Our approach to learning has barely changed since the industrial revolution. Children attend school, they sit in classrooms, they are taught a largely unchanged curriculum by teachers whose training is largely unchanged itself. Is learning one of the only areas largely untouched by the digital age?
Of course, we all know that the evolution of smartphones and tablets has made it easier than ever to access Apps that can teach you a language, or listen to self-help books on your commute to work but these technologies are largely unadopted in the education sector despite their proven usefulness in the outside world.
Could virtual learning be the future of the classroom?
The popularity of online tutors and Virtual Charter Schools is growing, providing pupils with web-based learning by licensed teachers. With schools become more populated and classroom sizes growing could virtual learning be the solution to overcrowding and provide children with an alternative option to traditional education? Virtual Charter Schools also offer students a chance to learn at their own pace, children are treated more like individuals, given more freedom with their subject options and given time to pursue outside interests that, quite often in the conventional school system, fall by the wayside. But they are not without their limitations. Common criticisms of virtual schools are that they do not provide children with the social interactions they need to build essential social skills and they take money away from traditional schools which are already struggling in the current economic climate.
But what if we could make virtual learning more social?
The criticism that virtual learning can be antisocial is not without its merit but companies are working on improving the sociability of virtual learning through online Learning Management Systems such as Adobe Captivate Prime, an AI based social learning platform. If virtual learning could be developed to provide the same quality of education as well as incorporating the same social element as traditional education then it could be a serious contender for the future of the education system. You can find out more about Adobe Captivate Prime in this review: https://elearningindustry.com/directory/elearning-software/adobe-captivate-prime/reviews
What digital technologies can we incorporate in conventional schools?
A fully virtual educational system may be a few decades off but there are still many digital innovations that could revolutionise the school curriculums if only they could be adopted and implemented. Fonetti, the world’s first listening bookshop, listens and encourages children to read, giving every pupil the equivalent of a personalised tutor which could be very beneficial at a time when teachers are stretched so thin. In other areas of education, language Apps could support children with independent learning and better 3D models and the use of virtual reality can provide stimulus across all subjects.
It is becoming more and more evident that the future of learning is digital and yet we are not utilising the digital resources available to us in schools, and what’s more we aren’t teaching people how to use them. If education doesn’t catch up we will be leaving a big gap in the curriculum and not setting children up to the world that awaits them.