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Technology and the Future of Learning

With the explosion of the online learning industry, the future of learning may well be tech-driven.

As with every aspect of life in today’s world, technology has radically transformed learning too. Knowledge is no longer restricted to the pages of books just as teaching is no longer restricted to the four walls of a classroom. Virtual classrooms, virtual libraries, and yes, even virtual universities are changing the way students approach learning.

With technology breaking down the barriers of access and customization, it comes as no surprise that the e-learning industry is expected to triple in size and be worth an astounding $325 billion by 2025!

Whether you are a student, an educator, or a corporate professional looking to add to your skills, e-learning could very well become a big part of your future.

The Case for e-Learning

Technology has democratized education. Regardless of your socio-economic background, if you have a basic internet connection, then you can learn about any subject and any discipline from any corner of the world. By ensuring ease of access, e-learning has brought into its fold those left behind by traditional learning systems.

e-Learning’s ability to adapt to the needs of different learners further contributes to its popularity. For instance, most online learning platforms collect data, identify each student’s strengths and weaknesses, and customize the learning process to best suit their needs. This, coupled with the interactive approach characteristic of online learning, is what results in an impressive learning retention rate of 25% to 60% (as compared to traditional learning’s rate of 8% to 10%).

The success of online learning also comes from its ability to offer students complete control over the learning process. Students can go as fast — or as slow — as they wish to. They can delve into a variety of online resources to better understand complex concepts, and can always go back to the learning material to refresh their knowledge. This shifts the focus from performing well to learning well.

An added benefit of online learning is that students are likely to become extremely familiar with different platforms, apps and software. Getting comfortable with technology will stand them in good stead in increasingly tech-driven workplaces.

e-Learning: Boon or Bane?

While there are many who vocally advocate the cause of e-learning, there are also those who are cautious and wary of it.

Detractors claim, for instance, that easy access to online resources has led to low engagement in classrooms. Since students know that a world of knowledge is just a few clicks away, they are not as motivated to pay attention in class. Poor learning habits also mean that students rely far too much on technology to complete their assignments and look for the easy way out, using the internet to gain just a cursory understanding of subjects instead of deep diving into them.

While technology has dramatically improved access to learning, it can still prove to be a prohibitively expensive affair. One needs either an up-to-date phone or laptop, and an internet connection — things that continue to remain out of the reach of the masses in some parts of the world. There are also other teething troubles — like lack of electricity, finicky internet connections and malfunctioning software — that can be frustrating to both instructors as well as students.

As engaging as e-learning is, students can — and do — get distracted, given that access to the internet also means access to social media and all of its attractions.

Cyberbullying is also a serious concern since young students are more vulnerable to harassment and abuse online.

The Future of Learning

For all its disadvantages, though, e-learning is clearly here to stay.

The unmatched access it offers means that students from remote corners of the world can now sit in — virtually — on classes at some of the world’s most renown universities. They can interact and collaborate with other students, get their queries answered by experienced professors and further their learning in any way they choose.

Several platforms and apps (like BrainingCamp) are also applying the principles of gamification to learning, making the process simpler, easier and more engaging.

e-Learning is the solution that 21st-century students are looking for. And the possibilities are endless!

Date added
22.11.2019

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