Educational Technology Trends in Australia
Educational technology companies have adapted to customer demands with lightning speed this year, providing online education support to teachers, students, and parents in highly creative ways. The trend is toward further adaptability, as in the case of MAPPEN, which offered free online support to all Australian schools in the event of a school closure due to the pandemic. We will continue seeing flexible programs and features in the Australian edtech space as we round the corner of 2020 into a new year.
What are the biggest edtech trends in Australia?
According to Greenwich’s 2020 Australian K-12 EdTech Whitepaper, the adoption of digital resources in K-12 education is about to accelerate. There will be more B2C opportunities in the edtech space as parents get more involved in their children’s learning, looking to supplement remote learning with more content. In addition, localized data privacy will become a larger issue as more and more student data is collected by Big Tech companies. Teachers will become more involved in supporting the sales processes of edtech companies, which normally rely on sales technology tools.
What are some of the most innovative education apps?
Founded in Melbourne in 2016, Vivi is a wellness app for students and teachers. Its features include screen mirroring, digital signage, emergency broadcast, formative assessment and student health and wellbeing checks.
In response to customer inquiries, Vivi released a feature called ‘How R U’ earlier in 2020. The new tool “enables schools to check in regularly with remote students by sending them a link to a poll with emoji based responses. Students can select from a range of emojis to let their school know if they’re feeling anxious, confused or sad. The school can monitor students to ensure they’re coping during this stressful time and initiate coping strategies to help address the potential psychological impact that COVID-19 is having on Australian children.”
Pivot offers free, actionable resources and guides to help schools prepare for remote learning.
“Our response to the disruption caused by COVID-19 has been multi-pronged,” they write: “1) We created a set of free actionable resources and guides to help schools prepare for a school closure and move to a remote learning framework; and 2) We have created easy to use surveys using our Pulse Check functionality on our platform. These surveys are aimed at helping schools prepare for school closures through quick, anonymous surveys aimed at students, families, and teachers as well as surveys that can be used once schools have gone remote to gauge student learning, wellbeing, and access. We are offering free access through May 1st for all schools.”
Edoome /edu-me/ connects teachers with their students so they can communicate, collaborate and share, and provides tools for teachers to help them save time in planning, assessing and keeping track of their students progress all in just one place.
“Given the current situation due to COVID-19 and the difficult time many school teachers are now going through,” the founders write, “at Edoome we will give free access to all schools, teachers and students in Australia, the U.K, the U.S. and Latin America to help them with their remote classes during the outbreak.”
4. Champion Life
Champion Life delivers quality physical activity and wellbeing content to teachers and students.
“As a 100% online program Champion Life can be accessed both at school and at home. We deliver quality physical activity and wellbeing content to students and in the event of school closures, provide a positive way for teachers to engage with students as they create their content at home. We have had a large increase in enquiries from schools in Asia and now Australia that is translating into a large increase in new users. Health and wellbeing is not a short term intervention which is why when life gradually returns to normal Champion Life will continue to support activity and health in schools community.”
5. Rolling Fun
Rolling Fun offers new, at-home video resources for nutrition education.
“Rolling Fun offers workshops to ELC and primary schools about healthy eating and intercultural capability. The workshop could be run by Rolling Fun staff as an incursion workshop or run by teachers in the school. Due to the coronavirus, we have proposed a new model to the school that supports Home Learning with help from parents.”
MAPPEN, an online curriculum solution (already used by 350+ schools) with lesson plans from prep to grade 6, have adapted their lesson plans to support continued learning in the home. Teachers will be able to remotely assign work to students, who will then be able to access resources, answer questions and facilitate learning at their own pace.
“We’ve adapted the lesson plans so that they can be read or listened to by students (or for the younger students’ parents), making all instructions available as both text and audio file to address challenges around literacy,” says CEO Danny Ritterman.
OpenSpace is an online learning platform used by Open Colleges. It allows students to access their course materials anywhere, any time. Access it from your desktop or mobile, whether you’re at home or on the go. Watch videos lectures, listen to podcasts, access your readings, connect with other students, and join discussion groups.
Keep up to date with the latest trends in educational technology by attending one of Australia’s upcoming edtech conferences. In January 2021 alone, Sydney will host the International Conference on Education, Teaching, and Technology; the International Conference on Technology in Education; the International Conference on Education, Technology Integration, and Mobile Learning; and the International Conference on Education, Technology Integration, and Interactive Whiteboards.