The Covid-19 pandemic caused a radical shift in the education sector, which has certainly impacted EdTech trends. This resulted in the accelerated adoption of education technology solutions across k12, elearning, and higher education. Some trends and technologies that dominated the marketplace in 2019, including Video-based learning,  AI, Machine Learning, digital assessments, learning analytics, and many others are expected to take a new turn in 2021. 

To give you a complete glimpse into the future of education post-pandemic, we have prepared 10 EdTech Trends and Predictions To Watch Out For In 2021. What will happen to the education technology marketplace? Which trends and technologies will disrupt education as we know it? 

Let’s find out. 

Important EdTech Stats To Note:

  • 86% of educators say Technology is the core of learning
  • EdTech expenditure will hit $404 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 16%, between 2019-2025

Image Credit: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

  • Utilization of Technology for Engagement is on the rise (84% of Educators support the idea)
  • Global investments in education technology are on the rise, with a total of $10 billion in 2020. They are expected to reach $87 billion in the next decade. 

Part 1: EdTech Trends To Watch Out For

  1. E-Learning

E-learning is the biggest EdTech trend in 2021. Its scalability and cost-effectiveness have made this model the go-to solution for students all over the world, especially during the pandemic.  Also, recent research shows that Elearning improves retention rates by 25-60%, which makes it a better deal for students. 

The industry is booming and is expected to hit the $375 billion mark by 2026. 

To capitalize on this trend, many institutions have started offering online degrees online. Platforms such as Coursera have partnered with the world’s greatest universities to provide short courses, certifications, and bachelor’s degrees online, at lower costs. 

Other platforms offering eLearning services include Lessonly, Udemy, Masterclass, and Skillshare. This trend is not likely to slow down post-covid, but there will be barriers that should be eliminated in order to accelerate the adoption of this trend. 

  1. Digital Assessments Become A Necessity

Assessments are a vital part of the learning process as they gauge the effectiveness of learning methods. Over the past few years, Online tests have been replacing traditional testing methods which mostly involved pen and paper. Some of the main advantages of digital assessments Include:

  •  Reliability
  •  Cost-effectiveness
  •  Flexibility. 
  • Increased security and efficiency
  • Students with disabilities can have equal chances with other students. This is because online testing can support technologies such as speech-to-text.
  • Immediate results reduce stress and anxiety among students
  • Learning analytics help improve assessment quality

Online exams have increased effectiveness in the testing process by adding technologies and strategies such as adaptive testing,  remote proctoring, and learning analytics into the equation. 

This has helped students improve retention rates and exam developers enhance their testing strategies. 

Cheating, which has been a major concern in assessments has been reduced by online assessment techniques such as Lockdown browsers, time windows, and time windows.

 Digital assessments are a must-have for all institutions looking to capitalize on the advantages of online testing in 2021.

  1. Extended Reality (XR)

Virtual Reality Learning Retention (Source: FrontCore)

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are revolutionizing the education sector by challenging the way in which students used to receive and process information.  2021 will witness increased adoption of XR technologies and solutions across education and corporate learning environments. 

Extended Reality technologies and solutions are improving retention rates and learning experiences in students by creating immersive worlds where students can learn new skills and visualize concepts in an interactive way. 

According to research, Virtual Reality has higher retention rates compared to other learning methods such as lecturing, demonstration, and audio-visuals.

Some other ways in which XR is improving the education sector are offering cost-effective and interesting field trips, enhancing lifelong learning, and transforming hands-on learning. 

  1. Chatbots In Higher Education

Chatbots took the sales and marketing industry by storm over the past few years and are finding their way into the education sector. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many higher education institutions integrated chatbots into their systems to help in the automation of tasks. 

Some tasks that can be automated including lead generation for courses and student query resolution on pressing issues such as fees. This improves the cost-effectiveness in institution administration.

 This EdTech trend will be integrated into more institutions in 2021. 

  1. Video-Based Learning At The Forefront

Video has become king in learning and entertainment. 2021 will see an exponential increase in video consumption. In relation to learning, the rapid increase in devices on the internet, and new technological innovations such as smart TVs will accelerate the adoption of video-based learning. 

There are many advantages that come with video-based learning. Some of them include cost-friendliness, higher retention rate in students, support for self-pace learning, and many others. The reliability of this mode of learning will make higher education institutions invest in this mode of learning. 

