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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

K-12 Edtech Innovations Face Challenges

Many K-12 pupils are now accustomed to using their own computing device in school every day and more are learning from course materials created or customized by their teachers rather than standard textbooks.

Those are two of the edtech trends identified in EdSurge’s annual Edtech Outlook report on emerging innovations.

About 60% of K-12 kids now go to schools with a 1:1 ratio of pupils to devices, most often some sort of tablet or netbook. That has changed the mix of learning materials available to teachers, who no longer have to rely on traditional textbooks. In many cases, teachers are heading to online educational marketplaces to download free or low-cost materials to fit their particular lesson plans, instead of molding lessons around the textbook.

“[Publishers’] slow transition to digital has cost them significant market share as lower-cost, more nimble startups have undercut their performance,” said the report. Teachers are also turning to artificial-intelligence apps to complement classroom lessons and help provide better assessment of students’ skills.

However, Edtech Outlook noted another trend that’s preventing schools from capitalizing fully on digital technologies at this time: limited bandwidth. Only an estimated 15% of K-12 schools have sufficient bandwidth to allow classes to stream content on their devices.

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