The Future of Web-based Learning
by Logan Smith
Web based learning is quickly becoming the education of the future. Learning management systems and mobile devices have allowed learning to move at our busy pace. The pace of change for technologies is much faster than most would understand. One diagram citing the pace of change of the digital infrastructure calculates that computing power doubles every 18 months, communication doubles every 9 months and storage capacity doubles every year.
Numerous studies have shown that our online learning capacity is growing at an exponential rate and that we can expect by 2050 to harness the information of every human brain on the planet. While 2050 is still a few decades away, there are plenty of changes we can expect to see in the next five years. Four major changes in learning technology to expect in the next five years include the following:
Mobile learning will be widely used
Web based learning has always offered the flexibility in time for many learners, but soon that flexibility will extend to both time and place. Learners will soon be able to access small portions of courses at any time of the day, including videos, documents and mini courses. Tablet devices like the iPad will be able to run more information and may very allow public educators to go paperless in the next few decades.
Personal Learning Agents
Personal learning agents will run on a learner’s personal computing device of their choice, and will eventually be able to sync up multiple devices. It will monitor content streams and automatically update you based on personal preferences and workplace conditions. Personal learning agents will essentially be a software that acts as a content mediator.
Learning Management Systems (LMSs) will evolve
Learning management systems will soon manage not just formal learning, but informal and social learning as well. Many learning management system companies are currently monitoring and tracking metrics for the design of a fully blended learning system. Learners will be able to incorporate learning into their informal and social lives.
Non-traditional Teaching Methods
Simulations and games will become a key component in learning in both schools and the workplace. As digital and video game technologies progress, the cost of development is starting to decrease, allowing schools and companies to take advantage of the technology. It’s been long understood that interactive and fun learning techniques can increase awareness and understanding of concepts. Simulations will become valuable for training employees who may encounter dangerous or life-threatening situations.