The future of education technology is bright, with higher education institutions and faculty increasingly recognizing it as a boon rather than a burden. 2016 saw more classrooms embrace learning technologies to engage and educate their students while an increasing number of departments have helped more students stay enrolled by acting on predictive analytics.

All signs indicate that education technology will continue to provide holistic improvements to the higher education experience, with an emphasis on the following trends for 2017:

  1. Accessibility
    One of education technology’s most significant accomplishments is the democratization of education. By making distance and hybrid learning a reality, students who would otherwise never be able to pursue higher education are being given the opportunity. Improving accessibility on and off-campus will continue to be a primary focus during 2017, with an emphasis on making the learning experience as immersive and collaborative as possible.

  2. Personalized learning
    Personalized learning is the cornerstone of education technology. The connectivity afforded through classroom technology encourages students to become more active learners by fostering an environment of collaboration, content creating, and self-directed learning. The technology also allows educators to more effectively track individual student progress while providing richer, tailored feedback.

  3. Microlearning
    Students may expect a more digestible approach to their education this year. Catering to students with shorter attention spans, microlearning breaks apart the traditional lecture, delivering the content piece by piece. Additionally, by providing the information through mediums like video and podcasts, students have greater flexibility in learning at their own pace. McMaster University has been using microlearning in their IntroPsych courses for several years. Rather than have students attend a two-hour psychology lecture, weekly lectures are available online, delivering content in small pieces for easier processing and retention.

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About the Author: Dustin is a senior account manager with DesignedUX, providing communications and strategy to organizations in education and technology. Dustin is also board member of the Canadian Public Relations Society and contributes as a communications researcher with McMaster University.