloomed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and SHI saw the early returns at ISTELive 22, one of the premier education technology conferences. Technology companies that previously focused on the boardroom are now vying for seats in the classroom, and innovators are developing purpose-built products to support in-person and remote learning.

Let’s look at three ways technology will continue to enhance the education landscape – and perhaps even make you a tad envious of today’s students.

1. STEM takes center stage in curriculum building

Education technology conferences showcased a lot of crowd-pleasing devices in recent years, including robotic dogs and 3D pens that can write in the air, but some of these products were ahead of their time. It wasn’t always evident how this raw technology would fit into a particular lesson.

Those dots have now been connected, as manufacturers backfill the associated curriculum and applications for classroom use. That 3D pen? Students can use it to sketch out a proof of concept prior to leveraging a full 3D printer to build their prototype. This tactile modeling enables the aspiring inventor to identify areas of improvement in a way a paper drawing could never offer.

And robotics kits have made block coding approachable for children of all ages – even preschool! Students can build complex robots and build confidence as they explore creative ways to solve problems via coding. One child may elect to develop a prosthetic robot hand, while another leverages a drone to create a robot that can capture aerial footage of a school sporting event.

2. Nascent esports programs begin to mature

We’re seeing more and more schools invest in high-powered hardware for novice esports teams – and technology directors are asking, “What should we do next?” SHI can walk your school through everything from furniture selection to curriculum building. But that’s just the beginning.

Once you invest in the formidable devices required for esports, what else can you do with them? The required computing power can open the door to STEM skills, including:

  • Graphic design
  • Photo/video editing
  • Sound engineering
  • Metaverse exploration

Esports appeals to gamers first, but SHI works with organizations like Garden State Esports that encourage students to take the lead on every facet of running an organization. Consider how many skill sets are required to launch and sustain an esports program. Young writers may craft grant proposals to acquire funding for the team (and later leverage their talents for press releases), while aspiring marketers, broadcasters, graphic designers, and entrepreneurs can design and run tournaments.

Schools are also looking to introduce game design into their curriculums, in conjunction with meta additions like custom avatars that look like their flesh-and-blood players. Teaching avid gamers to create video games can unlock college paths for students who may otherwise have been uncertain about their career trajectories.

3. Immersive experiences transition to the education space

When Google Glass debuted in 2014, it was ahead of its time – and didn’t yet have a clear use case. The creators banked on the technology appealing to the public and failed to define what problems the product would solve. Later iterations of smart glasses have leaned into augmented reality for training, education, and space planning, and the technology has become mainstream.

Astute education strategists continually search for the next emerging classroom technologies, and based on SHI’s experience at ISTELive 22, these solutions will be immersive enough to grip even the most connected children.

“Kids don’t need to learn dates,” opined SHI PubSec Education Strategist Lori Whitt. “They need to experience the why and the application of what they’re learning.”

From purpose-built metaverse environments for education to virtual reality treadmills to experiential multiplication lessons, future edtech solutions will strive to captivate students who grew up with a device in their hands. When your phone serves as a calculator and encyclopedia, you may not need to memorize the Pythagorean theorem – but there are other ways to instill a love of learning.

Building a classroom for 2022 and beyond

SHI’s education strategy team is comprised of current and former educators who understand what teachers experience in the classroom – because they’ve all been there. We research the edtech landscape so when you share your goals, we can identify solutions tailored to your needs.

Is your school interested in:

SHI can work with you to ideate and implement solutions, and we can assist with professional development for your staff so your students receive the maximum value from your investment.

Ready to learn more? Connect with our education strategists to get started today.