As technology advances and the Fourth Industrial Revolution takes hold, society and the professional world are undergoing rapid transformations. These changes are significantly impacting the field of education, giving rise to a multitude of emerging trends that educators must closely monitor in 2024. To effectively engage their students, learning facilitators must stay up-to-date with the latest developments, innovative teaching techniques, and key factors that influence learning in the classroom. By understanding these trends, they can create more dynamic and impactful learning environments.
In anticipation of the latest advancements in education, teachers must equip themselves with knowledge about the most crucial education trends in 2024.
1. Tech trends in teaching and learning: gamification, blockchain, AI & more
Technology has played a major role in society over the past two decades and has naturally integrated into the education sector, and in 2024 it's more futuristic than ever. The global e-learning market size is expected to grow from $245.5 billion in 2022 to $278 billion in 2023, at a CAGR of more than 13%. By 2027, the market is projected to reach $462.6 billion, growing at a CAGR of more than 13%. Remote and online learning has been a huge victory for enabling more of the world's population to access education without the physical barriers of the past.
The growth of technological capabilities means that a variety of media and learning-support tools now exist to help students receive a high-quality education online.
This education trend presents a number of benefits and drawbacks for teachers and institutions who want to continue to offer their students the rigorous education they need to thrive.
The online platform is forcing teachers to change how they teach. They might find it challenging to change how they approach lesson plans to ensure that the students remain engaged even when they cannot see the instructor in person.
The online nature of these courses may also enhance the ability of teachers to offer accommodations for different styles of learning. Advanced students may receive additional learning resources and challenges to encourage them to go deeper into the material without interrupting the flow of the rest of the class.
Many teachers notice immediately the greater flexibility they can offer in their learning schedule. Platforms may offer opportunities for students to watch lectures live or recorded versions later. Teachers can appreciate this benefit for students.
Fortunately, the advent of the online classroom and technology-infused instruction and gamification also offers a wealth of opportunities for instructors and their institutions. The introduction of AI, Big Data, cloud technology, IoT, mobile learning, and VR all have the potential to enrich gamified learning.
Research shows thatgamification creates dopamine in your brain, which makes learning more pleasurable and enjoyable, as well as rewarding. Through the use of points, rewards, and leaderboards students become more engaged with the lesson and more likely to want to participate in the future.
Gamification increases the chances of the practical application of educational concepts, as it promotes students using their imagination to solve problems or complete tasks. Gamified practices turn teachers into coaches who offer detailed introductions to real-world applications of the subject matter.
Blockchain will play a significant role in education this year. A blockchain is a distributed ledger that duplicates and distributes transactions across the computer network. The global blockchain technology market stood at a staggering $5.92 billion in 2021 and is now projected to grow at an annual rate of 85.9% from 2022 to 2030.
From accessing credentials and academic records to validating transcripts, all these confidential processes in the traditional educational model are major obstacles to its growth. They could be easily solved by blockchain-based software.
Blockchain technology is a fool-proof mechanism for recording information that makes it difficult for a system to be changed, hacked, or manipulated, which is vital for security and maintaining the credibility of certifications.
The emergence of LLMs (Large Language Models) such as ChatGPT and Bard in late 2022 brought bright prospects across industries, these chatbots are set to be integrated into a new more human-like conversational search engine, Artificial Intelligence is the next big thing to shake up the education industry this year. It's projected to reach $3.68 billion in 2023. AI tools and technologies can be helpful in quickly grading papers, providing personalized lessons to students, and helping them gather information quickly and effectively.
There are increasing career opportunities in the technology space due to rapid advancement, which are generally quite lucrative. For this reason, the institutions that teach students as much as possible about any facet of this industry will likely be quite successful. First of all, AI will play a key role in customizing plans to fit a particular student's learning needs. Second, robotics engineering, machine learning engineering, and data science careers are in extremely high demand!
Some embrace technology while others are resistant to it and prefer the traditional teaching methods they've always known. But it might be worthwhile for educators to take a class or two in AI, data science, etcetera, to understand these subjects at a deeper level if they haven't already so that they can adapt their curriculums accordingly. After all, it's essential to keep up with today's trends, even though advances are taking place quickly.
2. Soft skills training: entrepreneurship, public speaking & leadership skills
In today's workplace, critical thinking, problem-solving, people management, and creativity are highly valued skills. Employers seek out emerging professionals who can confidently make tough decisions and demonstrate strong leadership qualities.
To prepare students for their future careers, schools must have the training to help students nurture and grow in these soft skills.
