Last year along with a colleague I looked into some of the key trends that were shaping the world of Professional Education. The result was the production of a Learning Strategy completed in December 2014. The document highlighted some of what we thought might impact our organisation in the future. Taking the technologies, attitudes and resources of today and guessing how they might change is certainly brave, possibly foolish, but reading what others think is always interesting.
Tomorrow I will be visiting the Digital Education show in Earls Court; guest speakers include Sugata Mitra, Richard Gerver and Sir Ken Robinson. The topics up for debate are current, wide reaching and of course equally prophetic. Add to this the publication of the 2015 Horizon higher education report and you get an irresistible mix of views on the future, some of which I have highlighted below.
The measurement of learning will increase
Good teachers have always tracked student performance. It may have been in their head, summarised at the end of term in the form of a report but measuring student performance is certainly not new. The difference is now the results are more public, displayed in league tables showing winners and losers. In addition we have data not just on one student but thousands and once you have data, big data in fact, you analyse it, learning analytics is born. This allows you to make recommendations for improvement and predictions based on the observed trends and patterns. Given that new technologies make the gathering of data relatively easy, measuring student performance and the methods by which they learn will only increase.
All classroom courses will become a blend
The genie is out of the bottle, learning in a classroom complimented by the use of instructionally sound online resources offers so many benefits. It enables a more personalised learning experience, makes effective use of student time outside the classroom and is often mobile resulting in greater convenience. It is hard to see why you would ever have just classroom only courses again. Yet not all courses are a blend or to be precise although they have online resources they are little more than a classroom course with some online PDF’s or links that are not used due to poor quality, relevance or support from the teacher, so we still have some way to go.
Informal learning will emerge from the shadows
Informal learning or as it sometimes called student/curiosity led learning has always existed but is now more easily recognised. Teachers and educators are also beginning to invest time into using it more effectively. Once again technology is playing an important role by making knowledge more accessible and facilitating greater collaboration via online forums and social networks.
Video is an incredibly successful example of social learning, it’s hard to imagine but YouTube didn’t exist before 2005, that’s only 10 years ago. It now has 1 billion users, 300 hours’ of video are uploaded every minute and is available in 61 languages. A very practical example of learning with video can be found by clicking the banana – trust me you won’t be disappointed.
And that’s just three
I could equally have mentioned:
- More money will be spent on personalisation and adaptive technologies
- Greater acceptance of BYOD – your own devise that you take from home to class to work
- Wearable learning technologies – think how wearable sports devices have expanded recently
- Internet of things (IoT) – a network of connected objects that link the physical world with the world of information through the web could provide a wealth of new ways of learning
How did I do?
A similar blog from 2011