Living in a dynamic environment, education is going through drastic changes at light speed. With the Covid pandemic, the education models changed overnight. The world witnessed new approaches to teaching and learning like never before.
Technology has been making space in education for over a decade, but the sudden shutdowns and limitations propelled tech integration for all education needs. As a result, educators were forced to break the barriers and adapt to the new virtual setups.
Addressing the sudden shifts in classrooms, evolving education paradigms, redefined teacher’s role, tech integration and advancement, here are a few education elements we’ll witness in the coming times.
Technology is a Vital Element
Technology and education are becoming the two sides of one coin that will be together. We can already witness tech integration on various levels, in the classroom, distance learning, online courses, upskilling, reskilling, online tutoring, online co curricula and more. This technology is going to take leaps over and advance with time. We have identified four key tech areas that will redefine education in the coming times, i.e., Metaverse, Web 3.0, gamification and artificial intelligence.
Let’s look at how these four elements are going to reshape education in the coming years:
Metaverse: Metaverse is bringing the internet to life. Metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds where users can collaborate and connect in real time. Imagine if teachers could take students to Louvre Museums through VR headsets and provide a real-life experience where students can engage with their environment instead of reciting and stating facts from text or videos.Metaverse can make it possible. Students can virtually visit any place or any historical event. Metaverse creates a 3D virtual world. With a VR headset, people across the globe can connect and communicate with their environment. It creates an immersive learning experience for students, engaging the brain’s motor system and building muscle memory.
Training students on anything, from farming skills to firefighting, is ideal. Skills that align with the strengths of the Metaverse include spatial training, primarily those that involve body movements. It can also help in training students for tasks that can be expensive, dangerous, inconvenient, or simply impossible to practice in real life. For instance, organising a large-scale event in Metaverse can train students on the necessary event management procedures. Students can keep repeating the process until it becomes second nature to them. On the contrary, training students to organise an event without any cost involved is impossible.
Gamification: Gamification is one of the most innovative approaches to education. We know how intriguing games are and engage users to complete new challenges. Adding an education element to maintain the thrill and learning pace has proven beneficial for eLearners. In the future, gamification will be a strategic management instrument instead of the present solution of game-based design with educational value. It will outline how we collaborate, co-create and think about learning and building a community. Gamification in future will build more human agency, capability and autonomy and countless behavioural design features. It will empower people in a meaningful way where they will change against how it currently entices, pushes and rewards them. Gamification in future will foster innovation, critical and creative thinking, decision-making skills, risk-taking abilities and other soft skills along with the academic value.
Artificial Intelligence: Data is the fuel to artificial intelligence. With increased data, AI is constantly evolving to bring peculiar results. AI in education can help students and teachers by streamlining their learning and teaching needs by eradicating mundane, time-consuming tasks that can deviate learners from the actual work. For instance, an AI-enabled writing assistant software can help the student with instant feedback on grammar, facts and word choice. AI makes learning more intuitive and ensures that the learner at a task doesn’t have to shift focus to things that technology can take care of. Besides making learning personalised and intuitive, AI can help people with special needs and learning disabilities. AI in assistive technology can provide a more equitable and accessible learning experience. For instance, digital features like keyboard navigation, text-to-speech, transcripts and closed captions, and screen reader support can work well with AI and help learners with different needs access information and learn quickly.
Web 3.0: The third generation of the evolution of web technologies will revolutionise teaching and learning. With tools like Metaverse, AI, blockchain and IoT, Web 3.0 will streamline access to the knowledge pool for anyone anywhere. With advanced tech at its heart, students can expect personalised learning experiences brought to them. This will be evident in search results, learning materials, and learning modules, where everything will be catered to one’s preferences.
Rather than learners searching for information based on a keyword search, Web 3.0 will determine what information user needs based on users’ activities and interests. Internet will then provide information in the preferred format within the preferred channel. The technology will enable teachers to create engaging assignments and learning projects with innovative resources like 3D graphics, virtual avatars and more.