However, as already discussed, the simultaneous trend toward online learning does make this a challenge for many teachers. These educators will need to find a way to balance the screen time involved in their class with the importance of encouraging students to work together face-to-face to nurture soft skill development.
The institutions that uncover quality formulas for encouraging the development of these skills, perhaps through a variety of formats including Virtual Reality, will find that this trend offers them a number of opportunities for growth. Specifically, these institutions will find themselves with a competitive advantage within higher education. Their students will be more employable, which will improve their alumni success rates, creating a virtuous circle as future students look for schools with strong alumni success rates.
3. Decreasing attention spans: the Nano Learning trend
One drawback of the constant stream of games, movies, news stories, videos, and more that most of us are exposed to regularly is that it can be tough to concentrate on one task for an extended period. This is why Nano learning is gaining popularity: Complex topics are broken down into bite-sized pieces to be more easily digestible. More often than not, this helps students master the subject matter because consuming too much advanced information at once can be overwhelming and discouraging.
Astudy conducted by Microsoftlooked at the attention spans overall between 2000, which was the dawn of the mobile revolution, and 2015. They found that attention spans decreased by an incredible 4 seconds-- from 12 seconds to 8. This drop has largely been blamed on the nature of technology and the constant stimulation it offers viewers.
The changes in attention span can also be used as an excellent way to differentiate between the different generations. Millennials, for example, who have largely grown up with this technology at their fingertips, have distinct characteristics from the Gen X and Boomers who came before them.
Most notably, Millennials report that when content is highly engaging, they have the potential to pay attention for longer periods than past generations. However, when that content does not engage them, they become among the first to tune out the speaker.
More startling, but perhaps not surprising from the Tik-Tok generation -Gen-Z- is that, according to a study carried out by Yahoo and OMD Worldwide, they have an attention span of just 1.3 seconds. The lowest of all segments.
To keep the attention of Millennials and Gen-Z, the content must have excellent visuals and dialogue along with an interesting storyline that will hold their attention. These segments care more about the narrative and the visual nature of the content that interests them than other age groups.
This change in attention trends also has a tremendous impact on how instructors adjust their classes and keep students engaged with the material. Teachers need to find ways to design classes that will catch the attention of their students, many of whom will fall into this Millennial generation, and adapt the course delivery method and pace. Their course design will need to remember the importance of a strong narrative, visuals and nano-learning principles.
However, do not forget that when students have material in front of them that is highly visual and engaging, they have excellent potential to pay attention. These modern students want to be challenged, and they value interaction. For teachers who learn how to engage with these students, they can present rewarding opportunities for classroom growth.
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4. Facilitating learning versus teaching
As technology has grown, it has also changed how teachers relate to their students and their classrooms. With a wealth of information at their fingertips, students today have the tools to uncover a tremendous amount of facts and knowledge independently. In this environment, many students value less of a top-down delivery method. Instead, teachers now function more in a facilitative role. Their job has slowly evolved into a position where they help students understand how to learn, to love learning, and how to uncover and understand the information they find.
This can present some challenges for teachers, who must work on their own soft skills of leadership and problem-solving. They must learn how to foster conversations and create an environment that values teamwork.
The best teachers will be those who can help students take ownership of their learning.
As teachers become more involved in the student’s learning process, they will also find themselves in a position to receive immediate feedback on their teaching effectiveness. Their ability to nurture and facilitate these skills in their classroom will become obvious quickly as the class moves through the material.
Teachers who want to focus more on student development rather than simply knowledge delivery will find this new model to be intensely rewarding.
5. Life-long learning trend
Each industrial revolution has changed the nature of work and jobs in astounding ways. The current 4th Industrial Revolution may impact an incredible 50 percent of jobs as tremendous technological progress leads to changes in how people do their jobs. Professionals who want to remain competitive in their environment will need to constantly re-skill themselves. They cannot assume that the education they earned in the first half of their professional career will be all they need for the rest of their working lives.
Instead, earning a degree must be followed by ongoing learning. This requires institutions to create a self-development mindset in their students as well as their faculty and staff. Classrooms must leave opportunities for teaching self-learning skills so that students can continue to learn and engage in their chosen fields.
The schools that learn how to master these skills, however, have the chance to remain connected with their alumni throughout their careers. They can offer continual learning courses that will keep their former students engaged with the new developments in their fields, and ensure that they keep returning to the school for the support and education they need.
This offers chances for schools to grow as they create new programs and adult learning opportunities to help their alumni thrive within the changing professional space.
As technology changes society, it has dramatically impacted how people earn and prepare for their professional careers. The institutions that learn how to remain on top of these changes will position themselves for growth and success. Consider how these trends may impact education and what they mean for institutions of higher learning moving forward.