A Decade of Transformation – Ed-tech Sector Today and Tomorrow
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Having a personal computer with good internet connectivity at home was a big deal 10 years ago; students polish their pronunciation on apps now. Sure, many pedagogical innovations have impacted the education sector in the past one decade.
First and foremost, we have witnessed a shift in the approach to education. Rote learning methods have given way to active learning, enquiry-based learning, etc. From teachers being the sole diffusers of knowledge to facilitators of education, and students being passive receptors of lectures to active participants in their own learning, the teaching-learning process has undergone a sea of change. Besides other reasons, the entry of technology in the education sector has largely contributed to this positive change.
Recap: Last 10 Years
As already mentioned, there has been a shift in attitude. Earlier, education was all about gathering degree after degree without giving heed to attaining required skills to be employable. Now, education is more about students gaining more skills. On the technology front, learning has become more engaging. Teachers have struggled for years to hold students’ attention span. High-definition (HD) videos and hands-on activities have come to their rescue, addressing such needs to a large extent. Moreover, rote learning methods only benefited auditory learners; hands-on activities and HD videos benefit auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners too.
Before envisioning the next decade for education sector, let’s get a brief overview of the education sector today. At present, personalized learning is a buzz word, especially with adaptive learning, promising to mitigate all learning gaps starting from the basic level itself. It is often said that the basics of any subject should be clear to students so that they can build on those and progress further. Traditionally, a teacher couldn’t wait for every student to catch up with the lessons, and thus a few were left behind in grasping the concepts. Now, the adaptive learning technology responds to students’ interactions in real time and presents reading materials and assignments as per the unique needs of each learner.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) videos have also started gaining prominence in imparting lessons. Learning Management System (LMS) has also made inroads into the K-12 sector, thus affecting effective communication between all the stakeholders – parents, teachers, students, and administrators.
A Sneak Peek into Future Innovations
Simulations to Rule
In continuation to the present trend, learning is going to be all the more interactive and engaging. Simulations, AR and VR videos will be the primary form of imparting lessons. Game-based learning and gamification, which is still considered too frivolous for education by many, will be the pivotal means of formal education.
No Mundane Tasks for Teachers
Evaluation of assessments takes up the most of teachers’ time. With full-fledged research going on, sophisticated assessment tools are all set to take over teachers’ mundane tasks. For instance, grammar tools can already detect grammar and spelling errors. They will soon be able to detect discrepancies in style issues and correct semantics too. There will also be tools to check essays for plagiarism, flow, etc. Teachers can devote the time thus saved to build a more personalized relationship with students.
Education to Get Social
The brave new social world of Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram is going to broaden its horizon. Students will connect with each other on social media platforms to collaborate on their projects and exchange their learnings, thus leading to crumbling of geographical boundaries.
Formative assessments with continuous form of providing feedback to students have helped them to work on their gaps, but it still does not solve the problem of an employer who is left clueless about candidates’ skills. Thus, in the coming years we will see competency based credentials or credentials grouped as per skills. These will have recognition all over the world.
With hardware becoming cheaper every year and internet price being slashed every quarter, digital education is going be accessible to all. Some of the experiential learning labs are now hosted on a computer; soon apps will take care of it. A future might not be far away when students will have their own individual bots for each subject, which will have all subject-related information and knowledge fed into them. This will surely lend personalised learning new heights.