The world was already witnessing formidable challenges in education even before the pandemic. Nearly 250 million+ students were out of school and 800 million adults were illiterate. Even for those in school, learning wasn’t something that was guaranteed. Almost 56% of primary school students were reported to lack basic reading skills. The challenge was equally daunting from a financing point of view. The 2020 estimate required to bridge the financing gap to ensure quality education in lower-middle-class income countries was $148 billion annually.
The pandemic didn’t create the problems but escalated the already existing ones in education. 94% of learners were affected by the pandemic in mid-April 2020. Nearly 86% of students have been effectively out of school due to nationwide school closures. As many as 40 million children miss out on early childhood education due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
These disruptions in the fragile education system got the whole world into thinking about the future of education in 2021. So, let’s check out the top three trends expected to make things better in the education sector in 2021.
Imagine this for a moment: the pandemic isn’t over even after 2021 and the schools remain shut whatsoever. That doesn’t stop you from attending your classes, perhaps get English or math homework help, and finally achieve certification of academic accomplishments.
This is the world of virtual classrooms.
Virtual classroom lets you pursue academics without having to leave the comfort zone of your home. It doesn’t incur the additional costs of travel and accommodation. It is, in fact, expected that the use of virtual classrooms would increase by 16.2% by 2023.
What is the importance of virtual classrooms?
Ensures human connection- Teachers get to interact with students in real-time. You can voice your queries and interact with peers, similar to the way you would have done in a traditional classroom.
Accommodates a large number of students- Physical classrooms are confined to a certain number of seats only. This ensures that students can sit comfortably and have sufficient space to move around. On the contrary, virtual classrooms allow more students to attend their desired classes at once.
Facilitates immediate interactions- Teachers and students are synchronous in virtual classrooms as both the parties appear online at the same time. These classrooms also leverage pre-recorded components like presentations, algebra calculator tools, lecture slides, etc., to facilitate learning.
Virtual classrooms are not only important for the access of classes even amid the pandemic but also for the democratization of education. It reduces the cost of highly coveted educational certifications and courses.
2.Personalized and adaptive learning
Image source: https://educationtechnologysolutions.com/2012/07/personalised-learning
In almost every community, there are some common misconceptions concerning certain terms. Some believe they mean the same thing, while others believe the terms represent different constructs. For example, there’s AI and machine learning, climate change and global warming, or yams and sweet potatoes. Similarly, some may believe that personalized and adaptive learning, while others believe they are separate concepts.
What is personalized learning?
Personalized learning is a set of instructions that are customized as per the pace of learning of each learner. Different students process and retain information at unique paces. Personalized learning focuses on that pace to make sure the learning activities are relevant and meaningful to each student.
This process tailors the instructional environment to accelerate each student’s learning activity. It addresses each student’s individual skills, needs and interests.
Students take ownership of their own learning. They also develop deep connections with each other and their teachers.
What is adaptive learning?
The concept of personalized learning is almost identical to adaptive learning and hence the confusion. Here are the common features of adaptive learning:
Learning is dynamic in this case. Students can speed up or slow down through learning instructions as and when required.
All the learning objectives, content, approaches and tools are specifically tailored for each student.
The learning instructions are set as per the student’s abilities and interests. The instructions are organized in a systematic and calibrated way.
Learning is usually supported by technology in adaptive learning.
In traditional learning systems, teachers do not have the time to attend to each student with unique learning abilities. It is a fact and you can’t blame anybody since they have to follow a protocol as well. But, personalized and adaptive learning ensures that all students get equal attention and chances to acquire learning abilities.
3.Virtual and augmented reality
Image source: https://eonreality.com/2020-ar-vr-education-training-jamie-justice/
Schools and colleges have shut down all over the world due to the pandemic. Thus, the majority of students have resorted to online learning, where they can continue their studies despite the adverse situation out there. Besides online learning, technologies such as virtual and augmented reality will completely revolutionize the way students learn and teachers teach.
Role of augmented reality in education:
AR or augmented reality uses the environment around it to overlay any type of information on it. In short, it adds more ‘drama’ to reality. You don’t need any dedicated device to use augmented reality for education.
Visual content is always better at making concepts and ideas clearer to students. And augmented reality is about bringing the texts in your book to life. Wouldn’t it be better to visualize the subject rather than reading the textbooks? That way, it helps students get a better understanding and insights about the topic.
You don’t have to invest in hardware to make the most of augmented reality in learning and development. A smartphone, along with an internet connection, will do. For instance, you need to place the smartphone camera right in front of your textbook. And you can see the 2D image turn into a 3D animation.
Role of virtual reality in education:
From the first grade to college, VR can be used in all levels of education. Students can see the immersive content related to any subject or topic just using VR headsets.
Unlike AR, which brings the textual content to life, VR helps you be a part of the virtual environment. It imparts a more realistic feel to the students. You can explore all kinds of subjects or topics with profound details.
VR experience also helps you concentrate on your studies without any sort of distractions. Chances are you would be too involved in the virtual world to be distracted by the real world. In short, virtual reality can improve your concentration power to a great extent.
You can also enjoy a complete sensory experience using VR headsets. You can virtually touch, hear and see the content at the same time with the help of sensors.
Augmented and virtual reality is two of the latest trends in the education sector. The costs can be higher, but it definitely provides in-depth learning experiences to students. Teachers can motivate students to focus on their studies and assignments, free from any kind of distractions. You can visualize your subjects and complicated concepts as well as acquire practical skills.
Pandemics like COVID-19 can happen again, disrupting the normalcy of all our lives. But, we can’t let these undesirable situations take a toll on the education sector since that is what will drive the world towards prosperity. The trends explained above have the potential to make the education sector safe and more suitable for every child out there. Let’s just wait and see how long the government takes to implement these trends in all schools and colleges worldwide.
Emily Moore is a content creator at a reputed firm in the United States. She also provides assignment help to students at Tophomeworkhelper.com. Penny loves to spend time with her doting daughters in her free time.