6 ways teaching has changed in the last 10 years


[1] Tech is redefining the game

It seems obvious to say but the gargantuan changes we have seen in technology, in the last 10 years alone, has completely changed the way we do many things. Education is no exception.

Some of these impactful tech changes include:

  • mobile technology
  • machine learning / artificial intelligence
  • virtual / augmented reality
  • cloud & data storage
  • significant increases to internet speed (globally)

Tech evolution is not only redefining the ways we can teach but the actual curriculum of what should be learned. This is likely to continue, while we try to better clarify technology's place in the learning process.

[2] Mobile technology is opening new ways of learning

There have been ongoing arguments about pupils having mobile phones in school for many years now. The simply truth today though is that mobile tech has permeated into our lives so much that more people own a mobile phone than do not!

In fact, there is a slightly horrifying statistic that states more people in the world own a mobile phone than a toothbrush!

If we can accept the fact that mobile tech is here, perhaps we can begin to look at how it can be used in the classroom. Here are a few ways that mobile tech has positively affected learning:

  • pupils can research topics online, explore subject content further and find inspiration for their work
  • pupil engagement has been noted to increase in schools already integrating tech and mobile tech into their learning process
  • different teaching styles are easier to implement with mobile tech - distant learning and collaborative learning for example
  • consistent use of mobile tech provides more skills for pupils' futures, particularly around digital citizenship

[3] Remote learning is increasingly becoming simpler

We have all likely heard of (and maybe even tried) Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These are courses (many of which are free) where you can learn remotely by watching videos, reading course content and self-assessing your understanding.

MOOCs give people the opportunity to learn skills in almost anything you can imagine without needing to attend classes. 

[4] Learning can be more focussed around collaboration

This may be one of the more impactful changes we see in education, collaboration:

  • pupil / pupil collaboration enabled by tech can be a powerful (and equitable) thing. Pupils who are perhaps introverts may find it easier to collaborate with their peers over a digital platform
  • pupil / teacher collaboration is also enabled with tech. We have already seen platforms like Pinterest enable this collaboration, but in reality this can be taken to exciting new heights as the power of tech grows

Collaboration is an essential life skill, so having tech as a tool to better instil it as a quality can only be a good thing.

[5] Digital games are finding a solid place in the learning process

Game based learning and gamification were hot topics a few years ago. Many educators agree that using digital games in the learning process can actually help improve pupil engagement and give teachers useful tools to help analyse their pupils engagement.

We have seen some great innovations in the digital game meets education technology industry, Minecraft: Education Edition for example. 

[6] Information is easier to come by, but application still needs the guidance of a teacher

While all of the above are very positive regarding the impact of technology in education, there is one essential thing to bear in mind. This is that while the availability of information has been vastly improved (a pupil could be said to have unlimited knowledge in their pocket with smart phones) the application of this knowledge still needs to be taught.

And this is why the teacher cannot really be replaced! We explore this exact topic in our analysis of Virtual Reality (is it a supplement for teachers, or their replacement) and the outcome very much remains this:

The act of teaching isn’t just imparting what’s in your head to a captive audience. Teaching is a performance, it’s reading the room and working it. This is where technology really falls short.
— Harpreet Purewal, Journalist for The Guardian

How do you feel about the changes tech has brought to teaching in recent years? We'd love to hear your opinions and experiences. Please comment below.