1. Learning will be the by product of engagement
From Aesop’s fable to Dora the explorer, children have learned some important lessons through stories. However, as attention spans of children drop the world over, stories will form the new way of engaging young learners.
Many edtech companies are already doing so with the use of gamification. Duolingo, for example, teaches languages using quizzes. Another example of an app using gamification is Elevate – it promises to increase your brainpower as you play games such as propelling a missile to the moon.
Now when we take this kind of teaching to solve large problems, we see tremendous potential: imagine children learning geometry by playing games such as arranging shapes. Remember, in their minds, they are not learning geometry. They are playing a game. Kids love challenges and as companies vie for a slice of the K12 market, we will see more and more companies enter this space with some innovate products.
2. Smaller bit-sized videos will be more pervasive than text
A common sight that plays out these days, from shopping malls to airports, is parents silencing their wailing kid by showing them a video on YouTube. Let us be honest, it is hard to focus on children when the parents themselves are busy on Whatsapp! There’s a reason why ChuChu TV is the largest YouTube channel in the whole of Asia, in terms of time spent.
For a 6-year old whose frontal cortex has been flooded with dopamine by constant visual stimulation, it is hard to get excited by reading a book. Also as the free time available is increasingly consumed by computers, mobiles, and tablets, the student of the future is going to spend less and less time in front of a physical book. Add to this cauldron, the decision of companies such as Facebook to focus more on video content, and what you see brewing is a magic potion for video content companies.
Think of the cool recipes with some stunning visuals on your Facebook newsfeed – why would you want to read a recipe book ever? That is the thinking most children would have towards books. Also as it naturally appeals to children who are more visual than textual learners, you will see more and more learning content in the form of a quick explainer video.
3 .Schools will attempt to “automate” teaching
The most technology most people had at school while growing up in the 1980s and 1990s was perhaps the projector that showed some documentary in the very unimaginatively named A/V room. That is a far, far cry from the kind of technology most schools seem to have today. From digital whiteboards with interactive content to pre-loaded educational tablets, schools seem to be embracing technology more than ever.
There is a reason they are doing this. The biggest challenge schools have (especially the franchisee chains like DPS) is ensuring consistent quality of teaching staff. Teaching is no longer the “noble profession” for a smart, articulate lady who decides not to be a doctor or an engineer. She could do anything from social media consulting at a digital marketing agency to process consulting in an offshore firm. So schools have a huge dearth of quality professionals. A quick and easy solution for this is to outsource the difficult stuff to online teaching – while getting local teachers to only facilitate the delivery of the content.
In a country like India where in matters of education, parents don’t get tired of keeping up with the Kumars, such schools are booming. So don’t be surprised if in the future your child’s class teacher happens to be a cloud-based software that is powered by analytical engine, delivering real-time performance metrics to your mobile.