Ruthbea Yesner, VP, Government Insights and Education at IDC said in a recent IDC report that, “To continue to be relevant to society and to students, all institutions need to transform their academic, research, administrative and campus capabilities using digital technologies.”
In keeping up with this, the education sector is in the midst of a technological transformation the same way business is. Old ways of doing things are indeed slowly being replaced by digital ways and as such the modern classroom is taking on a new look.
Today we see projectors instead of overhead projectors, whiteboards instead of chalkboards, and network-connected computers linking learners with their teachers and the wider world instead of old-fashioned books and pens.
But this is only the beginning. Other more modern technologies are poised to permeate the education space over the next decade in ways that could potentially change things even further, providing high-quality educational material to a wider audience.
Let’s take a look at five of these technologies.
The biggest change we’ve seen in the last year has been the massive shift to online learning, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online learning is not all that new of course, but the increase in its use; certainly is. Thanks to the internet and the use of virtual meeting tech, learners can now attend lectures, create and submit assignments, consult with their teachers and even take exams without ever stepping foot into a classroom.
This trend will likely stick around even as the pandemic lifts, thanks to the convenience it affords teachers and learners alike.
Online learning, together with the popularity of smartphones, will contribute greatly to education reaching a greater number of people over the next decade and beyond.
In a country like South Africa, where more people have access to smartphones than laptop and desktop computers, mobile learning is the logical path forward as it grants learners access to educational materials via their smart devices.
This, in conjunction with advances we’ve seen in online learning like increased use of videos and interactive applications, will see mobile learning take off even more in the 2020s.
While AI certainly seems to be a popular tech buzzword, its potential impact on all spheres of society cannot be overstated. Essentially it helps to automate processes and as it becomes more advanced, its practical application to almost any task becomes truly limitless.
In the education field, it’s already being used for things like taking attendance using facial recognition, identifying cheating in online exams and even exam invigilation through a technology called “AI-powered auto proctoring”.
We expect it to be used in more and more education initiatives over the next decade, to the point where digital education without AI assistance will become unthinkable.
Increased Robotics Presence
Many top schools already have robotics programmes that educate youngsters on how robots work, how they can be used to automate manual tasks and much more.
Reports indicate that learners are highly engaged and learn quickly in the process, because robotics is both practical and fun. This, in turn,
motivates many to pursue an interest in STEM fields, which are becoming increasingly important as technology and societies advance.
As the decade progresses, we expect robotics to make an appearance in more and more schools all over the world.
Educators have long known that each learner is an individual and that one way of teaching is not necessarily the best way for every learner to grasp what is being taught.
It has also been very difficult, if not impossible, for teachers to accurately assess each learner’s needs in order to teach them properly. This is where technology can play a part.
Online learning enables educators to provide access to personalised learning materials that can be better for the individual than a standardised course.
And as learners generate more and more data about their learning habits and data analysis becomes even more advanced, this data can be leveraged in the creation of future courses that will be even more relevant to the individual learner.
The future looks bright
With so much awesome technology pouring into the education sector, the future of global education is looking very bright indeed.
Here at Boxfusion, we intend to leverage every new technological advance available to us to assist the South African government in delivering education services that are truly “21st-century”, including our very own eAdmissions Portal, which allows parents in Gauteng to register their children for school.
Find out more about the work we’re doing in the education sector here.