Most educational trends in 2022 revolve around advanced technology tools that empower teachers and give students increased agency in their education. These tools, designed to engage with a generation raised with smartphones and the internet, transform how teachers approach classroom work.
The trend toward integrating technology into the classroom started before 2020 but accelerated during the pandemic. These digital solutions helped schools continue educating students during a period of great uncertainty and frequent interruptions.
Having become immersed in technology in 2020 and 2021, schools have become more sophisticated in choosing the right classroom tools. According to EdTech, they are “seeking tools and learning models that are as impactful as they are sustainable.”
For graduate students aspiring to careers in education leadership, understanding educational trends and the potential for digital tools is essential to success in the field.
Emerging Educational Trends for 2022
During the pandemic, schools showed resilience and the ability to pivot when needed. Many went from using some tech tools to a fully integrated digital learning environment in a matter of weeks. While bumpy at times, it revealed many advantages of digital tools in the classroom.
Educational experts expect technology to eventually integrate at all levels of learning, from elementary education through college. Educational technology is already in widespread use in some form. For example, about two-thirds of college students use e-textbooks, while 71 percent use laptops. A Gallup survey found that 65 percent of teachers already use laptops.
More is on the horizon. A handful of trends seem positioned to have the most impact throughout 2022.
From smart homes to advanced driver assistance systems in cars, artificial intelligence is steadily making its way into all areas of life. Educators already use AI-enhanced tools such as voice assist in digital products that help manage classrooms, according to EdTech. Less noticeable but significant are AI-driven content filtering programs and cybersecurity tools constantly at work in the background on school computer systems.
The cloud consists of offsite servers to store information rather than a local hard drive on an individual computer or the school server. This “software as a service” concept has revolutionized the business world, and now more schools are adopting it.
Cloud storage offers two big advantages. First, it keeps hard drives from getting overloaded. Students and teachers don’t lose valuable documents if their computer hard drive or the local server crashes. Second, teachers and students can access files from any location on any device, allowing more flexibility for how and when they complete work.
Digital textbooks already have a large presence in some school districts, but experts expect the trend to continue. The advantage here is that students do not have to lug around books and can easily access information from any device. However, as with every ed-tech advancement, this can prove more difficult in low-income school districts where not every child has reliable access to the internet.
Today’s students grew up as “digital natives” who have lived their lives with all types of information just a few keystrokes and clicks away. While this is not a universal trend, some teachers are experimenting with moving away from a top-down instructional approach. The goal is to give students more freedom in searching for information on their own, putting teachers into a more collaborative role. This “personalized learning” allows teachers to cater to individual skill levels. According to edsembli, this approach enables “students to take charge of their own education and can help teachers appeal to student needs specifically instead of forcing a ‘one size fits all’ solution.”
At the college level, asynchronous learning allows students flexibility when watching lectures and reading course materials. However, this approach is also starting to become more popular for teachers in high school. As EdTech notes, asynchronous learning untethers older students from a 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. school schedule, giving them time to work at jobs, take on an internship, or help with family responsibilities.
The best digital tools promote interactivity. Nothing will provide more interactive and immersive experiences than the metaverse, a three-dimensional environment best experienced through wearing a virtual reality (VR) headset. Like popular online games such as Minecraft and Fortnite, the metaverse allows users from multiple locations to interact in the same digital environment in real-time.
For example, students could enter a metaverse together to tour a historically accurate rendition of Athens, Greece, from 435 BC. It’s just a matter of time before education-focused metaverses emerge. In a recent paper, the Brookings Institute wrote that the metaverse will soon “be as omnipresent as TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook (now Meta). As technology advances to bring us new immersive and imaginary worlds, how we educate children and prepare teachers must also advance to meet these new opportunities.”
The Merrimack College Masters in Education Programs
Merrimack College’s Master in Education programs include coursework that teaches graduate students about digital solutions for the classroom. It’s a forward-looking discipline that will play an ever-larger role in education and curriculum design.
The Master of Education programs offered by Merrimack College include:
All these M.Ed. programs prepare graduates to take on leadership roles in education. For 2022 and beyond, those roles will require an understanding of educational trends and how advanced tech tools can improve student outcomes at all grade levels.