Mobile educational apps, massive open online courses, and digital textbooks available at the tip of your fingers have facilitated learning and education in a way that was previously unheard of. Educational apps are more interactive in the sense that anyone with a smart-phone can access knowledge and connect to peers and mentors alike. One very notable change is that students have also become active contributors in this endeavour instead of just being passive assimilators of knowledge in classrooms. This new perspective has been accompanied with the development of the educational app development industry. There are a plethora of educational apps available today from lesson planning software, tools for teaching and learning, revision blogs, some of which some are more notable than the others. Here is a list of the top educational trends that are contributing and leading the way in an era of rapid change.
Remote learning as the name suggests is a model which allows students to attend school or any institute of learning virtually. Students can attend classes from the comfort of their homes through video and access subject matter & content online. Remote learning usually employs the use of various technologies such as class forums, discussion sites and threads, video conferencing classes, pre-recorded videos, and solution sites. Much like students, the teachers can also be made to mentor or be brought in remotely. With Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC's) available on platforms such as Khan Academy, YouTube Edu, iTunes U, Coursera, edX, Udacity, and Udemy, the popularity of remote learning has increased by leaps and bounds. As a result, students have access to a wider scope of knowledge and in the process it becomes customised to the needs and demands of every student.
One of the bigger players and one of the more important trends on this list, Big Data is commendable for its flexibility and it has allowed us to mould our conventional style of teaching and learning. All of the mobile devices and apps that we use can be linked together to deliver an endless supply of pertinent data. The most useful perk of Big Data is that it supplies real-time information that can be put to use and applied to classrooms immediately.
Today, the single most advantageous perk from a student's viewpoint in the process of learning is that it can be customised to every student's needs. As such learning has been personalised to cater to student's needs now more than ever. Blended learning places the ball in the learner's court by giving them more responsibility. It involves more discovery-based methods of learning. Blended learning gives the students the freedom to move through the course material at their own pace. It gives students a certain feeling of control and makes them more confident in their approach. Today education can be tailor-made to suit each individual's needs. This kind of adaptive learning has another benefit as it collects information about the behavioural pattern of students when it comes to learning and how they’re answering questions, and then it subsequently uses that information to provide instant feedback in order to adjust the learning experience accordingly.
As the term suggests, gamification was conceived in order to make learning more fun and engaging for students of all ages by applying game design to different aptitude tasks. As technology progresses, it is increasingly being used to augment game design and educational games in every discipline. Because such games often contain tasks mirroring real life issues, it requires students to use a skill-set to solve them which help them in developing different aspects of their personality. Virtual game worlds present learners with a novel opportunity to apply their newfound knowledge which helps improve decision-making, mitigating minor hurdles or major disasters, and consider multiple perspectives. The notion was to apply the traditional game system which was used to provide challenges, rewarding winners. The tasks became gradually tougher as you progressed to the next ‘level’.
Mind mapping is a technique in teaching where circled ideas are linked together with lines, which enables the students to understand the subject better and make it easier to recall what they learnt. Think of it as a cue-card or an info-graphic where information and knowledge is kept brief and associated to a symbol or a picture to make it easier to remember. Because of its graphic content it makes it easier for the human mind to comprehend and remember the subject better. With software like Mindmeister or Brainstormer, this has become increasingly easier. The maps can also be easily shared.
The global market for educational apps is increasing every day along with increased reception for the aforementioned educational trends. While it is dubious that the tablet will ever replace the paper there is no denying the fact that these trends are very helpful and are becoming increasingly more popular among students of all ages. Over the years these trends have improved self-learning as they are convenient and easy and provide a range of different learning styles. In the years to come educational apps and new emerging trends can move on to be the future of learning.