Sam Cover Shares 2021’s Biggest Trends in Ed Tech  

Education technology has grown exponentially in recent years. The pandemic and the rise of technology have contributed to its growing popularity, as parents, teachers, and students had to learn to live with the lockdown.

Sam Cover believes that technology will continue to improve and promote new ways of learning. It may also help equal the playing field between learners from low-income families and those at the top.

Sam Cover is an ed-tech consultant who is always looking into the latest advancements. He takes a look at what’s coming in 2021 and beyond.

Extended Reality

Extended reality encompasses virtual reality, augmented reality, and other methods of combining interactive technology with the real environment.

Searches for the term extended reality have grown by 3100% since 2016. Part of the growth could be that the term itself wasn’t used much until recently, but the trend is certainly growing by leaps and bounds.

VR tech is expensive, but the prices are much lower than in previous years, which makes it more accessible to schools. It can also be more cost-effective than real-life equipment. Labster provides virtual reality laboratories for a fraction of the cost of physical lab equipment.


Online homeschool programs have been around for years, but they are growing in popularity in the wake of COVID-19. Some of these offer a support network and learning management options, while others aim to offer a full curriculum. They are also backed up with excellent support groups, which can be attended following a short Newtown Taxi ride.

Prisma blends in-person learning with interactive videos and independent work. Students work with cohorts, a small group of children who are geographically nearby. When covid conditions allow, these students can meet and study together.

Outschool is another option. It provides live video instruction in a wide variety of subjects. You’ll find reading, math, art, and exercise. Parents choose the instructor and an available class time, and students log in at the appointed time.


AI might be the biggest trend of 2021. It’s expected to grow by 45%. Many teachers and online learning programs already take advantage of AI in some ways.

Tests and lessons can be graded automatically by the AI. Reports can be compiled detailing a student’s progress, strengths, and weaknesses. These AI functions have become commonplace. However, AI doesn’t stop there.

Some schools have already implemented AI to keep teachers informed of student’s progress, and to alert them to problem areas. AI can also serve as a virtual tutor. When a teacher isn’t available to answer a question, it’s possible that AI can fill that role.

These functions give teachers more time to teach and create engaging lessons, making it a powerful tool for education.

Continuing Education

Cover observes that learning no longer has clear boundaries. Continuing education for adults is now the new normal. Online classes make college accessible to those with families and full-time jobs.

Platforms like Coursea and Edx offer a wide range of courses on nearly any topic you can think of. These courses are typically short without a large time commitment, making them a great halfway point between college and no continuing education.

Continuing education is also becoming more common among children. With so many elearning platforms and apps, children aren’t limited to school hours or the calender school year.

Many parents have their children use learning apps during the summer months. This can help students catch up or help prevent learning loss.

Coding and STEAM

Today’s kids are tech-savvy, but that may not be enough to keep up once they graduate. STEAM and coding can give kids the skills they need to be successful in the global marketplace.

Sam states that WhiteHat Jr. offers live one on one coding classes beginning with simple image-based coding for younger children and more complex text-based coding for older students.

STEAM is the updated acronym for STEM, with a new element added. It encompasses science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Parents and educators are realizing the value of hands-on learning and practical applications instead of abstract concepts.

StemWerks is a STEAM learning app. It has three modes to suit different learning styles. The game-like feel of the app will keep kids learning and engaged. It’s suitable for kids 5-12.

Multimedia Learning

Sam notes that learning is no longer confined to books and blackboards. It now occurs in many different formats. VR technology allows for virtual field trips through Google Expeditions.

Live classes occur on platforms like Zoom and White Hat Jr. Recorded video classes are now the norm for many platforms. Lessons are often completed on a screen. These lessons can include video, animation, and text.

Many learning platforms offer printable resources to supplement the online content. This gives kids the best of both worlds and may help them retain more knowledge.

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