Article by: Dr. Maithili Tambe, CEO of The Academy School, Pune.
Despite its much static and rigid past, the education economy has witnessed drastic and ground-breaking disruptions over the last few years and it would be remiss if we didn’t mention just how enormous an impact the Covid-19 lockdowns have played in these transitions. From advancements in modes of delivery, assessment and evaluation to shifts in the very philosophy of education, nothing in education has stood still over the last few years. With technology leading the way, it’s becoming increasingly redundant to differentiate education from it’s more edgy and advanced cousin “EduTech”; in fact some believe we’re headed towards a grand merger. In the coming year we can expect to see many fringe developments enjoy mainstream adoption as the education economy keeps heating up with new players and new products. Here are some of the most promising future trends to look out for-
The shift towards ‘Holistic Learning’
If there’s a single trend that could dominate and impact other emerging trends, it would be Holistic Learning. Holistic Learning indicates a shift away from conventional rote-learning based classroom education to a newer approach that accommodates emotional, social and ethical needs of the students.
Immersive learning experiences
Education is going through rapid changes and in many cases building immersive classroom or remote learning experiences is at the forefront. Immersive learning makes use of a mix of conventional and non-conventional methods and tools to increase overall participation and engagement by the students in a classroom session. From the very outset, immersive experiences are designed to be as inclusive as possible for students with different needs and cognitive capabilities.
Distance/Remote or Hybrid Learning
No longer a thing of necessity from the lockdown period, remote learning is finding increasing adoption in schools and universities around the globe. Remote learning makes use of recent wide-scale adoption of 4G/5G internet to make education truly accessible to all of mankind.
NEP 2020 and multidisciplinary approach
With the New Education Policy of 2020, education in high school and junior colleges would become multidisciplinary. Students would be able to choose combinations of subjects that would not have been permitted before; all in all providing them a much stronger base to launch their careers in the modern interconnected economy of today.
Gamification of Education
To make classroom learning a delightful experience for students, applications of games-based strategies have been proven to be a wide success. Using concepts from psychology of group behavior and competitive environments, learning can be revamped as a game with competition and rewards. This approach vies to improve overall engagement and makes classrooms fun.
VR/AR as learning tools
To boost engagement and information absorption in a world of easily distracted pupils, high-tech classrooms are adopting the use of virtual/augmented reality devices. From the time VR/AR were deemed impractical tech fads, they have come a long way to becoming permanent fixtures in human-computer interactions.
AI in Education
Artificial Intelligence applications in education at the moment are too few for a technology so powerful and adaptive. From the next year onwards we could see wide-ranging applications of AI such as auto-evaluation of student essays, AI recommended self-evaluation tests, personalized study plans and much more.
Practical & Vocational Learning
An increasing focus for the next year would be on educational ecosystems catering specifically for vocational education through learning-by-doing and apprenticeship learning. As we move away from being an agricultural to a manufacturing based economy, more people would be employed in blue collar jobs in industries than ever before.
Self-paced & self-directed courses
Allowing for greater independence paired with self-accountability in the pacing of a course empowers students with different learning styles and capacities. As anyone involved in pedagogical occupations might know, each student is unique in his/her learning mental models and practices. In what is being acknowledged as a welcome transition, modern institutes are allowing for student customizations in the duration and specialization of courses taught.
Learning tools for those with cognitive disorders
The hallmark of a modern and adept education system is its allowance for greater inclusivity. This inclusivity includes those with neuro-atypical minds, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia etc. Combined with greater research and cutting edge-technologies, educators of tomorrow are developing frameworks and tools to level the playing field for students with such disorders.