Technology is now a part of our daily lives. It is all around us and continues to evolve in many ways. The possibilities of using technology in education are endless. From eLearning to personalized instruction, using technology to access training and education has increased. The internet, mobile technology, artificial intelligence, and other technologies are revolutionizing education and training around the globe.
Arguably, specific characteristics of the internet are aligned with core education concerns. For example, education and the internet are concerned with creating knowledge, communication, and information exchange. The internet enables these activities to occur on an almost instantaneous and vast scale.
The internet is perhaps the most potent force in education since the printing press. The use of the internet in learning can be understood in several ways. First, it eliminates the physical limitations of time, space, and place and increases learning freedom through eLearning.
The internet facilitates education in any place, any time, at any pace. Second, the internet offers access to knowledge sources that exist outside the immediate environment of learners.
Lastly, it supports a personalized way of learning. These possibilities make education and training affordable and easily accessible.
Mobile learning enables education to take place anywhere and anytime, and on any device. Learners are not restricted to classroom learning with mobile phones. They can access learning on the go. They can attend virtual classes, work on assignments, and chat with peers and instructors using their mobile devices. Classrooms have become more collaborative with mobile technology use.
Learners can easily collaborate with teachers and peers. They can communicate remotely, quickly, and effectively. The sharing of learning materials is easier than ever before. Mobile technology makes learning fun and interactive. Students can more actively engage in the education process.
Teachers do not just deliver information but have become facilitators. Moreover, they can provide personalized learning to satisfy the distinct learning interests and needs of individual students.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has become a huge part of training and education and will grow in the future. It continues to enable new learning methods that will significantly impact the learning experience. Artificial intelligence makes education more personalized.
AI-based tutoring systems help to adjust training to the needs of individual students. Through artificial intelligence, instructors can create digital content for learners of all levels. AI also contributes to making universal access to personalized education a reality. Students can access education and training regardless of their language. This is made possible through artificial intelligence-enabled automatic language translation solutions.
Use AI systems to make relevant recommendations based on learners' preferences and interests. AI employs specific techniques and algorithms that help make appropriate suggestions to users. It is designed with response prediction and information filtering abilities to make relevant suggestions. These systems can interpret and anticipate what learners need. AI is also used for remediation and can adjust content based on learners' progress.
Chatbots and Natural Language Interfaces for Learning
Chatbots or conversational agents offer natural language interactions with users. Chatbots and natural language processing (NLP) technologies are now being used in education and tracking. Modern chatbot development tools can help create intelligent conversational agents for online learning built with multifaceted, goal-driven behavior to help learners solve specific problems.
Chatbots turn an educational presentation into a series of messages that resemble a conversation between an instructor and a learner. There are several features offered by chatbots in the learning process.
For instance, automated chatbots initiate interactions with learners and engage them in a manner that reflects human conversation. They are also connected with education content and anticipated learning outcomes. This interconnection enables them to provide feedback to learners in certain situations.
Chatbots help create real-world scenarios that offer learners the chance to practice new skills and knowledge through simulated interactions. Using a chatbot, a learner can interact with training content at their own time and pace preference.
Chatbots can also aid in the pre-assessment of knowledge and skills. In carrying out the knowledge evaluation, the chatbot processes the data collected through interaction with the student and then engages with learners in a personalized learning sequence.
End-users perceive chatbots as approachable and friendly, making their use an appealing and positive learning experience.
Chatbots will become more advanced in terms of predicting and interpreting learners' needs in the future. They will be more effective in collecting data and using that data to identify areas where the learners experience difficulties and provide the appropriate remediation to support the learning process.
Blended Learning - Many Forms of Digital Learning Experiences
Technology has made training and education a multimedia experience. The learning experience uses many digital content forms, ranging from videos, animations, audio, and text-based eLearning modules to virtual classrooms using tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom meetings.
During the early days of online learning, blended learning was mainly a combination of classroom learning and self-paced eLearning. Over time, it has evolved to include many media and content types. Typically, the term 'classroom' encompasses both virtual and physical classrooms. eLearning or online education involves any media combination, including group discussions, eLearning modules or bite-sized learning, videos, documents, simulations, and more.
Moreover, blended learning is now the de facto method used in many learning institutions. It defines the various content delivery choices, learning strategies used, and the technology used.
To enhance a self-paced eLearning course, the use of collaborative learning activities can be beneficial. Collaborative learning functions perfectly with learning communities and social networking. By integrating your learning solution with a mobile learning app, you make your content available to everyone on any device, anywhere, anytime. When it comes to eLearning, discussion forums are more critical. Students can share their videos, comments, and thoughts that might further the discussion and facilitate understanding of different ideas. Learners can easily give feedback through various media.