Using video-based learning is not a complex procedure, especially because there are many tools and platforms online that can help with the process. The cost of producing high-quality videos and lectures has also become cheaper. 

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been at the forefront of pioneering innovations that drive humanity to the new ages of civilization. In relation to education, AI has played a big role in enhancing learning experiences, improving assessment practices and so much more! 

In 2021, AI will make headlines as it will be integrated into important aspects of higher education such as campus security, student performance evaluation, and so much more! 

Facial recognition, which is a component of AI, can be used in tracking student attendance, securing campus premises, and decreasing infidelity during online testing. 

AI also plays a vital part in student evaluation and improving the assessment process by powering technologies such as adaptive testing. Adaptive testing is a method that improves the testing process by providing unique assessments to different students based on factors such as IQ and many others. 

The power of AI is unlimited and there is no predicting what 2021 will bring to the education industry.

I guess we will have to wait and see what it throws at us. 

  1. Big Data and Learning analytics

Image Source: Unsplash

Learning analytics is yet another trend that is yet to disrupt the education industry. Learning analytics is a set of technologies and strategies that are used to empower educators, track learning processes, and help instructors make data-driven decisions.

 Some components of learning analytics include Artificial Intelligence, visualizations, machine learning, statistics, personalized adaptive learning, and educational data mining. 

 As we all know, data runs everything in the information era, and whoever has the best data analytics model wins. In education, analytics has played an important role in shaping instructional design and assessment processes for the best. 

2021 will see increased adoption of analytics tools into Learning and Development.

Here are some of the ways learning analytics will shape Education for the best;

  • Behavior and performance prediction– Using predictive analytics, instructors can predict the performance of learners based on their present and past performances.
  • Increased retention rates– By having a clear picture of what students are good at and what they are struggling with (You can identify this by analyzing their digital assessment results), one can shape the learning process to increase retention rates. 
  • Support for personalized learning– This is the hot cake of learning analytics. By using data analytics, instructors can create personalized learning experiences for different students based on several metrics.
  • Increase cost-efficiency– Education and training are expensive, and learning analytics can help improve the quality of learning outcomes while cutting out unnecessary costs.
  • Helps in the definition of learning strategy– By understanding what you need to achieve, and the purpose of your goals, you can use data analytics to create a roadmap to help you in the process. 
  1. Gamification

Gamification is not a new concept in education. It has been around for ages, but it’s expected to take a different turn through the integration of game mechanics in learning. Minecraft, the game everybody can’t seem to have enough of is a good example. This game has come in handy in teaching important concepts in society such as storytelling.  

Programming and game design, which are skills that are important in our digital world, has received a huge boost from the existence of games such as Roblox. The game attracts more than 100 million players each month.  

In 2021, we are likely to see the rise of more gamification strategies in the ed-tech space.

Part 2: Predictions

  1. Accelerated EdTech Investments

Over the past decade, the global EdTech venture capital has seen exponential growth, from 500 million in 2010 to more than $10 billion in 2020). 

As the adoption of digital EdTech solutions rises, this number is expected to rise rapidly in the next decade. Some reports estimate an $87 billion increase in investments by 2030.

 With Asia being the leading adopters of EdTech, startups from other continents will be looking to up their game to capitalize on opportunities arising from the industry.

  1.  EdTech Market Value Will Reach New Heights

The Covid-19 pandemic increased the adoption of Education technology solutions. The expenditure of the sector is expected to reach new heights ($404 billion) between 2019 and 2025. 

What acted as a source of short-term resort for the education sector will become the new norm. 

Many schools and colleges have not started their transition to the new models of learning, but most of them are laying off strategies to start the process. Integrating some of the trends discussed above may be a good way to start your journey.

Final Thoughts

The uncertainty that comes in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic makes it hard to predict the ed-tech trends that will lead the way in 2021. But, we believe that 2021 will be a year of many firsts and unknowns in the education sector. That said, there is immense power in understanding how the above-discussed trends and predictions may shape L & D. And how you can capitalize on the opportunities that arise from them. 

If you are interested in leveraging the power of digital assessments and psychometrics practices for your education and corporate campaigns, feel free to sign up for access to our free assessment tools or consult with our experienced team for services such as test development, job analysis, implementation services and so much more!