What does the future of learning look like?

April 4th, 2019

In our last post[, we explored how established and emerging technologies are changing students’ learning experiences – from childhood education through to university studies and professional education and training.

Now, in this second post of our three-part series on education and technology, we’ll take a look at how learning is likely to change over the longer term – say the next three to five years.

What we can expect to see

Student-led learning

Conscious of the changing world in which they’re growing up, today’s students place a high value on holistic learning that builds creative, social, emotional and technology skills and prepares them for the future workforce. They are agents of their own learning journeys, with an appetite to succeed in their personal and professional futures.

Students’ growing demand for choice and control over their learning experiences will influence the shape of future education models. The next generation of students are not likely to be passive learners of static content, nor will they accept a one-size-fits-all approach.

The future of learning will be defined by student choice, where each individual is empowered to shape their educational experience based on their own learning goals. Students will exert more influence over what, where, when and how they learn, with teachers and technology playing a critical role in guiding students on their respective journeys.

Personalised learning experiences

No two students are alike. Each student learns at their own pace and will generally favour particular learning styles. For example, some students require a visual approach to learning, while others prefer learning by doing or absorbing concepts through research and study.

There’s growing evidence that a personalised approach to education – in which teaching is adapted to the needs of each individual – is a powerful and effective method of improving academic performance and cognitive capabilities. In fact, a McKinsey study revealed that students who receive personalised instruction perform better than 98 percent of students who learn through traditional approaches.

Collaboration at the centre

Jobs of the future will require a range of cognitive, social and emotional skills that can be built and strengthened through collaboration. Problem solving, creativity, critical thinking and team work will become increasingly valuable as automation replaces low-skilled and process-oriented jobs of today.

To ensure that today’s students are adequately prepared for the jobs of the future, we can expect to see a continued shift in learning and teaching that prioritises rich, immersive and collaborative learning experiences.

Customised applications

Schools, universities and other educational institutions have embedded online teaching resources, software and learning management systems as core features of high-quality and accessible learning. The shift we can expect to see is institutions moving away from generic systems and platforms to purpose-built, customised applications that meet their unique and specific needs.

Change is already happening

Forward-thinking education institutions are already taking leaps to realise the future of learning for their students. For example, UNSW’s School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering has been working with Cloud Collective to improve collaboration and productivity by integrating a chatbot into Microsoft Teams.

The chatbot can scan through high volumes of questions and posts in real-time to answer student questions, inform teaching staff of topics where students are struggling and make information readily available as students request it. Initial results are overwhelmingly positive, and work is now underway to roll out the bot capability across the university.

What’s next?

The future of learning presents enormous opportunities for students and teachers alike to benefit from technology. With increasingly sophisticated capabilities (particularly in the AI domain) and continued improvements in the accessibility of learning resources, educational institutions will be well equipped to take teaching and learning to new heights. If you’re ready to move your school or university into a new era of technology-enabled education, contact Cloud Collective now!!