Happy New Year! Education is the lifeblood of thriving communities, towns and cities. 2021 proved to be the best of times and the worst of times for learning and innovation across Canada.
I trust that our Top 10 Trends in EdTech for 2022, in no particular order, will provide you with some hope for the unclear future and essential insight for you to plan ahead as an education or industry thought leader.
For 2022, I've embraced the #onewordchallenge to be: Mindset as in 'positive' and 'growth' mindset on a daily basis, I challenge you as a key education stakeholder to find your one word that will help focus your 'future-ready' vision in an effort to help students thrive in 2022 and beyond!
As one of the most desirable countries to live, I congratulate each of you for doing our part in creating a World-Class education system, despite our current challenges. We cannot rest on our laurels as 2022 promises to deliver new opportunities for growth and innovation.
I welcome your comments and feedback on our Top 10 EdTech Trends. We look forward to connecting with you through our various service offerings and events for 2022! Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if we can be of further assistance.
In closing, as part of my crowd sourcing exercise to craft our Top 10 Trends, I'm grateful to our team, MindShare Report advisory board, C21 Canada family, our valued clients, colleagues and mentors, who nourish my thinking daily.
All the best for a healthy and impactful year ahead! Until next time, keep the digital learning curve steep for 2022!
P.S. I hope to see a number of education and EdTech Colleagues at the FETC Conference, January 25-28 in Orlando as we are proud media partners! Do join us at our 23rd CanAm EdTech Celebration of Excellence Meetup! Invite below in this email.
Robert Martellacci, M.A. EdTech
President, MindShare Learning Technology™
Chief Digital Publisher, The MindShare Learning Report™
CEO & Co-founder & C21 Canada™
1. Agile Innovation AI/AR/VR adapting to using the right tool at the Right Time to Engage Students and Give Instructors & Teachers Back Time
Agile Innovation is a notion we embraced this past year. It's a critical mindset for education to adapt swiftly to meet the essential needs of teachers and students to thrive. Agile Innovation holds the greatest promise for the future of learning encompassing AI/AR/VR.
While we have a long way to go, we've ranked this #1 for a reason, we've not fully harnessed power and potential of AI/AR/VR in education to achieve great automation to give teachers and professors back time. Emerging tools in Blockchain and Micro Credentialing fall into this same category for opportunities to further redefine learning and school to become more highly personalized and engaging for students.
2. Global competencies to further future-proof students - an increasing need for us build Empathy, Resiliency, Well-being perspectives about other countries and nations, along with this comes Diversity and Equity & Inclusion training
While the power of student voices in education is essential to success. Global competencies have taken center stage. 2022 is the year to harness the 7Cs of C21 Canada and the power of edtech to help them thrive and be globally aware citizens.
It all begins at home with Truth and reconciliation awareness and the push for indigenizing education.
The pandemic resulted in continued massive disruptions in education and it's not over yet. The notion of future proofing systems, teacher & student skills is vital to our country's success and well-being.
C21 Canada recently released Future Proofing Part II, School beyond Covid-19, Accelerating the Changes that Matter for K – 12 Learners in Canada. This insightful resource was a collaboration of national district leadership from across Canada sharing best practices amidst the pandemic and strategies to mitigate future crisis.
4. Agile Learning. While Online Learning Has Come of Age in Many Forms; Blended, Hybrid and Synchronous, It's about using the right tool at the right time
With online learning coming of age, it wasn't without growing pains in 2021. We witnessed the most transformational period in the history of modern education. Many forms of online learning emerged. To be clear, we agree that online learning isn't ideal for K12 education and especially elementary aged students. However, without these edtech tools, there would have been zero learning between teachers and students. Hats off to teachers and EdTech partners who sustained learning in a crisis.
As we get beyond COVID, developing an Agile Learning mindset will be key for professors, teachers and students alike. For great resources to optimize online professional learning, go to teachonline.ca.
5. Just in Time Professional Learning for Teachers & Parents, Tutoring 24/7 Support for Students
The Emergence of the Pedagogical Help Desk and A.I. Bots
Although #5 PD could easily be at top of the list, we've come a long way in preparing professors, teachers and now parents with the essential edtech tools to engage students in learning. Kudos to our learning braintrust for making it happen in 2021!
We do have a long way to go to create a 'just in time', or 'real time' professional learning paradigm. Faculties of education across Canada need to do their part and many have embraced the new normal. OntarioTechU faculty of education has been most innovative with their program offerings. EdTech has stepped up as well to meet emerging needs to fill the so called, 'learning gap.' Paper Learning, to name one Canadian company that has gained notoriety North America-wide has embraced the democratization of tutoring by partnering with school districts. A brilliant strategy to address a real problem, thanks in large part to the pandemic.
