Technology is the driving factor that will change the face of education in the years to come. This is evident over the last few years with devices and online tutorials edging their way into the school curriculum. The giant companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft are the main players who strive for improving the education because they need talented people to work for them.
In fact, learning institutions are starting to prescribe mandatory tablets or laptops as the shift from paper-based writing and text books accelerates to the digital platform. Handheld devices are changing the way we do most things and learning is one of them. Software applications are proving to be very effective in facilitating learning, no matter what the age group.
It’s not just technology that’s changing education processes, but modern mindsets are shaping the way educators educate and how learners learn. Compare education experiences between different generations, from austere environments with little free thinking permitted to the current day where learners can have more input, control and ownership over their education.
The big question is what future education will look like. Will robots take over? Will there still be a demand for school buildings and universities? We may not have concrete answers today, but we can draw what-if scenarios based on how education is already being influenced by technology and how technology is starting to reveal endless possibilities.
More Choices for Learners
Every person has their strengths and weaknesses. Historically, the education systems were not built to harness every individual’s strength, but rather to provide general education to the masses. Weaknesses were exposed where learners were forced to participate in a task or activity that they could not do well or at all.
So where students need assistance, they can start using online services, like Pro-Papers, which is becoming more popular. They help students with writing tasks, where writing may not be their strongest point.
Additionally, the selection of subject choices available to students are usually restricted to a specific curriculum and resources available to the educator. As the online movement grows, learning management systems (like Pluralsight and Udemy) will become more widely-adopted as they provide a limitless variety of subjects and skills that anyone can sign-up to learn from anywhere.
Technology is removing barriers. There will be more free choices for students to fully embrace and take control of their education.
A New Learning Environment
Anyone who finished their schooling in the last century is familiar with the old chalk blackboard and overhead projector. These are being phased out rapidly and replaced with interactive white boards (smart boards); however, bigger advances will be made using augmented and virtual reality as learning tools.
Imagine using these technologies to take a class on a field trip – without leaving the school grounds or enjoy an almost real-life experience of lying under the Milky Way studying the constellations. Better yet, imagine using Augmented Reality in the Science class to carry out dangerous experiments, without the real threat of an explosion. It makes learning easier for students as they will be able to fully grasp different subjects by close observation when submerged in a convincing and realistic setting.
People learn differently and some students assimilate information better through more engagement and interaction. Other learning methods, such as verbal discussions or writing, or having to try visualize the real thing can inhibit people’s progress because the methods don’t work for them.
Students will also be able to learn remotely or virtually attend lectures and conferences around the world and no travel will be required.
Improved Learning Experiences
Being told to sit down, keep quiet, listen and then stare at a huge text book for hours on end is not the best approach to motivate students. Being able to work at a self-paced level according to the student’s capabilities is far more effective in achieving good results. In the future, technology and refreshing attitudes will equip the brighter students to move forward on more challenging levels, while the students who need extra time and assistance can work at their level without the added pressure to ‘keep up’.
This creates a positive setting for students who can untap their own potential through their own learning process. Education will become more about individual performance and practical application to ensure the younger generation are learning the right skills for an ever-changing world.
Different Learning Outcomes
Up until today, school exams are defined by cramming in as much information as possible from the term’s work and getting assessed on a 2- or 3-hour test. Educators argue that it does not accurately determine the learner’s knowledge and full understanding. If students have an “off day”, they could fail the exam, putting them on the back foot.
As education transforms, assessing a learner will be done throughout the entire learning process to measure abilities along the way. The aim is to see a student apply their knowledge in the particular field of interest or work they choose and not to see who gets good grades. Technology will allow students to take on more practical learning methods that will better prepare them for the working world.
With technology progressing, we will see more and more jobs becoming redundant as they are replaced with Artificial Intelligence. New jobs will appear where old jobs die. Twenty years ago, nobody heard of an SEO Specialist and in twenty years time, we will have jobs that don’t exist today. Yet, technology will ensure we don’t get left behind. Learner’s will be able to pick and choose how and what they study. This doesn’t make the educator redundant as they are needed to guide students through the maze of information available.
In the future, technology will be fundamental in providing an effective and useful education to every person. Digital learning will help students be more engaged, have longer concentration levels and provide stimulating experiences for the best education journey possible.