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22 Jan 2024

4 of the Biggest EdTech Trends in 2024

4 of the Biggest EdTech Trends in 2024

As we step into 2024, the education sector continues to grapple with the impact of social shifts in how we live and work, and tech advancements that burst onto the scene last year. Looking forward to the next 12 months, here are four key edtech trends poised to shape the field.

1. The chat around ChatGPT

A year after OpenAI unleashed ChatGPT on an unsuspecting world, its reverberations are still being felt across the education sector.

At the outset, educators worried that GenAI could be a shortcut for students, offering an undetectable ghostwriter for essays and an instant homework assistant. It’s true that students adopted GenAI quickly in their work -- statistics from a survey by Varsity revealed 47.3% of students used AI chatbots for their degree work and over a fifth said they used it often or always.

However, there’s a flip side. Teachers and students both realised that there are also advantages to having GenAI to check language, help to explain concepts to students, and boost teacher efforts in a range of other ways.

Moreover, by September 2023, a third of teachers were using GenAI as well. According to SchoolsWeek, educators found ChatGPT a helpful aide for lesson planning, report writing, resources and even to answer emails from parents. Also, in a case of fighting fire with fire, educators recruited AI to check student work for AI-generated content.

This is a leap from 17% in April 2023, suggesting a doubling of AI use by teachers in just five months. On this steep trajectory, AI will be a common tool in teachers’ belts by the same time in 2024.

The key question is now how to find balance: how can we leverage AI to help students hone their skills and educators balance their workloads, while not robbing either of crucial opportunities to develop and grow?

2. Tech for teacher wellbeing

At Bett UK 2023, UK Education Secretary Gillian Keegan commented: “Could we get to a point where the tasks that really drain teachers’ time are significantly reduced? I think we will.”

Wellbeing is a critical issue for the education sector, with teachers working, on average, 54 hours a week. The potential to alleviate some of the strain though integrating AI and EdTech could change teachers' work and personal lives, for the good of the entire education system. So much so that in October 2023 the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, announced £2 million in funding to improve online classroom resources for schools in England, with the goal of providing a personalised AI assistant for every teacher.

Key areas where next-generation tech can carry the load are with repetitive clerical tasks such as assessment grading, responding to familiar, oft-repeated queries in emails, and aspects of lesson planning.

With 78% of all education staff reporting that they are stressed, according to Education Support’s Teacher Wellbeing Index – to the degree that 51% are being kept awake at night – assistance is long overdue.

3. Supporting students under pressure

In November 2023, the NHS disclosed that 20.3% of eight to 16-year-olds were reported to have a 'probable mental disorder.' Whether this increase is attributed to heightened awareness of mental health and improved reporting, or stems from a surge in stress and anxiety, remains uncertain.

But the kids aren’t alright. At least a fifth of them are struggling.

Faced with the responsibility of managing sizeable classes, ranging from 20 to over 40 students in emergency situations, teachers find it impossible to cater to the individual needs of every student.

In 2024, the role of EdTech in addressing these challenges will be a central topic of debate and exploration. Tech tailored for student wellbeing holds promise in helping filter out harmful content, flagging early warning signs that students are struggling or helping address student needs with more flexible learning in times of crisis.

4. Immersive Learning

Immersive learning can take textbook lessons and build extraordinary worlds for students to explore and learn, hands-on.

This approach benefits not only the general student population but also those with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Specifically, gamification, virtual reality, and augmented reality prove effective for both stressed students and those with SEND, while still engaging others.

An emerging trend in EdTech, known as Extended Reality (XR), encompasses various immersive technologies. XR stands out as a promising tool for augmenting learning, providing interactive VR laboratories for STEM subjects, virtual field trips to diverse locations from the Louvre to the deep ocean, and opportunities for historically accurate archaeological digs.

While implementing VR technology in schools involves a significant upfront investment, its versatility in offering experiences across limitless locations can ultimately outweigh the costs associated with traditional field trips.

Given these advantages, we bet that technology-enabled immersive learning will continue to evolve and find its way into lessons worldwide throughout 2024.

Getting ahead of the curve

Education is constantly evolving, with new skills to teach students, new tools to help educators do it, and new risks and rewards for leaders to consider.

While these trends may dominate discussions, 2024 will bring more change and challenges to teachers nationwide: from building esports teams to designing strong security systems to teaching soft skills to fostering inclusive environments.

At Bett, we’ve curated an agenda packed with workshops, discussions, training and more for educators, teachers and leaders across roles, specialties, schools and universities. To help create the future of education, get your ticket and share your thoughts on the EdTech shape of things to come at Bett UK 2024.



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