The key for edtechs is to recognize that challenge of giving teachers back time in their day by offering solutions that streamline the teaching process and knowledge acquisition.
I'm a BIG fan of the 'pedagogical help desk' first heard about this innovation while hosting our EdTech Summit at SD43 School division in Coquitlam, B.C. As learning has shifted beyond the school walls, so too does the level of support need to. Hence, innovative K20 School Divisions are embracing 24/7 on demand support that spells opportunities for edtechs looking to solve another HUGE real problem for institutions, who cannot retain, or are challenged to hire skilled IT staff.
6. Beyond the Schools Walls -- the Community is the School. Learning Happens Everywhere. The Emergence of Work Integrated Learning (WIL). Embracing the notion of Indigenizing education
It takes a Digital Village to Raise a Child in the 21st Century
The Future of Learning is about Interconnected Human Networks, powered by technology. This catch phrase I coined several years ago has never rung truer today. Innovative school design thinking has extended learning into the outdoors. Case in point our National Schools of the Future winners from Archwood School in LRSD re-envisioned their school that was slated for a reno and their award-winning video was worthy of the architects getting inspiration for their project.
ICTC's Work Integrated Learning Program has resulted in MindShare Workspace supporting women in tech with the hiring of a university student for mentorship, who will now be hired full time having acquired excellent digital skills. A win/win partnership.
Hence, the rise of strategic partnerships between education, business, government and NFPs will continue to flourish with the rise of SMART Cities and the need to fill the skills gap and thousands of unfilled jobs that are plaguing cities and towns around the world.
Canada as a 'Learning Country paradigm' is one that will further evolve that will provide inspiration for lifelong learning such as access to bandwidth and other supports in order for citizens to thrive in the 21st century.
7. Safety & Cyber Security, Digital Equity and Access to Stable Bandwidth
The pandemic has proven to be the best of times for innovation and the worst of times for unsavory criminals. Building resilient students requires a strong awareness of media literacy, digital citizenship to address the various forms of real threats in the way of cyberbullying and cyber-attacks. The Digital equity piece also comes into play which has been addressed in large part by school districts in providing students devices and access to bandwidth. The key is to design sustainable systems through strategic community partnerships.
Check out Media SMARTS, who have great resources addressing all of the above key topics with lessons and activities for teachers and parents.
ContactNorth has risen to the occasion with their vast research and resources to support online learning in remote regions. A shout out to TakingItGlobal who have expanded their ConnectNorth program to support First Nations communities.
8. EdTech Investment Continuing to Grow Exponentially
Since 2010 over $60 billion has been invested world-wide in EdTech, with $20 billion in 2021. The Pandemic serving as an Accelerator will see this sector continuing to grow.
During the pandemic in 2021, thanks in part to mission critical tools created by EdTech's we saw an unprecedented uptake of virtually 100% of North American educators and professors. No question online learning is optimal for K12 students, however, very few options existed during crisis learning with students at home. The many challenges facing education have fueled further innovation that will see this sector continue to grow with passionate entrepreneurs wanting to help solve wicked problems facing education to help students thrive. HolonIQ is a great resource for further insights on growth trends in EdTech.
The key for teachers and parents is to allow students to be creators and challenge them with 'hard' fun projects to build, design and problem solve. There are vast EdTech Tools to allow students to animate, design virtual worlds, create videos and podcasts too! Here's a link from the CCFLH to highlight a few.
eSports as a student engagement platform is also gaining a lot of traction in Canadian education, where students are competing as they would on other varsity teams. Dell Technologies has very much been a leader in this space.
We're BIG fans of 'Challenge-Based' learning where students solve 'real world' wicked problems locally in their school, community and beyond. With the 14th Canadian Schools of the Future Challenge launching in February, what a great opportunity to engage your students!
10. Evidence-based decision making to Drive the Selection Process for EdTech Purchases. Did You Know that 85% of EdTech Installs Fail Due to Poor Implementation Planning and Lack of PD. 2022 is the year to Future-Proof Your Academic Institution and Learn from Failure
The Years 2020 - 2021 will go down in history as the most transformational period in modern times due to the pandemic. Teaching and learning in a crisis has not provided pause to allow for proper research to help drive future decisions in education. 2022 is the year for laser focused evidence-based research to be shared with policy makers to make informed decisions to support school districts and professors. Vast resources have been wasted and learning losses have occurred in 2020. There are many lessons to be learned from failure. The not for profit, EdTech Evidence Exchange in the U.S. has completed an in-depth report that will provide insight for education and EdTechs to lay a foundation for success with future EdTech deployments.
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