Technological advances and digital transformation are changing the way we live our lives. From business and transportation to access to information and communication, there are several ways through which technology is revolutionizing traditional life design.Today, education is one of the most importance that cannot be overlooked. Technological integrations now make education look different than it was some decades ago.
With the onset of 21st-century technology, traditional classrooms now operate differently. We aremoving past the days of whiteboards and solitary desktop computers in classrooms, to an era of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, all supported with a range of software and other technologies.Technology has also transformed the meaning of learning and education, introducing the possibilities of virtual learning for both simple training and certifications, complex courses and advanced degrees.
Technology is truly reinventing the meaning of education and reintroducing us to an evolving way of learning. Students are becoming more independent in class settings and finding learning much easier in the conducive environments of their choice.Education will evolve as more technological inventions and trends are introduced. Many students are now considering fully online degrees, such as the master’s in computer science in Canada, as a way to earn sought-after qualifications from the comfort of their home.
If you’re wondering how to keep yourself relevant with the new technology trends, or how the ways through which these new technology integrations can impact your online learning process, here are seven points to consider.
Advanced access to learning tools
When you think about the main benefit of technological integrations in education, you should consider accessibility top on the list. This is because there are many ways in which technology has made learning easily accessible.
First, learning has gone beyond in-person and classroom settings. Now, you can attend classes even if you can’t be there physically. With access to the internet and several gadgets such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, you can join any class from anywhere in the world and engage in learning, as much as you would in a physical class setting.
In addition, these technological tools give you access to learning materials, and you can get them in formats and mediums that work best for you. Rather than having all materials in print, they can come in video, eBooks, or audiobooks, depending on the learning style that fits you best.
Technological tools and integrations make online learning much easier to go through, as it can easily cut away the drudgery of moving around, physical registrations, and extra costs of using on-site tools. Easy access and the ability to adapt to users’ preferences are important propellers for learning today, and online learning offers you these different options, thanks to technological transformation.
Significant opportunities for collaboration
Another reason why online learning is being transformed today is because of the significant opportunities for collaboration this type of learning offers. Collaboration is an inevitable aspect of education. A good percentage of the things you learn are from interactions that you have with other learners, and even though you may not be in the same environment with them, you aren’t restricted from learning. Online learning also provides you with a wider scope to learn from different people from different spheres. You can interact with people from across the world with different professional skills and academic knowledge.
Technological integrations have made several tools available for collaboration amongst learners and their tutors. From Zoom and GoogleMeet, which allow for live stream and video chat, to discussion platforms and shared workspaces like Teams, FlipGrid, and MindMeister which allow for organization of information, resources, and interaction, there are several tools at your reach that can enhance your online learning experience.
Collaborative learning is vital in this era, especially as geography and national borders no longer define or impede learning. Multimedia resources and interactive environments will continue to transform learning prospects.
Learning, just like any other significant activity you embark on daily, requires a good level of motivation and accountability. It’s easy to get distracted or unmotivated while learning and that’s why it’s necessary to find systems that can ensure this. Thankfully, integrating technological tools into an online learning system will keep tabs on your motivation levels and help you stay accountable for your learning process.
Several mobile learning apps, such as Pocket Prep, offer instant feedback on what you, as a user, have learned for a specific period. As you become more proficient, it becomes much easier to track your progress, stay motivated, and be accountable for the work.
Online learning can be tricky if a level of discipline, time management, and motivation aren’t embedded. Online classes are flexible and largely dependent on your ability to navigate the autonomy of online learning. However, this doesn’t make online learning difficult or impossible. Instead, it helps to develop high-ranking skills that will be helpful during your employment and personal life.
Also, technological advancement won’t leave you hanging. Several tools can cater for the different areas you need help with. For instance, class schedules can be well integrated into your general schedule in a way that you don’t miss important class activities and can receive extra help when needed.
Generally, these technological integrations help ease the burden of learning and offer as much assistance as required.
Cost-effectiveness for learners
Learning comes at a price, and it’s a price that not everyone is privileged to always afford. From tuition fees and transportation/living costs, to costs of textbooks and other learning materials, there are various expenses that a traditional learner has to cover. Getting standard books and equipment comes at a high cost, and learners are usually on the receiving end of these high standards of teaching, irrespective of their affordability.
