Technology has revolutionized the college campus, but as with most things in life, technology adoption isn’t a one size fits all affair. For universities and other higher learning institutions, leveraging the right kind of technology will help students get the most out of every learning opportunity, both in and out of the classroom.
Every day, we see more and more higher education institutions both aligning themselves with this latest trend of technology adoption and maximizing the impact of the teaching that they deliver.
Today, students aren’t restricted by the four walls of their classrooms. Online learning is quickly becoming the norm. Professors are now collaborating across universities via enhanced educational technologies. New high growth technologies have entered the online education marketplace, making education even more interactive.
Higher education is becoming more robust, and is now, even more than before, targeted towards professional development.
Some of the trends revolutionizing learning are:
- Video (streaming and live)
- Learning Management Systems (LMS)
- Collaboration platforms (For group and remote work)
- Data Visualization/Big Data
Here is a look at these four trends and how they are affecting today’s classrooms.
Video is becoming a key player in the field of higher education. The flipped classroom trend, where lectures are consumed at home via pre-recorded video, and homework is completed with the teacher during class hours has been on the rise for the past 15 years or so.
Video, both streaming and live, has also enabled universities to offer massive open online courses (MOOCs), which are accessible to hundreds of thousands of students from remote locations.
Video recordings of lectures, as well as webinars, are also made available online, which makes education more flexible, efficient and effective. In addition, using and getting comfortable with the latest generation of AV equipment in their day-to-day classroom activities prepares students for future careers in our technology-driven workspace.
Learning Management Systems
Learning Management Systems allow universities and educational institutions to plan, assess, facilitate, implement, and monitor students’ learning processes. The LMS software centralizes educational content, resources, and course preparation. It also helps universities deliver and track various student activities including discussion and collaboration.
Using this system, universities are now able to calculate and present grades behind a virtual wall that ensures security, privacy, and authentication. It also allows instructors and administrators to view information about student activities from different perspectives.
The Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition suggests that education models are gravitating towards including “online learning, blended and hybrid learning, and collaborative models,” — new collaborative learning processes to engage with students.
Online environments are being extended to courses of all kinds, making educational content more dynamic, accessible and flexible. While this encourages collaboration it also provides more freedom for students to interact with each other when working on assessments and projects.
Data Visualization and Big Data
By combining big data with mobile consumer technology, universities are providing new ways for students to fully grasp the concepts they are learning. The technology will help release complex environmental datasets, and also facilitate the latest computational modeling, as well as earth and satellite observation research. Not just that, using data visualization or Big Data in higher education, universities can turn these datasets into commercially viable ideas.
Data and data analysis has always been a major part of higher education. With the help of the latest technologies, higher education as a whole can now generate more granular data and further break through those silos to the point where statistics and records can be viewed in terms of the individual student; thus, allowing faculties to focus their attention on providing better support to their students.
The mainstreaming of new technology usage across our day to day lives has naturally led to more acceptance in non-traditional spaces – spaces which now include as many new forms of collaborative digital learning as they do old-fashioned textbooks.