Current Trends in the Development of Educational Technology and E-Learning Projects - Smashers Hub

These days, it’s hard to imagine the modern world without the extensive use of technology. From computers and smartphones to sophisticated software programs, technology has taken over almost every aspect of our lives—and education is no exception. Students and teachers alike can now benefit from various educational technology and e-learning projects that can help improve their performance in school or enhance their overall knowledge in various fields. Today, we’ll discuss some of the current trends that are shaping the development of educational technology and e-learning projects around the world.

Gamification

The use of gaming elements or game design techniques to engage a user or audience. While gamification was originally used to describe adding game-design elements to software, it has come to refer also to adding game-design elements to non-software products or services. Elements used for Gamification include points, competition, levels, rules/rewards/punishments, quests, etc. These are often combined with social network features.

The use of these elements should be designed carefully so that their presence does not adversely affect normal gameplay (i.e., an application designed for educational purposes should still be engaging when there is no possibility of gaining additional points). For example, negative feedback may counteract positive reinforcement when points are removed after a failure instead of being added after success.

Blockchain technologies

Blockchain technology is already spreading rapidly across a variety of industries; educational technology is no exception. The primary benefit to blockchain tech within education is increased security, which comes from decentralization, immutability, and encryption. To learn more about how educational technology will take advantage of blockchain technologies, download our FREE white paper on blockchain's impact on education today.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

A machine, especially a computer, exhibits behaviors normally attributed to intelligent beings, such as learning or problem-solving. Artificial intelligence is an integral part of e-learning solutions today because it helps automate tedious or time-consuming tasks. AI can also be used to gather information from several sources and evaluate it; use natural language processing (NLP) to help users search for information on a site; perform sentiment analysis on customer reviews; or sort through data sets to create models based on what you’re searching for.

By automating these tasks, you free up your employees’ time so they can focus on more important things like developing and refining your strategy. Read more about artificial intelligence in our recent post: How Has Artificial Intelligence Changed IT?

Augmented reality

Believe it or not, augmented reality is one trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Though it has yet to go mainstream, new AR apps are being created daily, some for fun and others with practical uses. More developers are using AR tools like Vuforia SDK to create fun and interesting ways for users to engage with their content. In some cases, companies are using augmented reality for training purposes. For example, Boeing has used an augmented reality app called Factory Light System (FLS) that allows workers at their factories to simulate various maintenance situations on airplanes before they happen in real life.

Virtual reality

The biggest current trend in educational technology is virtual reality (VR). The new wave of VR hardware—like HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear, and Microsoft Hololens—offers a mind-bending experience that’s difficult to describe. Imagine being able to transport yourself anywhere on Earth or even into outer space, viewing incredible panoramas you could never see on Google Earth.

Unified communications (UC) solutions

New communication trends are starting to shake up both personal and professional spaces. Unified communications solutions, or UC solutions, such as Microsoft’s Skype for Business, provide a one-stop-shop for making calls, texting, sharing files, and more—all on your laptop or mobile device.

Because UC is an umbrella term that encompasses numerous forms of communication across multiple platforms (think: emailing from your computer or using your smartphone as a walkie-talkie), users can expect to see more seamless integration between these various tools.

Bring your own device (BYOD), cloud, social collaboration tools

A growing number of professionals are taking advantage of bringing your own device (BYOD) policies at work by hooking up their personally owned computers to their employers’ networks. BYOD has increased in popularity as employees realize that they can work effectively using an Apple iPad or a Google Nexus 7 tablet rather than a bulkier, more expensive piece of hardware. Furthermore, mobile devices are considerably more portable than laptops, making them ideal for on-the-go professionals.

Mobile learning apps with mobile app development platforms (Cordova, Xamarin, React Native…)

The mobile app development industry is rapidly changing, with new platforms and tools being released on a near-daily basis.

With so many options to choose from, developing mobile apps can be tricky. Cordova allows you to write JavaScript instead of native code, making it one of our favourite development tools. Xamarin is also quite promising; if you're looking for an all-inclusive tool that will allow you to deploy your app on multiple platforms without writing any additional code, give it a try!

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