Social Learning and Chat Applications in the Learning Process
Social learning and chat applications involve sharing knowledge and information among learners using various social applications, including instant messaging, discussion posts, and chat. The use of social learning has been growing rapidly in the training and education space. Its fast growth is driven by the widespread use of social media networks among learners.
Social media sites and applications are used widely around the world. They facilitate collaboration, communication, and interaction in the education sector. As such, they feature prominently in learning discussions. Social media promotes learners' participation and knowledge or content creation. These tools transform classrooms from being teacher-centric to an approach where a learner can even gain knowledge and understanding from peers.
Social learning takes place whenever a learner consults peers or experts to gain understanding and information. The ability to accomplish this is broad, owing to the availability of different social tools and applications such as Facebook, WhatsApp Messenger, Twitter, Skype, YouTube, and blogs.
Augmented Reality in Online Education
Augmented Reality (AR) is a form of technology that uses computer-generated perceptual information to enhance real-world objects and experiences. It uses a mobile device camera and sensors and presents 3D graphics along with superimposed computer-generated images. It offers an interactive experience of the ideal world environment that informs and adds knowledge around real-work places and things. This technology accomplishes this objective via multiple sensory modalities such as visual, haptic, and auditory.
AR enhances learners' engagement by participating more authentically and proactively with learning content instead of just being passive recipients of knowledge and information. AR technology enables learners to engage more in lessons or training that has live-action context and practice.
This way, they easily acquire essential skills and knowledge in a particular task or subject. AR is significantly enhancing information retention in education. It is aiding in adding value to lessons or concepts that can be explained better in the real world.
Virtual Reality in Online Education
For years, Virtual Reality (VR) was associated with gaming. But the use of this technology has spread in other industries, including education. Today, VR education solutions and programs are widely available to learners across the world. To use VR, one needs to obtain or purchase relevant hardware such as head-mounted display and software. VR provides a simulation experience and it aims to place the learner “inside” an immersive experience.
One example of VR use is in art and literature. The virtual environment facilitated by VR allows perceiving inspiration behind works of art or literature. It makes education and training truly interactive.
Students can virtually meet other learners taking the same course or learning similar materials. The technology enables learners to leverage peers to enhance their knowledge and understanding in a particular subject or field. Virtual Reality is opening avenues for learners to access the best education and training by blending virtual world technology, internet applications, and the real world.
Learning Management Systems and Learning Content Management Systems
Learning management systems are changing the way organizations conduct training. The software applications used in learning management systems facilitate the management of learning processes. An essential feature of these systems is that they enable blended learning. They support the use of various types of media and learning approaches to enhance training and education.
The great thing about learning content management systems is that they make it easy to develop learning modules and design them to make them easy to follow and understand. These systems facilitate remote access so that trainees from different geographical locations can learn simultaneously.
Furthermore, LMS can help track learner progress, and provide powerful data analytics tools to make data-driven decisions about learning, recommend learning paths and skill development plans.
Learning management systems are not deployed in isolation. They are integrated with other systems such as the education management system, financial system, or enterprise/business management system.
Cloud Infrastructure for Digital Learning
Today, training and education are not confined to classrooms and textbooks. Modern learners heavily rely on computers and mobile devices to access physical and virtual resources. Cloud computing brings learners and teachers together on a unified platform.
With cloud infrastructure in education, learning institutions like universities, colleges, and schools do not have to own, buy, or maintain their own data centers and servers. Instead, they depend on cloud computing for storage, databases, and computer power whenever they need them. Cloud-based systems offer a high level of security of learner data and learning resources.
Technological advancements are expected to deepen their impact on learning, facilitate learning processes, and enhance educational systems. Although traditional teaching methods will not be phased out completely, the facilitators' role in training and education is expected to evolve from lecturing to guiding the learning process with technology. Education technology is expected to gain wider acceptance and popularity, where they'll become a standard way of delivering the learning experience.
For certain age groups or subjects, classroom instruction, one-on-one coaching, and on the job training will continue to be used as appropriate
Overall, technology is increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of instructors and learners. It can help to deal with issues affecting teaching and learning. Thus, technology is a tool, as well as a catalyst for educational change. Future technologies will continue to transform education and empower both instructors and learners.
Author Bio: Harvey Singh is the CEO and founder of Instancy, a web and mobile learning and knowledge platform and solutions company. He is a pioneer in the fields of eLearning, MLearning, Social Learning.
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