Education is a never-ending process, it never stops. The dynamics of education have changed tremendously in the last 20-30 years. Digital learning, online courses and examinations have made it possible for us to learn even while staying at our homes or even thousands of miles away from our schools/colleges.

Education has become technologically advanced and is expected to progress at incredible rates, so educators, entrepreneurs, parents and other relevant people need to be on a persistent lookout for the current developments in this sector so as to create better learning experiences for their students.

Let’s have a look at some of the emerging trends in the education sector in 2020:

Online Education

The global online education market is projected to reach a total market size of US$319.167 billion in 2025. With Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and digital learning platforms offering affordable certified courses, governments encouraging recognizing e-learning programs and the rise in legitimacy of digital certificates offered by these organizations, online learning will continue to see an increased adoption in the coming years. More focus will be laid on developing remote learning, time-bound test sessions (for students); and reaching out to more and more students and content curation (for e-learning providers).

Inclusion of artificial intelligence

It is widely known that students learn best when lessons are tailored to their individual needs. AI will enable a level of variation that’s impossible for teachers who ought to manage 20-30 students in each class. Companies such as Content Technologies and Carnegie Learning are presently building intelligent teaching models and digital platforms that use AI to provide learning, evaluation and feedback to students from pre-K to college level. Such AI-driven teaching models use algorithms to collect learning and classify it into strengths, weaknesses or expertise. This data is then used to plot out student behavior and take insights that enable the creation of highly customized and relevant learning trails for each student. This provides teachers with essential information that helps them make teaching more effective, while students also enjoy learning and benefit from the process.

Since March 2020, when the coronavirus havoc began engulfing most parts of the world, schools, colleges and other academic institutions shut down and it is still very unclear when they will be reopening. This has led to the students giving their exams remotely. Multiple remote exam proctoring systems enable students to appear for exams from any location. These systems, driven by AI can monitor remote use using advanced video, image, audio streaming with the intelligence to analyze if a student is cheating. This trend is surging amid COVID-19 and is expected to advance further in the coming future.

Immersive learning

Immersive learning can be defined as a practice that utilizes a virtual environment through which the students can become completely engrossed or immersed in the learning process. In a world full of distractions, endless disruptions and decreasing attention span, immersive learning plays a huge role by converting theoretical information into real and authentic experiences. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality facilitate immersive learning experiences.

  • Augmented Reality (AR) enhances existing study materials through fascinating images and graphics. With the help of AR, one can easily overlay interactive digital elements, such as text, images, video clips, sounds, 3D models and animations into real-world environments, enabling students to train themselves using physical devices.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) allows learners to explore and travel, all within the boundaries of their classroom. VR removes distractions completely through its gear because instead of viewing a screen in front of them, learners actually interact with the 3D world and are hence totally immersed.
  • Mixed Reality (MR) takes VR to another level by introducing elements of AR in the learning environment. AR does the work of adding digital layers of information on top of the physical world. Thus, MR enables physical and digital objects to co-exist and interact in real time.

The main aim of these technologies is to deliver a truly immersive learning experience that excites and engages learners.

Gamification

Gamification, defined as the practice of enabling learning and entertainment at the same time, although not a new concept, is widely being adopted by many educational programs these days. It involves using gaming methods like gathering points, getting badges or goodies, being on the leaderboard or achieving a trophy. This encourages learner engagement, increases retention rates and decreases the course dropout rates. All in all, gamification makes the content more pleasing to each student and simplifies the learning process. It also helps foster an emotional and intensive learning experience. 

Social-Emotional Learning

In today’s competitive world, just being academically great is not sufficient, one must be emotionally strong as well to thrive. This brings social-emotional learning (SEL) into the picture. It is a process through which one develops the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and lifetime success. People with strong social-emotional skills are able to cope with everyday challenges efficiently and hence benefit in their academic, work and social life.

Many institutions have started investing in and hiring qualified counsellors and psychologists in order to help and guide the students when they are in need. By regularly organizing and motivating the students to take part in psychotherapy sessions, academic institutions will create a safe and positive learning for them.

Rise of teacher training programs

Nowadays, a teacher is not just expected to be proficient in her field of study, but also be technically trained along with having good interpersonal and managerial skills. Academic institutions across the world are investing greatly on teacher and administrator training. This is thought to be a great strategy for teacher retention and career advancement. The inclusion of AI and technology will require the teachers to be familiar with the latest trend, tools and guidelines on how to deal with the changes and teach effectively. The training programs help teachers become better educators and develop into skilled future academic administrators.

One could conclude that trends are only believed to be good if they are long-lasting and significantly help in positively changing the education sector over the next few years.  

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