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Education Insights: Technology Trends Shaping Classrooms in 2024

June 17, 2024

David Casali, a music teacher in Springfield, Massachusetts, faced a daunting challenge: his fifth-grade students believed they had no musical aptitude. Searching for a way to get through to them, Casseli discovered Hyperscore, an app that transforms simple patterns into music. Cassell’s students drew patterns with the app to create music to accompany a video game, and their attitudes changed dramatically.

“They could explore musical ideas and make changes to the notes in real time,” Casali writes. “Students whose musical voices had been silent began to bloom, and having the chance to write music to fit a game thrilled them.”

Technology like Hyperscore is transforming modern classrooms and student experiences, impacting everything from lesson planning to tutoring. This article explores technology trends shaping classroom instruction in 2024. It also discusses how educators integrate technology in the classroom, the impact of technology on education, and how education professionals at every level can benefit from professional development opportunities — such as an online Master of Education (MEd) — to adapt to changing technology.

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Exploring the Modern Classroom: Technology Trends in Education 

Like Hyperscore, BandLab, and Musical Me offer technological tools that help students create and understand music. Music is hardly the only arena where educational technology is breaking new ground. Other apps harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) for lesson planning and content creation, immerse students in virtual reality, and enhance learning with AI-driven tutors. Here are a few examples of tech teachers and students can use at home and in the classroom.

Eduaide.Ai uses AI to help teachers create lesson plans, produce content, reduce paperwork, generate feedback for students, and craft assessments. Other AI tools include Curipod, which assists teachers in creating interactive lessons, and Quizizz, which generates quizzes that adapt to students’ responses.

Virtual reality (VR) systems are cost-prohibitive for many school systems but can deliver compelling lessons when available. A school system in West Milwaukee used a $100,000 grant to buy refurbished VR headsets from Meta. Justin Kosek subsequently created an educational VR game involving dragons to teach his sixth graders about the water cycle. “I saw higher attendance; I saw students just more actively engaged and wanting to know more,” he says.

AI has also begun to transform tutoring. Intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs) can offer custom guidance to students via individualized instructions and feedback. “Intelligent tutoring systems represent a groundbreaking fusion of AI and education,” the Princeton Review reports. “By offering personalized instruction and guidance, ITSs pave the way for more effective learning experiences.”

Not every technological advance in the classroom comes via dedicated software. Some students are finding new ways to use technology on their own time, such as Michigan doctoral student VaNessa Thompson. She livestreams herself studying to her 13,000 TikTok followers as an incentive to get her work done. “If I’m going live, I have to lock in for at least 30 minutes because it might take 10 minutes for people to log on to my stream—and if I’m not there once they find it, I’ve wasted their time and mine,” she says.

With each new tool, educators must be ready to assess and adapt to the technology. Professionals and decision-makers at all levels — instructors, education district leaders, policymakers — need to weigh the pros and cons of the technology while being mindful of how they can enhance teaching and learning experiences for students.

Grading the Impact of Technology on the Classroom Experience 

Technology integration doesn’t stop at classroom instruction. Educators use advanced tools to assist with curriculum development and communication with parents. A school district in Texas has streamlined parental involvement with help from an educational communications and analytics platform called SchoolStatus. “We don’t want our parents to have to navigate from app to app or website to website with multiple logins and a lot of siloed systems,” says Andrew Fernandez, chief of communications at the San Marcos Consolidated ISD. “We have unified our district communications by putting everyone on the same platform.”

Overall, however, tools that drive student engagement tend to make up the majority of new tech adopted by individual instructors and school districts. “Learner-centric tools continue to be the most commonly accessed, making up 58 percent of ed tech tools used in 2022-23,” according to an Instructure LearnPlatform report.

Despite the glowing reports around some applications, critics wonder whether the merits of increased reliance on technology in the classroom outweigh the drawbacks. Well-documented benefits include: 

  • The rise of active learning by using classroom supplements like VR
  • Personalized learning plans available with the support of AI
  • Increased access to education through online and hybrid learning environments 

“Over the last few decades, applied technology in the classroom has grown by leaps and bounds,” eSchoolNews reports. “This dovetails nicely with the fact that today’s students are full digital natives who instinctively know their way around smart devices.”

What about the drawbacks that come with adopting new technologies like AI? They include: 

  • Bias in algorithms
  • Students cheating or using AI rather than generating original content
  • Security/privacy issues and the risk of cyberattacks
  • Equity issues: Not all students or districts have access to the latest technology

EducationNext calls for a balanced approach that acknowledges the drawbacks while embracing the merits: “Our collective ambition should not focus solely or primarily on averting potential risks but rather on articulating a vision of the role AI should play in teaching and learning — a game plan that leverages the best of these technologies while preserving the best of human relationships.”

As time passes and we compile more data about the impact of technologies like AI in the classroom, we’ll better understand the impact of new technologies on learners and educators alike. In the meantime, educators must stay apprised of evolving technologies and trends and undertake professional development to understand their implications.

Ahead of the Curve: How Leaders Can Adapt to Tech Trends in Education

Educators and education policymakers must enhance their digital literacy to keep pace with the radical changes education technology brings. Online courses and certificate programs offer specialty training in individual tools. For a more sustained emphasis on adopting tech in the classroom and thinking critically about the implications for students, look to an online Master of Education like the one offered by Tulane University. An online MEd bolsters classroom teachers’ pedagogic skills and expertise while positioning them for leadership roles in administration, curriculum development, learning design, policy, and corporate training. 

How the Tulane Online MEd Empowers Tomorrow’s Education Leaders 

The Tulane online MEd program is grounded in approaches and outcomes drawn from its setting in Greater New Orleans. A focus on equitable and inclusive teaching practices occupies center stage in the curriculum. The program offers four specializations:

  • Equity-centered education leadership
  • Learning experience design
  • Teaching English learners
  • Special education

Technology plays a prominent role in Tulane’s online MEd program, particularly in its Learning Experience Design Courses. Classes include Emerging Technologies and Learning Perspectives, Learning Technology Principles and Applications, and Game-Based Learning Technology and Design.

Tulane’s skilled faculty combine decades of experience in education with a passion for equity and diversity. The faculty includes Rona Tyger, Ed.D. director of Learning Design and Development and the program coordinator for the Learning Experience Design specialization. Tyger advocates for student-centric learning experience design that ensures equitable opportunities for learner success.

Get Ready for the Next Great Education Technology at Tulane 

Technology has transformed classrooms in 2024, from AI-driven music software to virtual reality, content-creation tools, and intelligent tutoring systems. Ongoing changes in teaching tools and techniques demand well-trained educators who can expertly weigh their pros and cons and assess their efficacy based on available research.

Take a closer look at Tulane’s online MEd to learn how it can prepare you for tomorrow’s technology-driven classrooms. Take the next step by scheduling a call with an enrollment advisor, attending a virtual event, or starting an application.

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