A record 18,000+ educators and school administrators were in Chicago for the 2018 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference last month, the nation’s largest edtech event. Here are three of the biggest edtech trends that we noticed during the conference.
Mobile devices power student-centered learning.
In showcasing their latest products during this year’s ISTE conference, several mobile device manufacturers focused not just on the devices themselves but on how these tools could transform learning to make it more personalized and student-centered, empowering students in new and creative ways.
For instance, Dell EMC set up a model learning environment (in conjunction with Meteor Education and Paragon Furniture) to show how technology and the design of flexible learning spaces come together to support student-centered learning. In the course of these demonstrations, Dell EMC highlighted two new education-focused mobile devices that will be available in August: the Latitude 3190 11-inch laptop and the Latitude 3190 2-in-1 convertible device.
Apple announced a free app called Schoolwork that can help teachers create more personalized, student-centered learning environments. It’s a mobile learning ecosystem that makes it easy to teach with iPads, Apple says: Teachers can create and send assignments with almost any type of content, and they can direct students to specific apps from third-party app designers that can help fill gaps in learning. Meanwhile, Google announced the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, the first Chrome OS tablet designed for schools. It features the same speed, ease of use, manageability, and affordability that educators have come to expect from Chromebooks—but in a lightweight, durable tablet. With a built-in stylus and cameras on both sides of the device, Google says, students can create multimedia projects from wherever they are.
Of course, schools need an easy way to store, secure, and charge these devices so they’re ready to power student-centered learning in the classroom. At ISTE, we demonstrated our LocknCharge mobile device carts and mobile charging stations built for a wide variety of uses and device types—including BYOD, Chromebook, iPad, tablet, and laptop programs. With our revolutionary basket design, handing out fully charged devices to students each day is super easy and takes less time—which saves valuable class time for instruction.
STEAM education heats up.
At ISTE, many edtech companies highlighted solutions for engaging students in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education in creative, hands-on ways, using technologies such as virtual reality headsets, robotics kits, maker spaces, and 3D printers to bring STEAM concepts to life in the classroom.
For example, a company called POWERUP Toys demonstrated classroom kits with instructions, templates, and motors for turning ordinary paper airplanes into motorized ones that can be controlled with a simple app. LEGO Education highlighted several curriculum sets with programmable, motorized LEGO models for creating standards-based projects, such as investigating the factors that make a car go faster. Root Robotics offers a robot that teaches kids as young as 5 how to code, and Sphero—the company that makes popular Star Wars droids—showed its SPRK+ robots that students can program using almost any device.
Outfitting multiple classrooms with hands-on robotics kits and other STEAM technologies can be costly, which is why we showcased an innovative and budget-friendly solution during this year’s ISTE: We showed educators how they could easily transform our LocknCharge charging carts into mobile STEAM learning labs, thanks to the open design of these carts.
During ISTE, we demonstrated how schools could use our carts to create mobile robotics, virtual reality, end engineering labs—but really, educators are only limited by their imagination!
Eco-friendly solutions save schools money.
Eco-friendly technologies were also on full display during this year’s ISTE conference. Projector manufacturers touted new products that use energy-efficient lasers instead of traditional lamps, such as the ViewSonic LS830 that delivers 4,500 lumens of brightness and up to 20,000 hours of maintenance-free usage with a laser phosphor light source. Other projector makers demonstrating lampless projectors included Casio and Epson.
Eco-friendliness extends to charging mobile devices as well. The ECO Safe Charge Power Management System from LocknCharge is an intelligent system that can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, extend battery life, and cut down on energy bills while charging multiple devices simultaneously.
Using this remote controlled system, schools can stage the charging of devices with several modes to make sure all devices are charged when they’re needed, without drawing unnecessary power.
What trends and new developments caught your eye at ISTE 2018? Leave a reply or engage with us on Twitter (@LocknCharge)—we’d love to hear your thoughts!
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