William Gibson, a Science-fiction author, once said, “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”
Educators over the world are already testing the technologies of tomorrow in today’s classrooms, sowing the seeds for the future of learning. With the onset of 2021, technology analysts have had their hands full with prognosticating the top approaching technology trends. Some of these technology advancements have already carved a niche in the education industry, while others are poised for mass distribution, promising earth-shattering changes in their wake. Here’s a review of the imminent trends which are likely to make big waves in 2021:
3D printing allows students and teachers to convert any digital file into a 3D real life creation. 3D printing gives unlimited ability to students to design, assess, and engineer their innovations with hands-on exposure to manufacturing, giving them a huge advantage in the era of digital manufacturing. The use of 3D printers has already broken through in schools, helping students grasp concepts that hitherto only existed in the confines of textbooks and allowing them to bring their own creative ideas to life.
The use of cloud in the ELearning industry is all the rage! Even though most people are averse to the idea of keeping data on public services, the security, comfort, and functionality of cloud based learning management systems is weaning those attitudes off. High schools, collages, training and tutoring centers and universities can use these online learning platforms to foster and deliver remote, self-paced or blended courses to a plethora of students, in addition to the tools for the reporting, tracking, documentation, and delivery of online education programs and training.
From course management, advanced assessment and testing capabilities, content sharing, secure video streaming, social learning features, adding pertinent course resources, virtual classroom for live classes, to cloud content library, cloud based learning platforms can greatly streamline the process. Since the data on cloud is assessable anywhere in the world at any time, students are no longer bound by geographical barriers. This essentially means that by the end of 2021, eLearning users will benefit greatly from established cloud technologies, providing aid in numerous learning processes.
Smart phones and devices have become an integral part of our lives, and with the untapped access to the world they provide, their impact on the education industry is inevitable. A lot of schools are using mobile devices to allow their students to participate in their online classrooms, receive notifications from the school and academics, review study materials, complete assignments, and collaborate on the go with peers and teachers. Given the ubiquity of mobile devices, handheld device-based learning is the new logical progression for classroom technology!
As with everything else, the schools should reflect the era we live in; the highly social world! It is highly indispensable to teach students how to be engaged, how to interact with people around them, how to become effective collaborators in the world, and become informed 21st century citizens. If one looks at the budding world of internet communication, file swapping, tags, podcasts, and blogs, it offers radically new ways for students to create, research, and learn.
Whether they are commenting on somebody’s post that piqued their interest, sharing link to other sites, or exchanging pictures, they are basically stretching beyond social interaction and engaging. Now a days, students use social media platforms around the clock to interact with their teachers and peers about class related topics. In addition, there are many educational forums which encourage healthy discussions about various subjects and fields of study. Not only can students learn a lot from their contemporaries, but also garner answers to all their queries and thoughts.
Game based learning is an ingenious approach to teaching, where students delve in appropriate aspects of games in a learning context crafted by teachers. Students and teachers collaborate in order to add perspective and depth to the entire experience of playing the game. There are a plethora of commendable game based learning applications which can take students inside life-like virtual environments that feel and look familiar. The dynamic and vibrant world of video games and impacts on learning and teaching is an area that all educators should seriously think about.
Games which focus on visual in-game navigation, immersive visual learning environments, and digital graphical user interfaces, helps to solve real world problems. The commendable graphical environment encourages users to apply logics and environment analysis to complete objectives or solve puzzles. Games are diligently designed to lure the users in and keep them engaged. Regardless of the visual aid provided, these games help in boosting visual learning abilities.
Plenty of digital games come with audio directions and voice-overs which make game based content and courses more topic oriented and engaging. For instance, if you have ever played the game Pandemic, it entails you to collaborate with other players to strategize with your team and learn the instructions. While this game can’t be construed as a standard “serious game” which would gain a teacher’s nod of assent, it teaches a very imperative 21st century skill: collaboration!