Future Trends, Opportunities, and Challenges in Digital Learning

(The voice function for POWTOON did not work so there are no added explanations in the video, however, if you are interested in the ideas to feel free to read the detail in the blog post below.)

Seeing how far a lot of schools have been able to come despite the many challenges related to education is amazing. Schools that understand that technology is not a threat but rather invest in it as an opportunity, will hopefully become a more common site in the next few years.

Whether educators and policymakers like it or not technology will play a big role in education and will grow in that role. This can mean anything from high-tech devices being used; to things as basic things as whether homework is assigned or not. Schools in Finland seem to be the leaders in regards to many of these applications, but other schools from many other countries are starting to follow suit.

What will education look like in 2027? or even further on from then? My guess is as good as anyone’s but here are some of the ideas I gathered from other more educated people and websites:

  • Flipped classrooms, no homework (at all! Ever!), and more crossovers in subject areas.

Flipped classroom: Students watch a lecture covering the essentials of the unit of work at home and then goes to class to practice the skills and homework with the teacher.

No homework: Every kid’s dream. Something that is already happening but I expect it to become the norm not the exception as time passes. Schools in Finland already apply this and recently a prep-school in South Africa took their lead. Students are happier and performing better!

 No subjects:  An interdisciplinary approach to lessons where teachers combine their knowledge into one class and students then work on projects that focus on aspects of both subject areas with real life applications.

  • More and better technology- Virtual reality classes and real life experiences

With 3D printing and LCD touch boards, that make our world more real, it is only a matter of time before these kinds of tools will reach the classroom and be able to meet the demand of students and teachers at a high level.

  • Online schools and classes

Online learning is becoming easier and more affordable than traditional classes. They provide a way for people with disabilities or time constraints to enter into classrooms from the comfort of their own homes. TeachNow, Coursera, Minerva and other higher education institutions are uploading lectures and work to platforms on the internet and this will become more and more popular.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/virtual-seminars-lower-tuition-minerva-schools-offers-online-alternative-college/

  • Free choice

Sugata and many other experts like Joe Rohl have shown that students don’t need a teacher to lecture for them to be able to learn. Students will teach themselves if they are encouraged in the right way when they are able to collaborate. Giving them options in the classroom that meet their learning styles and having an open classroom will be a big part of the future.

  • More games

Words are used as the main part of a class, but a lot of students cannot learn effectively this way. Gaming is starting to play a major role in learning and has shown to be effective for non-verbal students or students with learning disabilities, giving everyone a better education.

I think this is an exciting time to see the shift in education that is long overdue. Schools will become more individualized in design and concepts but will achieve more well-rounded students for the 21st century.  The teachers’ role is already shifting to being more of a facilitator, where they allow their students to gather the work, to learn independently and guide them through a process.

But

This will not be possible if teachers are not able to incorporate 21st-century ideas into their classrooms. Giving someone and Ipad and not teaching them how to use it or not having put in place the correct apps will not ensure learning in a new way. In fact, it can be counter-productive.

Technology is expensive and schools need to be able to distinguish what is worth investing in and what isn’t. As time goes on things become less expensive but newer and better items also arrive. Being creative in your use of the technology you have available to you, will help to balance the situation.

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