In October 2016, researchers from JoomlaLMS Learning Management System published a collection of quotes from 14 eLearning and Technology experts. The ultimate question? What trends and eLearning advances do you expect to see in 2017? Each individual was given the opportunity to reflect on the past year and share what they foresee as being the “new big thing” in the coming year. Here’s what they said:
- Virtual and Augmented Reality
- According to John Leo, CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning, LLC, students should expect to see renewed interest in augmented and virtual reality. This technology can help educators to deliver materials and information in creative and innovative ways, drawing students into the learning and not simply dictating it to them.
- Personalization of E-Learning
- Indiana University Professor Curt Bonk explains that because of the widespread use of technology and the ease with which Learning Management Systems can be personalized, instructors are no longer relying on technology and computer science experts to set up their courses and learning materials. Instead, professors and administrators are predicted to take technology into their own hands and personalize their courses using the tools made available to them, without having to rely on a middle-man.
- Decrease in formal eLearning and an increase in self-directed learning
- Steven W. Anderson, educator, speaker, and former Director of Instructional Technology, explains that over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of students turning to self-directed learning in place of a traditional or structured learning environment. Over the next year, educators should expect to see a growth in student enrollment in MOOCs, free online courses, and other self-paced and directed learning environments. He even suggests that the definition of eLearning be altered to include the various environments in which self-directed learning takes place, such as blogs and social media platforms.
- Increase in seamless integration of and reliance upon apps and learning platforms
- The past few years have shown an increase in reliance on educational apps and other edtech resources. However, despite this upward trend, many classrooms and educational centers are lacking the seamless integration necessary to make these tools a crucial part of classroom (and online) learning. This is what Mike Karlin, former K-12 teacher and technology leader and founder and editor of the EdTech Roundup, expects to see in the coming year. Educators have begun to appreciate the advantages and benefits to using these forms of technology as part of the educational experience, and Karlin believes that those who maintain and support these learning platforms will work to guarantee that the lack of integration that many see now will be an exception to the rule by the end of 2017.
- AI, the Chatbot, and “A Good Instructor”
- Online learning program developer and blogger Kevin Corbett raises an interesting point in regard to the technology he plans to see in 2017. Unlike many other technologists who are focused solely on the integration of LMSs and other apps into the classroom, Corbett also expects to see educators turn their attention to making sure that all instructors, both new and existing, receive evaluations and training to make sure that 2017 produces better teachers. How exactly does he see this working in tandem with other eLearning trends? As an example, Corbett discusses how classrooms are being introduced to AI such as chatbots, computer programs that “mimic conversation with people using artificial intelligence” (TheGuardian). Companies and schools are slowly implementing these ‘chat robots’ into their everyday work or classroom environments as a means of retrieving or accessing information in an instant. However, they do not take the place of the instructor in a classroom. Rather, they free up teachers to allow them additional time to plan and prepare for their lessons, and to work with the students in a more innovative and creative manner.
Check out the complete article at JoomlaLMS.com for more information or predictions for EdTech in the year 2017.
Top Experts Predict What Will Transform ELearning in 2017 by Ilona Hetsevich.
What Is a Chat Bot, and Should I Be Using One? by Julia Carrie Wong.