However, with the new wave of technologies, some costs have been waived, making learning more cost-effective. Tuitions become more affordable as some high costs have been reduced, books are cheaper when they’re in their e-format and living and transportations costs have also been reduced, as you can learn from the comfort of your home.
Technological advancements have transformed online learning to make it less expensive for learners to get the training and education required. In the long run, this ensures that learning opportunities are more accessible and permits people from different economic backgrounds access to learning.
When learning is convenient, it is most effective. Before now, the only people who could attend school, especially at the tertiary level, were those who could dedicate 100% time and attention to school. There was hardly any possibility of juggling school with work because of the rigidity of education.
Things look different now,students can take classes from the comfort of their homes, or in situations where physical classes are compulsory, a hybrid system of learning can be integrated. This allows learners to learn at their convenience and still juggle it with work and other priorities.
There is no longer a nine-to-five working schedule for most workers, now we have more options, including part-time jobs. We can work during the day and take classes in the evenings, or vice versa.
Also, in situations where physical learning isn’t an option for a learner, asynchronous learning can be incorporated. It allows learners with access to a mobile network and a smartphone to study when they can dedicate some study time during their busy schedules.
Flexible learning and assessment processes
Online learning has become largely flexible for both learning and assessing.
First, lesson preparations and teaching have become even more simplified. New technologies are ensuring that the teacher’s workload is reduced, and the schedule is maximized. Now, teachers are finding it easier to prepare lessons with the aid of technological tools like the Promethean ClassFlow software, which allows teachers to plan multimedia lessons that are interactive, while ensuring that assessments are created and delivered through a range of technologies both in and out of the classroom.
Additionally, taking assessments and writing exams has become much easier. Schools now have the flexibility of designing assessment schemes that can support the wide range of students’ competence and skills that are available without hindering anyone.
As mentioned earlier, ClassFlow also provides tutors with the resources needed to provide real-time feedback from their students, helping them to gauge their understanding and comprehension levels. If needed, they’ll be able to adjust their teaching plan to get better output from their students.
Teaching, learning and assessing has become easier in many ways, which has improved the quality of education.
Relevance to new age
Like everything else in this age, education must follow the new trends as well. Today, we live in a fast-paced world where our attention span is short, and learners must pay more attention to gathering the right information. Technological advancement has made it even easier to learn and learn accurately.
For example, content can now be produced much easier and edited to stay up to date. Previously, the only option was to undergo a lengthy publication process to reflect updates or changes, this involved significant time and effort to make improvements or updates.
Technological integrations make this process much easier, faster, and cost-effective. Some tools that make it easier to create and curate content, easily edit them, and ensure that they’re up to date. From another perspective, students learn best when they’re working with current tools and information. It is much easier to master industry knowledge and succeed in exams when you learn with accurate and current information.
The future of technological integrations for online learning
Above, we have discussed various ways in which technological integrations are currently transforming the online learning space. However, there are other ways that we can expect technological innovations to impact the learning culture in the coming years.Some of those developing technological trends are:
Another dimension of online learning is the storage of data in the cloud as learning continues. A cloud-based learning system can provide several benefits to both learners and tutors, they include:
- More cost-effective data management, software installations, and customer support.
- Less time consuming for technology setup, maintenance, and system updates.
- Substantial data storage
- Learning flexibility across several internet-enabled devices.
With cloud-based learning, resources are available virtually and can be accessed by several digital devices.
The art of gamification will soon reach the educational space, soon learners will begin to experience video game-designed learning systems. The aim of learning gamification is to motivate and occupy learners through the same elements that make video games enjoyable and stimulating.
The gamification of the eLearning platform is expected to include gamified applications, software, and related solutions for the eLearning industry.
Complete digitalization of portfolios
Digital portfolios already exist as online data collections that you can use to create, edit, store, and download collections of portfolios. They typically include different formats such as text, a combination of media types, and links.
However, in the future, it’s expected that these portfolios will be used not only for keeping learning records, but also to build digital profiles, analyze learning data, and as a tool to be used to manage different learning communities.
At this point of technological advancement, learners and administrators need to gain more knowledge about the many learning options available so that they can understand the new phase of educational programs.