Roughly 20.5 million students attended American colleges and universities in the fall of 2016, marking an annual increase of about 5.2 million since 2000. This surge, as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics, comes alongside seemingly endless escalations of tuition expenses and a mounting student loan debt crisis, which Forbes notes is now the second-highest consumer debt category.
Is the rush to bring personalized software into schools putting student data at risk? Researchers from the National the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) say, yes. Earlier this week they released an extensive report asking lawmakers to put up some legal barriers to protect student information.
There are plenty of “innovators” and “early adopters” of education technology out there, from educators who make the rounds on the ISTE and SXSWedu conference circuits to consultants and entrepreneurs who push for adoption of certain tools or practices. But what about those who are more skeptical?
While the percentage of students who use a computer in math class at least once every few weeks has been steadily increasing over the past few years, 74 percent of eighth-grade math students report they never or hardly ever use computers in class.
Online learning allows students to learn in a broader range of styles instead of simply sitting and listening to an instructor. It's also the form of learning that is conducive to the advancements being made in artificial intelligence, and is arguably more effective for the needs of our modern workplace. But there are new challenges that come along with new approaches as well.
The use of virtual reality in the classroom represents a change to how students engage with material, representing a shift in thinking from the relatively docile student sitting at a desk and being the passive recipient of information communication by a teacher. Virtual reality allows the student to interact more directly with the subject matter.
The cover of the latest issue of The Economist boldly proclaims, "The Future of Learning: How Technology is Transforming Education." One article discusses how technology and teachers can revamp schools through personalized learning. Another notes that recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) permit machines to learn about the students using them by analyzing data from problem sets and practice tests.
We already know that computers have “reshaped” almost every aspect of life. And since education is commonly acknowledged as the groundwork of a civilized and advanced society, the fast-rising AI-driven EdTech programs could offer students better quality education by increasing access to educational resources.
While it may seem like more and more schools are embracing technology in the classroom, Education Week’s 20th annual Technology Counts survey has found that schools still aren’t quite reaching the full potential of technology in the classroom, largely because of digital divide issues, particularly around teacher training.