2021 Classroom Technology What’s Next?
2020 has proven the importance of digital technology in education. Without it, schools would have struggled to teach students actively and left massive gaps and disruptions in their education.
Will schools go back to normal?
Scotland has cancelled its higher and advanced higher exams for 2021. Their final grades will be based on the judgement of their teachers.
In England, next summer's A-levels and GCSE exams are due to go ahead. But content will be reduced for some subjects and most exams will now start from 7 June, rather than mid-May.
In Northern Ireland, A-level, AS and GCSE exams will start one week later in 2021, but will still finish by 30 June.
According to the most recent figures, 55% of Secondary schools and 20% of Primaries in England reported having one or more pupils self-isolating because of potential contact with a case of coronavirus in the school.
This is up from 46% and 16% respectively on the previous week.
If pupils can't come in, schools must have a home-working plan available.
The pandemic has highlighted many weaknesses in school's technology infrastructure. According to data from Ofcom, there are at least 500 schools in areas in England struggling with slow connections to the building, with around 100 of these in areas with average download speeds as low as 1-2Mbps. This connection speed prevents teachers from streaming video content without buffering, from working collaboratively with online tools, or from moving storage solutions to the cloud.
What technology should you implement in 2021?
IES has been supplying educational technology to schools for the past 20 years and we have seen many paradigm shifts. Here is our predication of what is going to be most impactful in 2021.
Schools using more interactive software and online teaching platforms.
2020 has proved how teaching has changed and how important is it for teachers to use new interactive teaching platforms to engage students. With the addition of students having to self-isolate, teachers can still deliver lessons if students are on site or not.
We have seen an influx of schools purchasing webcams, laptops, tables, visualisers and touchscreens during the pandemic and we think this is going to continue in the new year.
We have seen the pricing drop massively for interactive touchscreens over the past 5 years; schools can now purchase a G-Touch 65”4K Classic for only £995! 2021 is going to be one of the best years to upgrade if your school is using old whiteboard technology! Document Cameras (Visualisers) have proven their worth over the pandemic. Many teachers have been using visualisers to showcase work and experiments without having to leave the front of the classroom. With the addition of new wireless visualisers coming to the market this year we think this is going to be a must have for classrooms in 2021.
VR / AR
If your goals for 2021 is to maximise student engagement and retention then look no further than VR and AR teaching.
A study on medical training found that VR learning results in 80% retention a full year after training, while only 20% of information is retained only one week after traditional training.
The primary benefit of VR learning is increased levels of immersion and student engagement. While traditional eLearning happens through a 2D screen, VR learning allows students to interact with objects, manipulate and build something, or virtually touch objects that they might not have access to in their classroom. A student learning chemistry can experiment with chemicals without the risk of dangerous exposure or causing an actual explosion, or they can defy the rules of biology completely by holding a human heart in their hands and stepping inside to explore further.
VR and AR are a great new technology with new content being created daily; however, the cost of headsets and implementing can be out of reach for most schools. Our advice would be to wait until prices for headsets have fallen and once suppliers have a whole library of educational content.
We are happy to announce our new newsletter will be launching in 2021! The bi weekly newsletters will be sharing insight from industry experts, technology ‘how to’s’ and of course we would love to hear from you! (
Did you like this blog? Let us know your thoughts and what technology you are going to be implementing in 2021.