Educational technology is seen by many teachers and administrators as a key way to improve the standards and efforts of students everywhere. New reports have found that as the new technology developments in the market continue to decline in cost, they're only growing in popularity.
More bang for the buck
Tech Crunch reported that while government initiatives are increasing spending on new educational efforts, they're getting more for their money. Educational spending nationwide is expected to top $1 trillion, but the technology is becoming less expensive, helping schools improve the ways they can appeal to students.
New changes in the market are already being seen, the news source continued. Recently, Kaplan acquired the Dev Bootcamp, which will help make software development training more approachable and less expensive in the near future. The company's New Economy Skills Training group already has means to teach students product design, Ruby on Rails and data science, making for better development training, a great feature to boast. Another advance comes from Treehouse, which is extending the reach of its Web programming and development training services nationwide for both students and unemployed or underemployed workers.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, too. Taking partnerships with various companies into account, there's a good chance that the scope and reach of these levels of technology will only continues to grow.
"We're at a tipping point," John Krull, the information technology officer of the Oakland Unified School District, told Tech Crunch. "It's sort of a convergence of common core and technology. Those two things have come together to create all this demand."
3-D printing's prowess continues
According to Tech Times, 3-D printers may be one of the next steps when it comes to the improvement of educational technology. One company aims to make its technology available as soon as this fall across the country, noting that 3-D printing technology is a highly disruptive way for students to learn in a new and different way than they might be accustomed to.
"This capability takes student engagement into an entirely new dimension," explained Mary Beth Kreml, a professional development specialist for Engaging Solutions, to the news source. "Students go far beyond Hear, See, and Do and now take the amazing leap to Create. When students work together to develop an idea and then watch it take form before their eyes, it makes learning real and exciting, and demonstrates what they are capable of achieving."
Science and physics labs can gain a new level of educational improvement from the technology, especially as its price levels continue to drop, Tech Times noted. Some models from companies like MakerBot can be purchased for under $2,000, while predictions for the next few years find that number falling as low as $100. STEM students can learn valuable lessons about developing and creating prototypes and projects, which is especially important in light of the national educational skills gap some areas of the country are experiencing.
Online classes drive down costs
Business Insider noted that a third improvement may be especially helpful in cutting costs. In the last 20 years, the cost of college education has risen by more than 1.5 percent over the inflation rate annually, according to the news source. Online classes and educational standards can help limit that unnecessary growth. Options like the "Massive Open Online Course," a lecture and class system open to the general public, may soon help students learn using an entirely new system. This may inspire more disruptive educational systems, helping to further innovate future practices.
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