A lot of pedagogical shreds of evidence suggest that there is a shift from passive, knowledge-transfer instructional methods to interactive, experiential learning.

In recent years, there has been widespread excitement around the potential for technology to transform learning. Online media-rich e-books, Internet-enhanced cases, chat rooms, electronic bulletin boards, CD-ROMs, electronic libraries, laptop computers, and an ever-expanding array of instructional technologies are promising to engage and motivate students, accelerate learning, and increase the economic worth of students. The investments in education technology are growing. Learners, parents and teachers are facing an array of education technologies to choose from. On one side we have digital personalized learning platforms and on the other hand educational games and online courses.

Why is this defining future ‘skyscape’ of education across primary, secondary and tertiary education?

A lot of pedagogical shreds of evidence suggest that there is a shift from passive, knowledge-transfer instructional methods to interactive, experiential learning. Millennial students today prefer pedagogies that are active and concrete, prefer learning with other students, and prefer instructional pedagogies that are stimulating and real-world oriented. Teachers are confessing that when student-preferred instructional methods are used, student learning outcomes increase.

Millennials are digital-natives kids and they will grow up to become learners, who will continue to build and use their own communities of learning online.

These students, we can imagine, will be coming to institutes in self-driving cars. Having said that, education needs will drive technology use, rather than the ‘coolness’ of technology trumping education. Instead of simply finding ways to put more tablets in students’ hands, education technology will find new ways to supplement the best learning possible–regardless of the “coolness” of new tech.

Education of future will bring realities of world closer into brain cells of the learner, right where she/he is. And this will happen because virtual reality is already doing so in the gaming world. A learner will learn about Gandhi and Hitler by being inside the 3D animated movie showing their decisions, movements, battles, arguments and followers. World of artificial intelligence penning down a few trends is expected in next half -a- decade.

STUDENTS WILL INTERACT WITH OTHERS REMOTELY

Education tech will continue the push towards an individualized instruction for students. Blended education where some portion of learning happens using LMS (learning systems like Blackboard, Moodle) is already operational in many forward-looking education institutes.

Technology, like video conferencing using skype and zoom, is also already allowing learners to reach out beyond the walls of their classrooms to interact with other students, other teachers, and renowned authors, scientists, and experts to enhance their learning.

THE SUCCESS OF TECH WILL STILL RELY ON SKILLED TEACHERS

As technology advances, its limits will become clear. ‘Online’ will not become a cure-all for education issues in this globe, but it can help provide greater access to new skills training. This is powerful when combined with curricula and programming created and led by practitioner-educators. The human factor will always remain important. The role of teachers will be different. The teachers will no longer be knowledge giver. But they will become trainer, coach, and mentor.

INSTITUTES WILL THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT THE DIPLOMA

Cost of good quality education is on a rise globally. And the growing population across the globe is only putting a demand on quality education more. Students will be living with debt sooner than now. This threatens the sustainability of tuition-fee by academic institutions. The institutes will create innovative methods to unbundle degree offerings. The employability gap that employers complain about educators, will pressurize higher education sector to think creatively about how to offer the training students need for a workforce that desperately needs them. The sector will see a shift towards more relevant competency-based programs and aggressive competition for students.

STUDENTS WILL HAVE A VOICE

Traditional education is very top-down, heavy-handed – sit down and read, be quiet, don’t ask questions–there’s still a lot of room for innovation.

Today, diplomas granted by years in school are the dominant certification of ‘learning.’ Yet, in almost all cases, these diplomas certify nothing other than the fact that the person in question spent N years in school. Competency-based certifications testing specific skills, and bundling individual skills into professional groupings will become a global currency for both employers and job seekers. NSDC, NIIT, IBM certifications will carry more weight than university degrees.

The possibilities offered in technology have fed into this shift as well. A new curriculum will have to be created across all kinds of streams that build on these possibilities that will allow students to move away from rote learning and tackle real-world challenges and develop solutions for them.

EDUCATORS AND INSTITUTIONS WILL BE FORCED TO ADAPT

Engaging and respecting students and families as wellness partners have become a new focus for academic organizations already.

By 2100, more than half the world’s population will live in India, China, or Africa. So, global policy leadership, education services, and course content will be shaped by issues and needs of these countries.

For education institutes of all types, content or curriculum will not be the core differentiator, but rather they will be judged on how well they coordinate complex offerings into a useful package for their students and graduates.

Most professions can point to dramatic changes in the way they work, thanks to technological innovations, but teaching still looks and feels an awful lot like it did when today’s teachers were themselves, students. It is starting to change, but it has been incredibly slow. Educators will have to gear up faster. Or we will be like dinosaurs in the age of drones.

As first appeared on BWeducation.

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