eLearning with Latest Technology: The new normal in Education
Technology has transformed our lives like no other. In today’s digital era, technology has eliminated unnecessary manual intervention and has proved to become more than just a companion! Uber for example, has disrupted the taxi industry using technology; Airbnb has disrupted the hotel industry using the same weapon. They are the biggest companies in their industries, yet they own no inventory.
So is the education industry next? Would the education industry be the next victim to UBERisation? The future looks bright!
Technology has already started to completely transform the way we learn. With classrooms being filled with ICT technology and educators now embracing latest technology for teaching more than ever, the education industry is on the verge of seeing a massive upturn.
According to latest research, the global e-learning market is set to witness accelerated growth rates over the next three years. With the global market for self-paced e-learning at $35.6 billion in 2011, the five-year compound annual growth rate was estimated at around 7.6% – means a whopping $51.5 billion in 2016. Amongst the regions making the highest impact are Asia at 17.3%, followed by Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America at 16.9%, 15.2%, and 14.6%, respectively*.
Technology and Elearning
Over the past few decades, the education industry has witnessed a complete overhaul in the nature of the classroom, the way lessons are taught and the medium and manner in which knowledge is consumed. Much like its precursor- the Internet, technology has a key role to play here. However, unlike the pre-Internet period, today consumers have the power to choose- where, when, what and how to learn, utilizing the newly developed e-learning technology and application.
In this era of personalization, with customers becoming more demanding and wanting to consume information on the go- anytime, anywhere, technology has made it possible to deliver one to one learning. Customization of this sort could not be imagined ever before. Of course, traditional teaching elements such as classroom management and forms of assessment must be present, however, technology has opened up a complete new dimension.
So what resources are powering this change? This includes latest gadgets, ICT technology, powerful content delivery, advanced software and catapulting presentation skills. The major tenets include but are not limited to Instructor-Led Training (ILT), social learning, mobile learning, MOOCs and gamification. Add the flavors of virtual reality technologies and wearables and you have the magic recipe ready for a unique customer experience!
So let us now focus on each of the key ingredients shaping this revolution in the education industry:
Image Source: Wikipedia
elearning offers a highly flexible and convenient mode for people looking to advance themselves in their careers, learn a new skill or train for a new position.
Social Media is a crucial channel for communication. From making friends to learning, discussions to opinions, experience sharing to transferring ideas & inspiration, social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube have changed the way we network, irrespective of age, physical boundaries, caste, creed, sex or any other division. They aren’t any new computer or technology but the same people communicating and sharing. Enabled by technology, this will soon become the next thing in future.
With smart handheld devices providing access on the go- anytime, anywhere and increased internet penetration, mobile learning has come up to disrupt the teaching space. Mobile learning, or mLearning, is set to become one of the dominating eLearning content consumption channel in the coming years. Tools such as SMART boards, iPads and even Smartphones are being used widely across advanced classrooms as a way to engage and share knowledge with students in a better and efficient way. This is set to fly as smartphone penetration increases with better access to the internet.
MOOCs are shaping the future of distribution of education using online platforms by allowing thousands of people to take the same course from the same institution. MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) have gained popularity like none other within a short span of time. The concept has taken flight with most top profile universities investing in this area (including MIT, Harvard, Sloan and Ivy League schools) along with many other educational institutions, either traditional or online only. On offer is absolutely open and free access to students as well as paid-for MOOC-based tuition. In the future, this is ought to become a trend with students enrolling into MOOCs in huge numbers. While free MOOCs won’t go away, monetization of MOOCs is inevitable. This would lead to creation of a multi-billion dollar market for treasured degrees from popular institutions.
With increasing access to education and increased demand for convenience, while also being sensitive to price, customers expect inexpensive, high-quality, exposure rich and easy to access learning and training services. With eLearning and mLearning shaping this future, any stigmas attached to online learning will be abolished. Another trend which is set to accelerate this vision is cloud-based learning. Cloud based technology is set to play the catalyst in streamlining training procedures and customized learning options for small and medium sized businesses.
The Cloud is has set organizations alike by fostering collaborative environment for interaction. The workplace is no longer your office but the place you are at! With the cloud, education providers and students can access lessons anytime, anywhere and consume then at they own will and speed. The upfront investments in infrastructure are eliminated and all one pays for is for what they use. On cloud, the data is secure and student records can be maintained easily.
Within the Cloud solutions universe, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is already a hit! This is majorly due to speed of implementation, savings on capital expenditures and operating expenses offered via the SaaS route. According to a leading Gartner research, SaaS market is estimated at $22 billion. Many educational institutions and corporate training units are already replacing their legacy systems with SaaS-based CRM systems.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
Today we have a wide variety of handheld devices at our disposal- of all sizes and configurations. With information spread across these devices, it becomes difficult to access and collate. Learners across schools, colleges, workplaces and organisations are becoming smarter about the way they learn. So they have started bringing their own devices into the work and learning environment. Hence the concept of BYOD.
This trend will become more rampant in future as personal devices will be put to multiple use.. According to IDC, the #r of PCs will fall to 13% in 2017 while the quantity of tablets will increase to 16.5% by 2017, and smartphones will increase to 70.5%. All this supports the concept of BYOD (Bring your own device). BYOD will not only help their owners perform work activities (including formal training), both in and out of the workplace, but also increase the speed and productivity.
A mundane lecture, endless sleep and boring assignments is something we all have experienced. Sitting down in a classroom for long hours was never fun. Not only are some traditional methods of teaching ineffective, even the elearning methods cannot address them all alone. To bring all this to life, gamification comes like a boon. Haven taken the education industry by storm, gamification caught on like wildfire with its unique offering.
Adding the fun element, gamification imparts a sense of challenge and competition to learning. Unlike students fighting for the better grade, gamification induces competition and increases engagement by utilizing gaming themes and insights from cognitive psychology. Gamification adds interaction, strategy building and immediate feedback to the learning process. This is set to become the future way of learning. More eLearning courses will look like video games than books or websites and would be weaved around stories. And the best part is- this would not just be restricted to kids at school, it will become part of everyone’s life.
Imagine how the present education system functions around major educational institutions- be it school/college/coaching etc. It demands of physical attendance, traditional classrooms with whiteboards, actual teachers telling you to keep quiet. This is all set to change with Instructor led training.
Instructor-Led Training is all about the incorporation of eLearning into all of our traditional educational institutions. There would be no physical classrooms and all communications would utilize an elearning channel. With this here would be no constraints on number of students taking courses simultaneously and there would be no physical barriers.
Virtual Reality and Wearables
The concept of VR sounds very interesting but is restricted to niche markets at present. A major issue inhibiting the adoption of VR for eLearning is the lack of content. Today VR is limited to virtual tours and game-like experiences. However, this experience will extend beyond dimensions with more educational content.
Similarly, wearables are also limited by their small screens, lack of input methods, inefficient speakers, battery performance, etc. to be actually useful in eLearning . But they will overcome these barriers soon and what would surface would be no less than a revolution.
With this we conclude that the future of education is bright and technology will be the key enabler. At Aalpha, we keep ourselves abreast with the latest developments in the industry and ensure delivering tailored elearning solutions to our customers on cutting edge technology.
Also check: Video conferencing app development
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About The Author
My name is Stuti Dhruv & I am senior consultant at Aalpha, primarily working on pre sales, consulting with clients on latest technology trends.