Where has the year gone? It seems like just yesterday we were posting our predictions for communication in 2018. Now we’re near the end of summer, and the fall semester is just around the corner.
Here at Quantified, we’ve been thinking a lot about “edtech” and the roles AI and other technologies are starting to play in classrooms across the country, particularly in higher education. So as undergrads and grad students get ready to make their way back to campus, here are a few of our predictions for learning technology in the new school year.
1. Blended Learning Will become Commonplace in K-12 and Beyond
While online-only learning is a hard sell for the general public, “blended learning,” which combines online- and in-person instruction, has become widely accepted (and even embraced) as a more flexible and often more effective approach than in-person only.
As far as flexibility goes, the benefits are obvious: when winter weather precludes in-person class for an extended period of time, online learning can keep the semester going, for example. But a recent study from the University of Iowa found that, in many cases, blended learning is actually more effective for students. The study leader, Jennifer Rogers, reported that more than 95 percent of the students enrolled in the blended course section passed, compared to 82 percent in the in-person lecture sessions and 81 percent in the online-only. What’s more, fewer students in the blended sections withdrew from the class or reported end-of-semester anxiety.
As educators continue to learn about the benefits of blended learning, we predict we’ll see more and more of these programs at every level.
2. AR Will Provide Hands-On Experiences in Vocational Programs
Though Virtual Reality has yet to find its place in the classroom, recent evidence shows it’s cousin Augmented Reality might have its foot in the door.
Apple CEO Tim Cook told Good Morning America recently that he believes AR’s will ultimately be the more interesting of the two because of its ability to involve people and things outside of the headsets:
"My own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far, because this gives the capability for both of us to sit and be very present talking to each other, but also have other things visually for both of us to see. Maybe it's something we're talking about, maybe it's someone else that is not here, present, but could be made to appear to be present with us. So there's a lot of really cool things there."
And market research seems to be supporting Cook’s preference. A recent report from Technavio predicts that the global educational AR market will grow more than 82 percent by 2021, thanks largely to the increased emphasis on experiential and collaborative learning:
“Experiential learning is the most influential way of acquiring new skills as it involves learning from a strong experience consisting of reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and testing in new situations and new experience. The AR technology provides a digital overlay of information on the physical environment that enhances the learning experience of students.”
While the possibilities in the grade school classroom are dizzying to imagine—just think of how AR could transform history or science classes—the applications for higher education, too, are astounding. AR could provide much-needed hands-on opportunities to enhance the practical aspects of the curricula in medical school and many vocational programs.
3. Campuses Will Become More Connected than Ever
As learning becomes for tech-centric—with students expecting to access course materials from any device at any time, and with professors incorporating more and more technology into their classrooms, campus connectivity will be more of a priority in the coming school year than ever before.
EdTech Magazine published an article this month outlining the key functions of a connected campus, including wifi that can handle student demand, optimized networks, digital signage and other innovative communication systems, digital collaboration tools, robust learning management systems, immersive audiovisual tools, powerful back-end support, and impermeable security solutions.
This may sound like a tall order, but with learning technology becoming more engrained in course curricula and student life, higher education institutions have no choice but to shore up their IT systems and networks to keep up with the tide of innovation.
Here at Quantified, we are eager to see how these edtech trends enhance learning in higher education institutions across the country, and we are thrilled that our own AI-driven communication platform can play a part. If you’re interested in learning about how automated learning and development programs from Quantified Communications can help increase your students’ chances for academic success, fill out the form below, and one of our experts will contact you to walk you through our platform and process.