4 Steps to the Future of Educational Software in Classrooms
Digital technologies change the world as we know it, influencing the way we create, translate and capture information.
The same relates to the way students and everyone interested in self-education learn, raising more and more questions for teachers and educational soft developers:
- How can we motivate them?
- How to adapt educational standards to learners' new needs?
- How to change schools and universities, as well as training platforms accordingly?
And the last but not least, what educational practices to develop and implement for improving the overall education system?
Given that the development of technological innovations happens too fast, we need to be on top of them and transfer the knowledge about advanced-tech tools and the latest trends in education to people of all ages.
As for 2019, these trends are the following:
The main advantage of game training is that a student gets feedback immediately. According to Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera, it motivates people when their training takes place in a video game format: getting some extra points, they want to develop skills, and they see correct answers and mistakes at once.
It works best in learning games now. Thus, Kidaptive creates cartoons with integrated games, allowing a kid to continue watching only after he completes some tasks. The tasks aren't universal but adapted to every learner's creative thinking and skills. For this, developers used machine learning, with the data from applications and mobile devices such as smart watches.
A top learning technology that makes an educator's life easier today is chat bots. Students answer questions, and a chat bot tells if their answers are correct. In case of wrong answers, it shares links to videos or articles a student can check to learn a piece of course information better. This tech is not that difficult to implement into a training program. Experts in custom software development can design it in and test if it behaves as intended.
2. Total digitalization
Classrooms and campuses take a back seat. More and more students attend lectures, complete and submit assignments, as well as pass tests or exams distantly now. Even universities like Cambridge become closer, launching online courses that would allow more applicants to enter and complete training.
Thanks to digitalization, even those students experiencing tough times in their countries can continue academic training.
As P.J. Gunsagar, Co-Founder & CEO at Kidaptive, told at #EdCrunch last year, the 4-year online education program for Lebanese schoolers that costs $125 per person allowed those kids to return to traditional schools with the same level of knowledge as their peers.
3. "Digital" doesn't equal "data"
The "life of learning" era, when a person studies during his whole life, borders on such concepts as "educational standard" and "job marketplace" today. While 78% of both schoolers and adults check their mobile devices at least once per hour, most parents and educational experts are against cell phones in classrooms.
When speaking of educational environment, we are intended to mean the building with projectors, electronic accounting, and Wi-Fi. But what about data that help educators understand learners and develop better programs for teaching them? Where should we find it?
Such borders give birth to a new profession in the educational sphere: a digital trail collector or, as people say, a fixer.
This is a person who helps educators collect all sorts of data about students and transform them into the knowledge of how to develop a training program for every single trainee. Fixers are the link between the old-school approach to education and adaptive systems.
4. Adaptive systems
Adaptive systems in education are those adapting to each person's online training individually. As we know, types of learners are few, and all perceive information differently. And while it's enough for one student to read a paragraph and remember it, another one spends weeks and learn it by heart to understand.
Unlike with a typical course, adaptive learning is a network with a student in its center. It's a student who decides how exactly he will master a course: where to start, what topics to skip, what parts to examine once again, etc. In the case of traditional schools, it's their teachers who choose the adaptive system that could fit a student's academic learning style and needs best.
So the learner masters the course gradually, and the program checks from time to time if he understands the topics well and if he needs to do additional tasks. The adaptive system will recommend how to build a course program accordingly.
The primary example of adaptive systems today is CogBooks. The platform provides courses on different subjects, and all they have been developed by academic researchers.
Related article: Adaptive and Seamless: Reimagining Corporate eLearning Solutions
Yes, technology can' t displace teachers. But today, educators should not just transfer knowledge but also show students that the world is open to them and tell them how everything learned can be used in practice.
This is a guest post by Lesley Vos. Lesley is a private educator of the French language and a seasoned web writer. She holds a Master's in linguistics from the University of Chicago, contributes to On College Life and Writing and other publications on education, and guides peers on the way to better content creation.