Top 10 Trends in Educational Technology For 2018

trends in educational technology

From holding on to the antiquated methods of teaching and learning to transforming into an interactive and tech-savvy space, the latest trends in educational technology have redefined the education industry. In the year 2017 alone, investors staked close to $10 billion in edtech companies. If anything, this figure validates why the education technology is seen as a global opportunity for innovation and entrepreneurship.

What is Educational Technology?

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) defines educational technology as “the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.”

Interestingly, Edtech is not a recent phenomenon. Rather its roots can be traced back to the 1960s when audio-visual tools were introduced for better communication and knowledge retention. Fast forward to 2018, innovations in education technology have taken the teacher-student community by storm. Stakeholders in the education market are looking for ways in which technology can be leveraged to build better teaching-learning products.

Read more: Top 10 Edtech Companies in the World 2018

Top 10 Trends in Educational Technology For 2018

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

As we move towards a more connected world, our industry analysts predict that the use of AI as one of a major trends in educational technology is set to grow by more than 45% through 2021. In the US alone, the AI market in the education sector is expected to be valued at close to USD 85 million by 2022.

The role of AI in the education sector is no longer limited to aspects like speech recognition, problem-solving, and planning. Rather AI facilitates automation of administrative tasks like students’ grading, the addition of smart content in the curriculum, and personalization of the teaching process.

The USA is one of the world’s largest markets for educational technology. The artificial intelligence market in the US education sector is projected to reach a value of almost USD 85 million by 2022. For more information about the US Edtech market size, top educational technology companies and future trends in this market, take a look at Technavio’s latest report Artificial Intelligence Market in the US Education Sector 2018-2022

2. Virtual Reality (VR) in Education

The high adoption of VR in education is partly due to the rise in demand for experiential learning. By taking the learning process beyond the classrooms, VR has facilitated the growing trend towards independent learning route. For instance, the medical realities platform employs the VR technology to help the medical students watch live broadcasts of simulated surgeries, giving them real-world experiences – something they wouldn’t normally get until late in their training.

According to our newest report on the global market for VR in the education sector, the increase in the number of social VR spaces has opened up growth opportunities for stakeholders in this industry.

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3. Gamification

The Adoption of gamification is perhaps one of the biggest trends in educational technology that turns the learning process lot more fun and engaging. By adding game elements and bringing video game designs into the learning process, this edtech trend improves the concentration level of the students.

While until recently, the K-12 education sector has been a major user of gamification; the higher education segment is also gearing up to adopt this technology to enhance the learning experience of the students.

Download Global Education Gamification Market Report 2016-2020 Sample for free.

4. Learning Analytics

Another emerging trend in the educational technology industry is the use of learning analytics. By utilizing the existing data effectively, this edtech facilitates better monitoring of the student behavior.

Market experts have observed that the higher education segment has contributed close to 75% of growth in the global learning analytics market in the year 2017. Governments across the globe, especially in the US, are encouraging digitization of education. Products like Blackboard Analytics and Brightspace from D2L have pushed investors to come up with strategies to widen their market share in the emerging countries.

5. Immersive Learning

With the popularity of VR and mixed reality, immersive learning has emerged as one of the ‘hot’ educational technologies which are transforming not only the education system; but also helping corporates plan better training programs for their employees.

With an expected market value of close to USD 12 billion by 2022, industry analysts already see immersive learning as one of the next biggest trends in educational technology for the corporate training market.

Read more: Corporate Training Market – Top 5 Trends to Watch Out For in 2018

6. Smart Learning Environment (SLEs)

SLEs are one of the best ways in which the hybrid learning approach can be put into action. This IoT based learning solution encourages personalized education system, driving better engagement and skill enhancement. Seen as one of the best by-products of IoT in education, SLEs have encouraged industry stakeholders to revamp their investment strategies and launch better edtech products.

Download Global Smart Education Market Report 2018-2022 Sample for free

7. Digital Course Materials

The newest report from the National Association of College Stores highlights the rising spend on technology by schools and colleges. This trend has directly affected the sales of textbooks and course materials, as students prefer spending on the digital course materials. With smartphones and high penetration of internet, assignments too have gone digital in nature.

The very premise of educational technology is incomplete without digital content, thus advances in designing of the digital content are sure to have a positive impact on the future of education. All these factors will help the global digital content market to be valued at close to USD 549 billion by 2019.

8. Game Theory

The complex pedagogical situations and challenges in the teaching process have triggered the need for a better synchronization of the teaching process. Game theory helps to reach an optimal mixed strategy which will enable tutors to choose the best possible action in a given situation.

Disciplines like financial and economic analysis, as well as applied mathematics in economics,  have already benefitted from game theory. It will be interesting to observe how this edtech will change the face of pedagogy in the forthcoming years.

9. Mobile Technology and IoT

Any discussion on edtech is incomplete without highlighting the role of IoT. The ability of IoT to track the staff and students along with connecting devices across the campus has helped improve the safety standards of institutions.

In fact, the very premise of smart education has been possible due to IoT. The improvements in mobile technology have further enabled the use of IoT as a major educational technology.

Read more: Top 5 Ways in Which IoT is Changing the Face of the Education Sector


One of the newest educational technologies, STEAM is an integrated approach to learning. This educational model makes use of science, education, arts, and mathematics to instill critical thinking among the students.

The educational technology experts in Technavio consider STEAM to be a major improvement over the STEM programs.

How Will Technology Change Education in the Future?

Modern technology has seeped into the classrooms and redefined the entire teaching and learning process. Industry experts view this marriage between education and technology to be a positive step towards better student engagement, resource management, and financial planning of institutions.

The seamless peer to peer collaboration will eventually lead to a redefinition of culture as an amalgamation of better social learning experiences. It will further investments in cloud technology, biometrics, and open source learning methods.

Keeping all these aspects in mind, the research analysts at Technavio have traced the top emerging trends in educational technology. To make informed business decisions in the education technology market, check out our newest reports on this industry.