Both 2020 and 2021 brought unimaginable changes to the classroom and to life in general, as we all learned to adapt to remote and hybrid learning, digital curriculum, everyday videoconferencing, and more.
Given the changes of the past two years, it’s safe to say 2022 will likely bring its own set of new surprises – but there are also several rapidly growing and highly anticipated trends educators and tech staff should be aware of to best prepare themselves for the new year.
Here are our predictions of four EdTech trends that will help define 2022 and how educators can leverage them to deliver the best possible learning experiences for their students.
1. Tools that promote SEL
Students’ emotions are a crucial developmental area that must be prioritized in modern education – and especially right now. In the wake of the pandemic and what it has meant for students, 84% of educators feel social-emotional learning (SEL) has become even more important.
Educators report that students are fearful of COVID-19 and of social interaction, and that extra time and attention will be required for them to relearn social skills. SEL also has academic benefits, with 91% of educators believing it has a positive impact on students’ grades.
The right tools and curriculum can help support the development of:
- Social awareness
- Relationship skills
- Responsible decision-making
Coding and robotics for improved SEL
Teachers can incorporate SEL into just about any type of learning experience, but one option that blends building tech skills with growing emotional skills is the Photon coding robot. The Photon SEL Kit includes sets of activities to support the social-emotional development of children ages 6-11 (grades 1-6). The interactive Photon Robot and accompanying teaching aids help children engage in dedicated activities, learn more effectively, and gain new skills.
The Photon SEL Kit involves coordinated teaching and development strategies that focus on SEL based on the methodology for developing social-emotional skills established by the world’s leading Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
The SEL Kit includes:
- Photon robot
- Set of 50 lesson scenarios
- Educational mats
- Educational cube
Grab-n-go SEL lessons for teachers
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to incorporating SEL methods into classroom instruction, try grab-n-go digital lessons from TRAILS. Trafera offers TRAILS lessons centered around SEL, designed to help students in grades K-5 identify and express self-awareness, positivity, personal qualities, and more. There are a variety of TRAIL Mixes focused on SEL, with some incorporating Photon into the lessons. Some other SEL TRAIL Mix lessons also feature and include Trafera's own children's book, "Tom Traferatops Recognizes His Strengths," which is a book written explicitly to help younger students develop their SEL, ELA, and technology skills.
2. Solutions for hybrid teaching
Translating in-person instruction to a digital format is a significant challenge for many educators, but it has become a necessity today and will continue to be one for the foreseeable future. Even once the spread of COVID-19 slows down, 70% of parents will still want hybrid learning options for their students post-pandemic. This leaves it up to educators, tech teams, and admins to ensure that learning environments are set up to support students who are in the classroom, at home, and anywhere in between.
Tech setups for streaming and teaching digitally
The key to being ready for anything when it comes to hybrid learning is having flexible technology that is useful for both in-person and remote instruction. Consider pairing an interactive classroom display with A/V tools to create intuitive and dynamic teaching spaces for hybrid educators. Newline and AVer provide easy-to-use hybrid teaching tools for educators to present simultaneously to both in-person and remote learners.
The Newline RS+ Interactive Panel has a 75” active screen with anti-glare tempered glass, 4K resolution, and forward-facing speakers to ensure students can clearly see and hear every part of the lesson. Teachers can screencast with Newline IFPs to students anywhere and can carry out digital instruction in a way that feels most natural to them – in front of a board.
Pairing an IFP with the AVer VB130 Video Bar helps educators dynamically flip between showing a classroom view and sharing the on-screen content displayed on the IFP. With 4K video, AI auto-tracking modes, and compatibility with all major videoconferencing platforms, the VB130 helps seamlessly bridge the gap between school and home to effectively engage and connect with students. The VB130 also has directional mics to help tune out atmospheric noise in the classroom so remote learners can get the highest-quality audio possible.
3. Emphasis on teacher training
Digital learning tools are becoming more and more common in classrooms as they have shown to increase teacher effectiveness and student engagement and performance. But some teachers and administrators are still somewhat reluctant to adopt technology in the classroom, citing a lack of training or a lack of knowledge as to which tools to use as the primary deterrents.
This places professional development as a key focus for schools heading into 2022 and beyond. After all, technology can only improve student outcomes when there is solid pedagogy and empowerment behind it. As John Hattie’s research on effect size shows, the most influential factor on learning outcomes is collective teacher efficacy. Educators are always going to be the most important factor in a high-quality education – and they must be invested in as such.
Professional development powered by Eduscape
Through our partnership with Eduscape, Trafera provides robust professional development opportunities that are designed and tailored to help schools rethink learning by designing solutions through inquiry, creativity, and collaboration. Trafera provides both onsite professional development and asynchronous online development through MyEduscape – a learner-centered digital platform containing over 300 hours of on-demand professional development content that can lead to continuing education hours and micro-credentials. Eduscape provides teachers with the opportunity to join with like-minded educators from across the country to boost their skills, network, and knowledge.
As esports has grown in popularity among the general populace, it’s also become more common in schools as an extracurricular activity – and for good reason.
Esports helps students:
- Gain the opportunity to compete and to build collaboration and teamwork skills while playing some of their favorite games
- Experience newfound motivation to perform academically to participate in their school’s esports team
- Experience new ways to engage in STEM concepts, which can in turn spark interest in such higher education and career paths
- Open new doors to peer connections and to scholarship opportunities
Building esports into your curriculum can prove beneficial for a wide range of students – if you have the right technology.
The Lenovo Legion series of laptops, desktops, and accessories can equip your learning environment with some of the highest-performing esports equipment in the industry today. Built with extreme processors, cutting-edge GPUs, and high-performing processors and cooling systems, the Legion devices help your students experience the best in modern gaming at an affordable price. Get yours today to start helping your students learn and compete with the best in the industry.
Dual-purpose Lenovo WorkStations are also great options that can be used for both esports and STEM learning, in addition to other high-performance, resource-intensive applications.
Check out our webinar recording below to learn more about how Lenovo WorkStations can help you create more cross-functional, interactive, and engaging learning spaces.
Transform learning experiences with Trafera
At Trafera, we believe technology can only improve learning experiences when we make people our number one investment. We partner with the industry’s most trusted brands to provide students and educators with the tools and the technology they need to transform the learning experience in 2021 and beyond.
With Trafera on your team, we’ll work together to navigate the complexities of today’s learning environment in a supportive and empowering way. Contact us today to learn more about providing your students with a more engaged and a more connected experience this school year and beyond.