Here's how technology will evolve the student experience over the next 13 years.
In 1989, Back to the Future II was released, depicting a vision of the future in 2015 that included hoverboards, wearable technology, video calling, fingerprint recognition and tablet computers. It’s no surprise then that a couple of years ago the UK media compared these forecasts with reality, pointing out that many of the predictions were more accurate than they thought possible at the time. Can this be done when predicting the future of today’s classroom?
The student experience has evolved a lot over the last two decades, transitioning from a static, one way teaching model where the teacher instructs a group of students with the same materials at the same pace, to one that is much more interactive, social and mobile. But what will it look like in 2030?
As technology continues to play a big role in this shift, we’ve taken a look at how the student experience will evolve even further over the next 13 years:
Mobile will trump traditional learning
Mobile and social platforms have transformed the world, and over the last few years we have seen them have a growing impact on the education sector. Young people are notorious for being attached to their mobile devices, using them to communicate, socialise, and more recently, study. Indeed, a recent report from the YMCA Awards revealed that almost half of students are using smartphones to assist them when learning.
Young people are the most technologically sophisticated and socially-conscious generation in history, with 2.5 million 13-17 year olds using Facebook in the UK, while 39 percent of Instagram users are aged between 16-24, and Snapchat – renowned for dominating the youth – saw its active users double from 100 million to 200 million in 2016. Today’s students have an entirely different world view to previous generations, having grown up in a world full of choice and limitless options. They have high expectations, demanding fast, easy access to content wherever they are. Over the next few years these expectations will increase.
By 2030, it will be the norm for students to have the flexibility to read, interact and engage in learning activities on-the-go. Having access to a fully equipped learning management system (LMS) on any mobile device will undoubtedly transform how and when students consume content. Mobile learning will enable students to visualise their workload, stay on top of deadlines, keep up with discussions, and read course notifications wherever they are from their own smartphone or tablet. Their learning materials will be in the palm of their hands.
We will also see them learning via platforms they are accustomed to, such as Twitter and Facebook. Indeed, features of social media will spill into the classroom over the next decade, creating a bigger gap between the traditional way of learning and delivering training via the digital tools and devices students expect.
Gaming will go up a gear
The growth of mobile technology within education will also enable a much more interactive, gamified learning experience; something that is already becoming recognised as an important part of modern-day learning. Students like the virtual and interactive learning environment that complements their digital skills, recognise them for getting an answer right and adds an element of competitiveness. Features such as quizzing and badges are starting to enter the classroom, but by 2030 they will form an integral part of education and the curriculum at all levels.
Gamification will add a more creative, dynamic element to learning. By offering students the opportunity to take quizzes on their mobile devices when they’re away from the classroom, teachers will be able to see their responses in real-time, giving them the flexibility to assess progress and adapt their learning there and then. These activities have the potential to turn an otherwise routine learning exercise into an imaginative activity that will motivate students to work harder and provide teachers with valuable insight into student performance.
Video learning will be the norm
Modern-day learning has already started to involve students watching lectures on their phone, tablet or laptop when they’re at home, moving the traditional “classroom” into out-of-hours. Through the use of technology, classrooms will become increasingly “flipped”, reversing the learning environment by delivering content that teachers would have previously shared in the classroom online and bringing activities often associated with homework into the classroom.
This will take off in the lead up to 2030 and will lead to a much more flexible, collaborative and interactive environment. We will increasingly see teachers and students communicate via video, with teachers presenting lessons online with the aim of actively discussing what was taught when in the classroom. Video-sharing websites, such as YouTube, also offer an array of educational videos which students will begin to rely on when learning. In fact, a report by Childwise last year revealed that half of all 5-16 years olds watch video clips on YouTube each day. It’s a platform that young people use to connect with others, access news and have fun, and learning will be no exception in 2030.
Over the next 10-15 years we will see huge transformations in education which will largely be driven by student demands and advancements in technology. The classroom, whilst still important, will be complemented heavily by mobile and video learning as students increasingly seek to consume and access learning materials on their own terms and on the devices they are familiar with. The use of gaming and online rewards will also no longer be seen as optional or nice to have, it will be a requisite for any school or university wanting to attract and engage with new students.
As the education sector evolves, it’ll be interesting to come back in 2030 and see how many of my predictions have come true.