Top 5 Impactful Technologies for Education in The Next 20 years

Technology is omnipresent in our world today, and classrooms are no exception. But, while teachers have been using software and technology for learning for over two decades now, we’re just commencing what will be the golden age of technology in schools.

There is so much excitement ahead on what is possible, and we are seeing real investment by many companies in building these technologies for K-12 learning. ThinkFives surveyed experts and classroom teachers about which technologies they believe will have the most impact.

Augmented Reality

While you may have heard of virtual reality (VR), some teachers are unfamiliar with augmented reality (AR). AR lets students experience virtual objects in the real world. For example, imagine seeing and interacting with a Dinosaur in the classroom. With AR, that is possible.

Companies are already creating resources or flashcards that enable users to view 3D dinosaurs and animals, which are linked to ELA and science activities. (See our friends at Alive Studios). By scanning the code, students can see the actions of objects and animals and use app features to rotate, zoom, and more. Applications also provide information about each AR object.

Applications like these can also be used in upper grades. For example, a chemistry student can combine multiple chemicals into different combinations and determine what happens when mixed. They may not be able to try out these experiments in their science labs, but AR provides them with this experience on their mobile screens.

Students can even sit in a park, library, or coffee shop with an AR-enabled app and engage people, animals, or almost anything from there.

3D Printing

3D printers are already causing excitement in the education sector, and the reason is simple: students love creating things. Models and items that could only previously be viewed in textbooks can now be expressed through 3D models. Through this printing, students can better understand complex ideas and models. In high schools, 3D printing is used by science classes to develop prototypes of atomic structures and rare items.

3D Printing

3D printing takes concepts and makes them real – and is fun to employ.

Adaptive Software

Adaptive Software

“Adaptive learning” has been discussed in education for over a decade, and we are beginning to see programs that take advantage of the technology. In learning or assessment solutions, programs analyze data and feedback from the students to understand their individualized needs better. Identifying each student’s strengths and weaknesses can take hours of one-on-one tutoring, but with adaptive software, teachers can see exactly what skills are mastered or not mastered quicker and more precisely.

Adaptive software allows students to master their learning at a pace that is most comfortable and efficacious for them. And if students show they have not mastered a topic or standard, the software does not advance to the next skill. Instead, it adapts and begins to assess subskills, sometimes dropping down several levels to identify the underlying problem.

Artificial Intelligence

The possible uses of artificial intelligence in education have only begun to be discussed. What is artificial intelligence? By definition, it is the simulation of human intelligence by computer systems. Specific applications of AI include simulating our natural language, speech recognition, and decision-making.

Artificial Intelligence

AI can be used in schools to automate key activities such as grading essays, providing feedback on projects, engaging students in conversation, and teaching a language. But the excitement doesn’t end there. It will also be employed to enhance personalized learning among students with special needs.

We are still waiting to see how AI will be used in education, which is why we list it as one of the top innovations for teachers over the next decade. Teachers will have an opportunity to work with ed tech companies to explore the potential this technology can and will have.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality technology is already the hottest thing in the tech world, and its application for education shows enormous potential. VR can improve learning by providing students with memorable and immersive experiences that would otherwise not be possible. What’s more, it can all take place within the classroom.

Imagine an immersive classroom where students can engage people and worlds in 3D, and they can not only observe but participate in the experience. Social studies classes can visit the past, science classes can conduct experiments under extreme environments, and ELA classes can meet authors and illustrators.

The future is what we can imagine it to be.


What technology do you think will change education the most?


  1. I used to be a technology specialist in my previous district. The hardest part of using technology in my new district is that I’m in a rural area, some families have internet struggles and being in a small district has a huge difference with the amount of funds available to purchase technology.

  2. VR is amazing! Students can go on field trips all over the world. Just need the equipment to do so!

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