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Digital Transformation in Education: 7 Trends to Watch

by | Sep 2, 2021

As the digital transformation in education trends sweep the globe, some institutions are better equipped than others to take advantage of these new technologies. In this article, we’ve identified seven of the most important ways to transform learning experiences to help you stay on top of the trends in education. 

Internet of Things (IoT).

In recent years, WiFi and IoT technologies have accelerated greatly. The following are examples of how these technologies are providing better security and lowering costs for administration and running buildings on campuses:

  • Networked security cameras
  • Geofencing
  • Location-based systems to help find lost items
  • Smart lighting
  • Intelligent thermostats
  • Network computing
  • Digital device payments

This trend is forecasted to become even bigger. Future campuses will become miniature smart cities.

Digital classrooms.

Digital classrooms are remote learning environments where instructors and students can exchange information efficiently and effectively using digital tools.

For example, digital textbooks can solve common problems with digital content management systems. Their digital nature allows for easy updating and assigning digital homework or digital assessments using QR codes. And there are digital learning environments that allow students to follow lecture notes, take digital quizzes, annotate digital documents with footnotes and bibliographies, and upload multimedia files.


Blockchain is the digital ledger of transactions, preserving digital data to be more secure and accessible than ever before. It is also the technology that powers Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other virtual currencies. 

Universities have used it to issue digital student credentials, enabling students to share verified, tamper-proof copies of their qualifications with employers and other third parties. Perhaps one of the most promising use cases is creating a virtual transcript that provides an up-to-date record of lifetime achievements. As well as reducing CV fraud, this will streamline student transfers between universities, even in different states or countries.

Improving record-keeping also makes this product a natural fit for solving intellectual property (IP) management problems. For example, universities could use it to determine if an idea or invention is new or register trademarks, patents, and copyrights.

Blockchain will also make processing student fees less labor-intensive and less complicated. Some universities are already accepting payments in cryptocurrency.

AR / VR.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are other emerging technologies in education. Teachers are using technology in classrooms to create unique lessons and personalized learning plans. For example, they can bring extinct animals into the classroom or move the entire class to another planet. Universities are also using augmented reality to support virtual orientations for students who cannot visit campus in person.

Digital tutors.

With digital tutors and digital learning assistants, students have more interactive tools at their disposal to help them reach their goals. Digital tutors powered by artificial intelligence can be used in the following ways: 

  • Picking up on a student’s areas of weakness in real-time to provide individualized feedback.
  • Offering adaptive lessons based on data collected over time.
  • Providing digital tutoring that is based on each student’s ability level and progress, rather than the class average.

Rather than replacing academic staff, digital tutoring and digital teaching assistants will free up time for teachers while increasing the digital literacy level of students.

Increased accessibility

Digital transformation in education has also helped universities and colleges meet ADA compliance, expand their accessibility programs for students with disabilities, and lower the cost of these programs. For example, universities use technology like speech recognition and automated transcription to create lecture notes for deaf or hard-of-hearing students. Other students and teachers can also use this to review learning material. Students who are blind or visually impaired increasingly have access to digital tools such as text-to-speech generators to read and annotate digital content.

Chatbots and support automation.

Students don’t want to wait hours or days to get an answer to their questions. Many colleges and universities choose to implement a chatbot on their websites to help students and teachers instantly access information. For example, this technology can answer frequently asked questions about financial aid, class schedule, attendance requirements, and technical issues with registration. 

A chatbot talks to students conversationally. For example, they can ask questions like, “What are my class requirements?” or “Where is the science building?” 

A chatbot can also create digital self-service options for students, helping them track their academic progress and stay on top of due dates. When a chatbot can’t answer a question, it can route the student to the right human agent.

What can universities do to take advantage of new technology?

The world of education is changing universities exponentially, and higher education institutions need to remain up-to-date with digital trends and tools. However, digital transformation in education is more than just trends; it’s creating an ecosystem to make educational experiences meaningful and accessible to all students.

How can Capacity help?

Capacity is an AI-powered support automation platform for the education industry that makes it easier for students to get the right support at the right time. It connects your entire tech stack to automated support so that team members can answer fewer repetitive questions and spend more time creating the best possible learning environment for students.