The origin of online learning lies in distance learning mode back in the 1840s. Of course, there were no computers then, and education was imparted using books that students would study and appear in exams. It has undergone a mega transformation ever since. The integration of technology in education has given way to e-learning or online learning. It is constantly reinventing itself while embracing modern technologies. Learning management systems, internet-based courses, collaborative and social learning, and massive open online courses are among its incarnations in the last decade and a half. Below are some of the current and emerging technological trends in online learning.
Innovative learning through the Internet of things:
The Internet of things (IoT) cuts across smart devices and connects them for seamless and integrating functioning. Students and teachers can easily connect via apps, software and make for a more involved studying experience. It also simplifies the collection and analysis of data. Teachers can engage students more efficiently and save time to focus more on teaching students innovatively.
These are a new set of immersive technologies that are getting increasingly popular in e-learning. They are short for augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). They seek to take the learner in a simulated environment with a real-world feel using 3D technology. A teacher can take his students on a virtual tour of the moon using these technologies. It offers tremendous potential in studying medical sciences, engineering, etc. It requires headsets and other gadgets to work that is somewhat precluding its growth, but their continuous cheap and vast supply makes the future brighter for them.
It is the intelligence displayed by machines based on which they can “think” and make decisions. Its inclusion in educational models is going to revolutionize the learning experience as we know it. Students can learn in a progressive, non-linear, and exciting way. It takes learning to a whole new level of understanding. It increases efficiency, streamlines tasks, and helps personalize things. The teachers get more time to focus on imparting learning to the students.
Cloud-based services have also simplified and helped the educational system in more ways than one. It allows easy data storage and retrieval facilities. Only those who are allowed access can view or use that data. It ensures its security and sanctity and also resolves the issue of copyright infringement. Students can access these services from anywhere in the world, offering another great advantage.
Game-based learning and gamification:
Both these concepts are integrated and encourage the use of the game in the learning process. Gamification, however, has a more profound and diverse meaning. It seeks to transform the entire learning into one big game. The concept is not entirely new; educationists have been stressing and teaching game-based education to kids for a long time. But the advent of technology and the Internet has added a new dimension to it. You can now teach adults using game-based techniques too.
Personalized learning content:
Using technology, it is now possible to prepare study material for each student according to his competence. It includes specialized e-tutorials, video-based learning, and the use of other such digital techniques to design a tailor-made learning solution for every student. It is another breakthrough in education that we can witness in e-learning methods in the coming years.
They are also known as virtual classrooms as they mimic a real classroom except that everyone is not present in the same room. Video conferencing has made it possible now. And the use of apps such as Google meet and Zoom has popularized this model further. Students can interact with the teacher and other fellow students and also see each other. It is as close as one can get to an actual classroom and is taking e-learning by storm.
Mobile phones are becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex by the day. Experts say they will be the mini-computers of tomorrow. The advancement in mobile phone technology has led them to be used for e-learning as well. Now, online learning systems are designed that are mobile-friendly as well. Students should take their online classes on mobile phones quickly, perform tasks like research, assignment submission, access data, and use their mobiles.
Fast-speed internet, efficient processors, and sharp graphics have made videos accessible for all in today’s time. And we all love to watch videos. E-teachers have realized this and are integrating more and more videos in their instructions. Videos are far more effective in imparting education than texts, spoken words, etc. It has led to the rise of video learning platforms on the Internet. People enroll there any buy courses that they want to learn. It is a great way to know students.
Social media and e-learning:
Social media has also made inroads in our lives, and we cannot imagine our lives without it. Billions of us are connected via social media. It is but natural that we start using it in e-learning as well. Studies have shown that students are more at ease when getting an education through social media platforms. You can make social media groups and quickly disseminate information and share knowledge about the subjects. It also allows you to create and share videos, presentations, and other content for your collective good.
It is also an interesting concept that helps you learn more concisely and briefly. Podcasts, infographics videos, webinars, short videos, audio clips, etc., are examples of micro learning. You get the gist of the entire topic through these methods and save time for yourself. This method is going to be huge in the coming times.
So, these were the methods that you can see making it big on the e-learning scenario in the coming days. There can be more to the list as technology keeps evolving, and we strive to achieve excellence through its proper and efficient use. Technology holds endless and exciting opportunities for us, and we must harness it for our greater good.