The top 10 ed tech tools for the future classroom

Virtual reality coming to a campus near you

Campus Technology recently polled faculty members nationwide about the future of technology in the classroom, and which tools will become the most important in education over the next ten years. 

The survey revealed one nearly unanimous opinion among respondents: 97 percent of instructors said they believe technology will play a positive role in the future of education.

The specific education technology tools that faculty say will be most crucial to this positive role include:

1. Virtual and augmented reality;

2. "3D anything";

3. "Touch and interactive projectors, boards, surfaces, or programs";

4. Mobile learning devices;

5. Adaptive learning;

6. Streaming "everything";

7. Open educational resources;

8. Cloud services;

9. Tablets;

10. Smart watches and wearables (tie); and

10. Gaming and gamification (tie).

Encourage more faculty to experiment with learning innovations

The first two predictions—virtual reality and "3D anything"—far outscored the remainder of predictions.  "3D anything" includes 3D printing, scanning, and design.

To make room for these new tools, faculty members recognize that outdated or ineffective tools, such as desktop monitors and clickers, will fade away.

Tools faculty predict will phase out in the next ten years include:

  • Document cameras and overhead projectors;
  • Non-interactive projectors and whiteboards;
  • Computer labs and dedicated workstations;
  • Current learning management system;
  • Traditional presentation software;
  • CDs, DVDs and their players;
  • Interactive whiteboards; and
  • Anything printed.

Of course for all of the optimism surrounding the future of technology in the classroom, there are still some faculty members that reject the notion in favor of "traditional learning," as one Louisiana professor calls writing, simple math, and thinking without the aid of technology (Kelly /Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, 11/2).

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