Online Education has seen a huge surge in interest over the past few years, and with the internet evolving rapidly as well as public perception toward collaborative learning progressing, now is a dynamic time in the area of digital education. Here are seven current trends in online education that are likely to influence the near future.
A movement to more open source software
Traditionally, Learning Management Systems (LMS) have been paid services, but now newer open source systems like Pearson’s OpenClass are free and receiving support from students and teachers.
Hybrid courses are surfacing
Blended learning, which includes classes that feature some aspect of online education and some person-to-person interaction, has gained in popularity throughout the U.S. over the past year. These types of classrooms give students more options and show no sign of weakening in popularity.
Shift from books to digital content distribution
The age of the textbook is gradually being replaced by digital content systems that allow users to access entire texts and other learning materials online through various mobile devices. Times are changing, and students will need to find ways to keep up.
Social learning systems to be cloud-based
Digital content distribution systems will increasingly avail of cloud-based technology and be social in philosophy, allowing enrolled students to share data and collaborate remotely through cloud services that don’t require much hardware.
Podcasting for education
Podcasting has skyrocketed in popularity in recent times, and now educators are getting in on the act. With more than half the teens and adults in the U.S. having already listened to a podcast, the potential for educational podcasting is huge.
Better technology is emerging
It’s not so long ago that online education just meant reading books online – but now there are virtual classrooms, immersive multimedia, digital whiteboards and many other tools that allow students to truly learn digitally.
Numbers are rising
Over the past couple of years, online education enrollment is up 21% compared to a growth rate of just 2% in overall higher education. As technological devices become cheaper and more widespread, this trend is likely to continue.
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