What edtech trends will take top billing in schools and districts in the new year?

What did 2021 bring to higher ed?


Top 10 of 2021: What edtech trends will take top billing on college and university campuses in the new year?

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on student support, retention, the post-pandemic campus, and online or hybrid teaching strategies. This year’s 2nd most-read story outlines 2021’s edtech predictions from educators and industry experts–did they get it right?

When we posted our 2020 predictions on January 1 last year, we–along with the majority of the world–definitely didn’t anticipate the curveball that was (and continues to be) the global COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 has been called a dumpster fire, the worst year in recent memory, and more. While online learning was already growing in popularity in higher education, the nation’s abrupt shift to virtual and hybrid learning laid bare the vast inequities and hurdles that exist in the U.S. education system.

The mass move to online learning also made people wonder: Are there practices we can continue when the pandemic abates? What can we take from this when we return to our campuses? And will we return to our classrooms to teach in the same manner as we did before COVID?

We asked edtech executives, stakeholders, and experts to share some of their thoughts and predictions about where they think higher-ed edtech is headed in 2021.

Here’s what they had to say:

College students in 2020 and 2021 will experience college in a way no other classes have, and they’ll likely also face unique challenges in the next few months and years as they enter the workforce. COVID-19 has created the perfect storm of obstacles for college students – fewer opportunities to network, disruption to hands-on learning and fewer companies hiring entry-level positions – and they’ll need to rely on technology to overcome the risk of a skills gap. In 2021, college students must lean on their technology experience and participate in virtual career fairs and networking events to form the connections that will help them navigate an unprecedented job market.
– Ed Barrientos, CEO, Brazen

Laura Ascione