We are always keen as to what is coming up in our life next. We humans tend to form a bond with the future, always curious to know what’s the next chapter. Haven't you ever while reading a thriller novel tried to skip the pages in order to know the
end or try to sneak a little to the last page of your book. Well I don't know about you but I’ve tried and that too quite often. I am always wondering about what next I will try out or read about or look forward to.
Today, education technology is fixed and centralized, either in a computer lab or within a classroom. So the time has come to digitize the classrooms. Rather than considering IT a standalone tool or skill, digitization `tends to disperse throughout every facet of the classroom. So you can say bye bye to the traditional methods of a single teacher addressing dozens of students unidirectional in a physical setting. Now we have many devices that play a vital role in imparting education like the interactive white boards, tablets, data projectors, electronic paper screens, desk sized screens, classroom performance dashboards etc. I don’t think the old system is needed anymore without any changes.
From the unidirectional learning, Edtech futureaims to create peer to peer learning environments where groups coalesce to discuss, learn and solve problems with each other and the teachers serves as a facilitator.
21st century education is not only about digitizing, the whole concept of knowledge and imparting knowledge have been a victim of lots of conventional thoughts of being boring and a task, but now there is a solution to that as well. The aim is not only to impart education digitally but also make it “fun”. New methods of gamification have come up. Billed as an evolution in grading mechanisms, gamification brings instant feedback to acquired knowledge through achievements and point systems. Teachers have started developing apps, educational games, educational programming tools, achievements and badges. This provides a self paced learning and makes the concept of education “fun”.
The biggest change you’d probably see in the next few years is the opening of the information. Gone are the days where information was only provided in the physical silos of schools and classrooms. As years pass by you will see various online school communities opening up, video lessons, MOOCs are being provided by universities all over the world, Open courseware, Coursera, Udacity, Inter school teaching platforms and many more. So the virtual world is opening up, the future of edtech will have disembodied environments where learning happens regardless of physicality or geography.
Another thing to look forward to the future is tangible computing i.e. embedding computation to the physical via intelligent objects, connectivity with a profound impact on learning mechanisms. There is a tendency towards disintermediation i.e. undoing the student teacher model, these technologies such as mobile learning platforms, S2S teaching platforms, Telepresence, offer a scenario where AI handles personalization while teachers focus on teaching.
Overtime education becomes a continuous interconnected effort allowing students to cope with a perpetually changing world. Bridging online-offline gap these future technologies offer a potential future where embodiment is secondary to information access having virtual studios such as holography, neuro-informatics, Retinal screens and much more.
The future of Edtech is based on opening up of information, changing the classroom model to virtual studios wherein students interact and discuss with each other to learn with instruction becoming project performance and portfolio based with new twists and turns of making education fun through various apps and gamification, providing instant feedback and reaching out to people on a global level. I think we have a thrilling future in the 21st century to look forward to. What are your thoughts?