Technology Trends Shaping E-Learning In 2021
Human beings are the only species on the planet capable of learning various things and growing from what they’ve learned. If you look back over the past 100 years, humans have come a long way with their teaching and learning methods. Early human beings, i.e., the cavemen, started with writing on the walls of the caves, followed by a more civilized and smarter generation who used slates for the same. Soon slates changed to blackboards, blackboards to whiteboards, whiteboards to smartboards and eventually, a physical setup became obsolete. In the past five years, the learning industry went through many shifts in its functioning, which ultimately stopped with the birth of e-learning.
Many institutions were still resorting to traditional learning methods; they had a dedicated classroom environment, chalk and duster, and study material. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, and the traditional ideologies and preferences of such institutions came into jeopardy.
However, our learning process has been hampered by these unprecedented times. The pandemic acted as a blessing in disguise by giving birth to a worldwide phenomenon of e-learning as an ultimate solution.
Now let’s talk about the present, past, and future of e-learning, a one-stop alternative to distance education.
E-learning: On-demand learning and a path to the future
Ever since the novel Coronavirus attacked the subcontinent, things have continuously gone out of control. The education industry had no exception, with the most significant number of institutions still using the traditional learning techniques of studying in a classroom setup. Thus, a quick solution was the need for the hour when e-learning in video classrooms came as a temporary savior to save the day. However, the virus continues to wreak havoc, so the temporary savior started showing signs of exhaustion.
The lectures became boring; students were not paying attention, assignments were being copied and eventually, the whole learning process got contaminated. The institutions now realize that e-learning is undoubtedly the solution to the problem, but they’ll need to dig deeper if they want maximum utility.
Even though distance learning has been in the market for over a century now, a massive chunk of the population has always tried to stay away from this alternative due to its lesser credibility. It is high time when we try and improve the credibility of distance education and thus make it the first preference for everyone seeking education.
A shift to remote learning has taken hold of the trend landscape in technology because of the ongoing pandemic. Now let’s dive into the top technology trends that are reshaping the eLearning in this 2021.
Top Seven Technological trends shaping e-learning in 2021
eLearning enables learners to access educational content from computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. If used wisely, this technique can not only save a lot of human time and effort on delivering lectures over and over again but can also help you in covering the syllabus at your pace in your desired order.
Just as you keep up with the new trends in clothing to stay relevant, being updated with the technology is also essential to stay relevant and aware of the latest tools that are reforming the working of your industry.
Below are the top technological trends which are not only shaping the e-learning industry but will also help it to grow and sustain in the long run.
- Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality for e-learning
This sophisticated technology of virtual reality is not only meant for the gaming industry, but it has also started venturing into various other avenues as well like engineering, biology, physics, medicine, etc. Education is also among the upcoming top markets for this technology. Due to the rise in practical learning these days, institutions are coming up with ideas to use AR/VR technology to give a more elaborate, realistic and practical flair to the whole learning process. In this way, the lectures are neither boring nor unclear, as anything and everything is taught at a more grass-root level.
- Artificial Intelligence
Similar to the other fields, Artificial Intelligence has made its mark in eLearning as well. Innovative solutions are now being offered where AI-powered smart chatbots are capable during the courses. Artificial Intelligence allows learners to chart their own learning path, anticipates their behavior, and provides personalized learning experiences. And the advancement of the learning process will be facilitated by new virtual assistants that offer fast and easy learning.
Read More: Learners are able to resolve their queries with smart chatbots. How?
STEAM is nothing but a more advanced version of the same concept earlier known as the STEM programs. STEAM is an abbreviation for science, technology, engineering, art, and applied mathematics; it is a modern approach to develop a sense of critical thinking among students in the above-said areas of subjects by introducing them to a real-life problem.
- Social Media for e-learning
The amount of craze social media platforms has gained among the youth is the same as the amount of hatred in the eyes of the older generation; the main reason behind this hatred is simple, they think that social networking sites are nothing but a tool to suck time. Their concern is quite valid since only a tiny piece of the total population on social media uses it wisely. Only a tiny fraction of the population uses it to learn different skillsets by connecting to industry experts while networking. However, slowly and steadily, things are picking up; now, many people are getting enrolled in various seminars or workshops to learn specific skills, all through social media applications.
- Gamification of educational content
Games are a modern form of addiction; millions of people are slogging their time on games like PUBG, which shows the kind of craze video games have on people irrespective of age. But have you ever wondered what would happen if educational concepts will be taught to you in the form of a video game? The same concept has been incorporated by some of the private schools around the globe to teach specific concepts to their students by using interactive games. However, such games are generally low on graphics as they are not meant for dedicated gaming but to provide learning in the guise of a game.
- Video conferencing-based e-learning
The most popular and most used medium to maintain the flow of learning is video conferencing. Though video conferencing has been a part of our lives for about a century, however, it was never used in the learning process by any means. During the COVID pandemic, which forced everything to shut down, educational institutions had no option but to resort to online teaching via video calls, which surprisingly worked pretty decently to tackle the situation. YouTube also emerged as a great learning center as many experienced folks shared their expertise by posting relevant videos on the application.
In recent times many companies around the globe have adopted microlearning to fulfill their training and learning purposes. Microlearning is a form of virtual training and education in which each learning objective is targeted at a single element of the learning process. It stands out as a more efficient and effective instructional approach than macro learning, where students read each page of each textbook to learn a particular concept.
Read More: How e-learning will affect employee training in the future?
Conclusion: Technologies to take learning to the next level
There is no doubt that human beings have come a long way; however, we have to go a long way further. The way we are not bound to any physical interaction or a physical set up to ensure free flow of learning, a time might come that there would be need of nothing like these tools at all. All the data will automatically load into your brain using some dedicated data technology.
But it’s a long time till we reach there, so let’s stay updated with what is present now to stay relevant.