Also Read: Web 3.0 and Its Probable Impact on Education
Diverse and Flexible Learning Environment
A diverse education system promises flexibility and uniform quality regardless of the medium. We will step into an environment where students can learn online or offline, and the medium will not dictate the quality of education. Plenty of tech integration would happen in the classroom and outside as well. Technology is no longer a fancy or motivating factor; instead, it has become a vital element in education for all education needs. Since technology enables global reach and makes it easier for students to connect with their teachers, in the future, students will be able to learn from any place in the world. With a diverse education system, the global literacy rate will increase, and students around the globe will be able to benefit from technology and diversity in the classroom.
“The reality is classrooms can be anywhere, anytime. Students can work on projects in virtual contexts with others worldwide at any given moment. Technology can change learning forever, and we must embrace and manipulate it to our advantage,” – Tricia McLaughlin, Education Professor, RMIT School.
Technological advances will push the interconnectedness of information and people just a few buttons away. The future of education will demonstrate how technology benefits students, and future generations will be able to handle the problems that come from tech integration with less or no support. The tech integration will be simplified for students’ access; however, the effect would be way more than it is now.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein.
New and improved assessment methods, flexible in terms of medium and expression, will be the assessment methods in the future of education. Besides online assessments, we will see innovative techniques enabling students to express their knowledge in their preferred mediums.
For instance, students who wish to comprehend their learning through writing, projects, presentations, projects, models etc., will have free will to decide their assessment modes. Along with learning, assessments will get personalised, and students will no longer be restricted to grades and papers. Online assessments will come into light adhering to students’ capabilities at each step.
The present education assessments are designed so that students are required to cram their materials. This scenario will shift to assessing the strong and weak areas and developing a personalised learning pathway to help students work on each area as required. Apart from the factual knowledge, students will be assessed on the learning application and tested on field projects.
Freedom to choose
The current education system confines students to defined subjects and material. However, the future of education will give students the freedom to choose. Students will be able to customise the curriculum and will have access to varied learning materials. It will no longer be restricted to textbooks and assignments. Instead, technology and various pedagogies will come into play.
The following pointers define how and what they want to learn:
- How To Learn: Students will get control to modify their learning process, and use tools they feel are necessary. Sticking to conventional methods or a defined technology will not be the rule. They will learn from different technologies, devices, programs and techniques that will provide a holistic learning experience. With technologies like AR and VR, students can experience what they learn.
- What To Learn: Students will be involved in defining their curricula. We will witness a contemporary, up-to-date, helpful curriculum for students where professionals and ‘youngsters’ are equally involved.
The future education system will equip students with practical skills, and students will be able to focus on their studies with thorough engagement by providing them ownership over their learning.
Shift in Educators’ Role
The conventional teachers’ role will not be relevant in the coming years. Instead, the role of teachers will be expanded to be mentors and facilitators. Mentoring will become vital for students. Since students will incorporate self-autonomous learning, the teacher’s role will drastically shift to support their needs. Mentoring students will become fundamental to learning success.
Img Src: katielmartin.com
When learning extends beyond the classrooms, educators from across the globe will be accessible to students. Educators will witness a more globalised occupation with immense opportunities. A key element in the teaching occupation will be marked by technical training. The teachers’ role would expand to data collectors, planners, collaborators, problem solvers, curriculum experts and researchers. Teachers would be responsible for the student’s academic needs. It’d be a part of their job to empower students and help them grow holistically with skills and insights to take risks, innovate, and confidently tap into opportunities.
Social-emotional learning covers two aspects essential for a child’s holistic development – Emotional or Behavioural control and Social Exposure. Social and emotional skills enable one to regulate emotions, thoughts and behaviour. These skills differ from cognitive skills as they impact how one manages emotions, perceives things, themselves, and engages with others. It does not deal with the ability to process information. Instead, it empowers one to become more self-aware. In practice, SEL will equip children to acquire and apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to achieve goals, build positive relationships, and attain decision-making abilities.
Img Src: bcchp.org
These core skills play a crucial role in a child’s development and directly correlate to how skilled that child is as well as their social, academic and professional performance as an adult. Like academics, children must learn to work on their emotional skills and social relations from a young age. In the times we are heading, interpersonal skills are going a play a significant role. With most things going tech, the human ability will become quintessential.
As we think about the change in education, we tend to focus on long-term trends as the key driver. The abovementioned elements will influence the future of education in the long run. We must be prepared to create an ecosystem where shocks like pandemics, social unrest and political polarisation do not put the education of the young generation on hold.