A common question among educators is what education will look like in the future. In a world that is continuously changing, the way education is handled has to evolve too. There are a lot of things that will shape the future of education and we are going to look at some of the key trends that are already emerging that tell us where education and learning are likely headed.
A major realisation that has come from the way educators have handled teaching and learning is that all students learn differently. Many believe that the classrooms of the future will favour individualised learning over the arrangement we have right now.
It is important to realise that students are no longer locked down by location, device, or time of day when it comes to learning; students can learn anywhere at any time and at their own pace. Self-paced learning is helpful for both fast and slow learners. Fast learners can complete the learning process quicker and be funneled into more challenging lessons. In slow learners, allowing them to learn at their own pace can highlight any learning challenges that may exist quickly.
Teaching tools, strategies, and lessons can then be tailored to cater to how students learn best which allows even the slow learners to be on a par with their peers.
Educating an Ageing Population
The average life expectancy is increasing around the world. With people living longer, educators and institutions have to find ways to educate the ageing population. There will be challenges educating an ageing population and educators and institutions have to be prepared for it.
Also, the notion of lifelong learning will become more popular. As people live longer, they will also be in the workplace for longer. This means they will need to upskill or reskill to keep up with emerging technologies and anything else that may affect the way they work.
Automation is going to disrupt the workforce and change the way we think about education. While we need to think about educating those who will run the machines required to keep automation going, we also need to think about teaching new skills to ensure that the whole generation is still able to enter the workforce when automation takes over.
Adding Creativity to learning
Even with our current need for people in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering, we still need creative people. Creativity is vital to the learning process and to how we express ourselves. Because of this, programs that have some creative elements to them have started to gain popularity, with some institutions now placing a lot of emphasis on creative arts. Additionally, some employers have started listing creativity as a positive trait that gives candidates an edge during the interview process.
Changing Teaching Methodologies
Education leaders have realised that teaching methodologies that used to be effective in the past are no longer useful. New ways of teaching, such as educational games, simulated learning, and educational entertainment, have proven to be a lot more effective and more appealing to students.
These teaching methodologies put the student inside the lessons they need to learn instead of letting the lessons seem foreign and external to them. Educational games and educational entertainment let students have new experiences out of their books and can open up new opportunities for unique teaching and learning moments.
Although the new teaching methodologies have proven to be effective and are already in use in a lot of classrooms, teachers are encouraged to keep developing new methodologies as the way they teach keeps changing. To enable this, educators are encouraged to enroll in programs that teach them the necessary skills required to help them continue coming up with new teaching methodologies. Many educators are opting to enrol in a master’s in education distance learning programme to learn the skills required to not only become better educators but to provide unique educational experiences in a world that is continuously changing.
Emerging technologies can appear somewhat primitive, especially when they are used in education. However, emerging technologies are enabling access to education as well as improvement in its quality. Emerging technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and blockchain are already in use in some classrooms as a guide for the educational journey of students.
Virtual reality and augmented reality have become important tools in making lessons more appealing and engaging while the use of the Internet of Things is offering a way for educators to reach and communicate with students and their parents in real-time.
Although online or virtual learning has been available for decades, the current situation in the world has made most institutions turn to it. Virtual learning is now widely accepted at all education levels and its use and popularity will likely not wane soon.
We have already seen that online learning, although it needs some polish, is a viable way to educate the masses. It offers some benefits over traditional learning and its accessibility and availability are very appealing.
As more people accept virtual learning, we will see more opportunities for quality education that did not exist in the past.
As more people move to urban areas for jobs and career opportunities, there will be increased pressure on educational institutions to cater to the needs of all these people and their children.
Institutions will have to start thinking of ways to provide accessible and flexible education options. A clear option for a lot of them is offering more virtual learning options. The main advantage of these options is that they can handle a lot more students than traditional options. Therefore, even with a massive movement of people into urban areas, institutions will not be overwhelmed.
Shifts are happening in the world with the way we live, work and learn. Because of the critical role it plays in shaping our future, it is important to examine how education will change as well as the forces behind these changes.