Before the pandemic started, education was already seeing new trends and techniques that made learning more accessible to all. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic came to be, education as a whole was forced to adapt quickly, resulting in accelerated changes across the board. Many educational institutions around the world chose to adapt to the way learning would have to be during the pandemic.
During the lockdowns and quarantines, many schools switched to distance learning methods to allow students to continue with their lessons through interactive displays for schools. Teachers and professors conducted their classes over Google Meets, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and even other apps like Skype and Discord. Needless to say, educators used whatever handy tool they could. For many college graduates it was a season to adapt.
In the past few years, the educational system felt an unprecedented disruption that resulted in distance learning becoming more widely popular and accepted. The new era of education has arrived, thanks to the technologies that have allowed for these adaptations.
Where Education is Now
Thanks to technological advances like the smartphone and the introduction of more accessible internet connectivity worldwide, virtual learning saw an uptrend in recent years — even before the pandemic.
When it comes to education, people have more options now than they ever did before when it comes to education. Colleges and universities started offering some of their programs and degrees as online courses. At the same time, online course providers such as Coursera, EdX, and even Udemy began offering affordable education to people all around the globe.
However, one thing that hasn’t entirely caught up yet is the public’s perception of online education. In some cases, companies don’t quite put as much weight on education acquired through alternative means. Some people may give less respect to someone who earned their education online, even though distance learning has grown quite formidable these days.
How Can Technology Continue to Affect Education in the Future?
The company Zoom has started shifting its focus from strictly business-related functions. Now, they are working to accommodate education more easily. More companies are beginning to follow a similar trend by marketing apps to teachers and students — and even creating some entirely for them.
With the tools currently within reach, education has become a seamless experience that’s mostly a breeze. Students can now go from classroom to computer (or smartphone, or tablet) without missing a beat. Thanks to mobile data, students can take learning on the go.
As more virtual learning platforms are being developed, education can continue to evolve. After all, the more tools, the better. Once data sharing and mobile data networks become more feasible and accessible worldwide, even those in the farther reaches can access higher education that can potentially change their lives.
How Else Can Technology Change Higher Education?
These days, students who enroll in colleges and universities are fortunate to have technology by their side to help them adapt to the way things are becoming. Now, more tertiary educational institutions have begun offering online options for some of their degrees and programs, reducing the need to move residences and even states.
Tertiary education may also see other improvements, such as changes to the scoring systems used for grading students. Scoring methods may now include additional metrics rather than solely relying on assignments and examinations. This improvement may allow educators to engage students better now that there are other things to work towards.
Tuition as a concept may change, too! Instead of paying per semester or year of enrollment, a subscription-based education where students can pay as they go may grow in popularity. This change may help more afford to study since many of the costs involved in in-person learning are reduced through distance learning.
And finally, tertiary education may see an even more considerable improvement to accessibility for students who have a busy schedule or have other extenuating circumstances preventing them from more traditional learning. Thanks to transcripts, recorded videos, online exercises, modules, and other similar materials, self-paced learning is more possible than ever.
One of the biggest things that technology can do for technology is close the gap and allow for more equality for every learner.
Final Thoughts: The Future is Coming
Beyond the changes that are already happening, education can see more in the future.
For example, AI is becoming increasingly popular, and many educators are adopting its use. Machine learning or artificial intelligence can help create customized curriculums for individual students. This technology can help teachers reduce the time spent detecting students’ interests and talents. It’s not perfect yet, but the algorithms produced by technology go a long way towards helping to optimize a student’s experience.
Advances in technology can truly bring about a revolution in education, leveling the playing field for many. No doubt, accessibility is the name of the game in the coming days.