The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference has always been the place to be if you’re looking for the highest quality edtech products. This year’s conference and expo took place in Philadelphia and included some fantastic products for teachers, schools and districts.
A few highlights from the 2019 program included sessions like “Coding Across the Curriculum,” “Inviting Special Guests to Your Classroom Through Video Conferencing,” and “V for Virtual Connections.”
ISTE 2019 also provided insight into what products could capture the imagination of teachers this school year:
Devices: The Latest and greatest
Tablets, screens, laptops and all the accessories that come with them aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. On-going trends showcase large flat panel displays and laptops/tablets that are more geared toward visual display and design. The Dell Chromebook 3100 2-in-1 and Dell Chromebook 3400 did well in the laptop category, while ClearTouch and ViewSonic both had Best in Class awards for display screens. Products that make it easier to share content from anywhere in the classroom were also popular, like the ScreenBeam 1000 EDU.
There have been many coding aides emerging into the market as STEAM/STEM initiatives are put into action. The new trend this year is more integrated processes in one place. For example, including additional software options that come preloaded with lesson plans, or computers that students build themselves, connect electronics to and then learn to code using the computer they created. One great example of an integrated product is Wonder Workshops coding robot classroom packs or Kinderlab robots.
These tools help teachers see how each student in the class is progressing. They monitor student devices to assess how much was learned in a single lesson and can adapt to different teaching styles if students aren’t comprehending the material. Edmentum’s Exact Path tool and Edgenuity’s Upsmart, both help monitor the individual progress of each student.
With classrooms getting closer and closer to achieving the 1:1 ratio for devices, the onus is on IT managers to keep all of these devices up and running. We’re seeing an influx of security software like Norton, single sign-on software and data syncing products like Go-Box.
AR/VR for STEM
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality products continue to make their way into the classroom. Students can perform a simulated frog dissection with the Merge Edu or go on a college tour to Harvard or MIT using Live Planet’s 360° virtual reality camera. We predict these experiences will only continue to grow and become more immersive along the way. Check out this case study about how some colleges tried out virtual reality for STEM classes through Lenovo.
As students begin heading back to school, what trends are you seeing in edtech this year?