The year 2015 was an exciting time in digital education. Now it’s time to look to the future and the things to come in 2016.
To help you plan your digital education strategy for the coming year, we tapped into some of the digital education leaders to share their 3 biggest predictions for 2016:
Gamification, Personalized Learning and Social Media
Digital teaching and learning is complex and still in its infancy. It’s difficult to predict with any accuracy what the next trends will be. With that in mind, I believe there are a few things we will hear a lot about in 2016.
First, Gamification will continue to grow and to breed solid leaders who will take it in a positive direction. Gamification should become less focused on games and more about the learning.
Personalized Learning will continue to refine. Right now, definitions are driven by vendors who force products on us that aren’t really personalized. This year we’ll hear more voices from the field and get a better sense of what true personalization with digital devices looks like.
Lastly we’ll see a change in how social media is used, both for teachers and students. Services are changing all the time, along with the attitudes towards them. There’s a shift underway, which we’ll continue to see pushed forward.
Access, Authenticity and Agency
The three biggest trends in elearning in 2016 hopefully will be access, authenticity and agency.
Educational organizations will increasingly recognize the power of student access to — and participation in — the world’s global information commons and learning communities.
They will find additional ways for students to powerfully use digital learning tools to do meaningful, authentic work instead of traditional, artificial, decontextualized classroom assignments.
And they will continue to find ways to shift from teacher-directed, transmission-oriented, passive classrooms to environments in which student voice and agency are both honored and enabled. Thus creating more engaged, student-directed learning opportunities.
Blended Learning, Virtual Reality and Mobile
Blended learning is nothing new but it will continue to dominate the elearning scene in various forms. More variations on traditional blends will develop as the separation between classroom and online continues to blur. Technologies, like augmented reality, will extend the learning potential of the internet and enable interaction with the physical environment.
Virtual reality has taken huge leaps forward over the last year, so this year we could start to see some really innovative applications in elearning. The potential virtual reality offers to create experiential learning is enormous and powerful. It could have a dramatic effect on learning if done right.
Mobile learning will continue to dominate through 2016, with the ever increasing capability of mobile devices to enhance learning through multimedia consumption and creations tools, speech recognition and AI.
Wearables, Augmented Reality and 3D Printing
Every day we see new developments in edtech, so to think ahead to what’s possible in 2016 is exciting. Here are my predictions for 2016:
The art of being able to learn anywhere at any time will also include any ‘how’. Wearable devices will give students and educators more opportunities to be connected learners. We’ll see this become more visible and interactive in 2016.
Augmented reality is already trending, but it’s going to get bigger and better. I can see visitors taking campus tours with an interactive augmented reality assistant, and augmented reality being the go-to tool in homes, schools and businesses for information distribution.
3D printing is already being used effectively in schools and businesses, but there’s much more to come. Making 3D printed objects with a purpose will trend in 2016. The ability to create an object to solve a problem (especially in developing countries) will be huge.
User-Generated Content, Learning Analytics and Augmented Reality
I predict the 3 biggest trends to dominate digital education in 2016 will be user-generated content, learning analytics and augmented reality.
The L&D team can only do so much on its own. In 2016, the SMEs in the business will be expected to share their knowledge, because – by definition – they’re the experts. That will allow the L&D folks to focus on their own role as the experts in L&D.
In the past I think it’s fair to say we’ve done a lot according to gut feeling, or perhaps in response to anecdotal evidence. In 2016 we’ll start to ask: “What do the numbers say?”
The year 2015 was exciting for augmented reality. For example, Microsoft released HoloLens, and Samsung collaborated with Oculus on the Gear VR. In 2016, the big players in augmented reality will turn their attention from the device to the offerings, which we L&D folks will be able to apply to our work.
Mobile Learning, Training Digitalization, Flexible Learning
I predict that the main trends for 2016 will be the increase of mobile learning and the digitalization of the training.
As the benefits of mobile learning are increasingly recognized in both the corporate and education sectors, learners will increasingly be equipped with mobile devices for training purposes.
The need to adapt training to your employees lifestyle will increase. Thus, having access to flexible modes of training, that are available at the time and place most convenient for the learner, will become crucial.
Finally, to achieve these goals, different training modes will continue to interweave with more traditional training approaches to provide the necessary flexibility and explore better ways to engage learners.
Your turn! What do you predict will be the biggest trends in digital education in 2016? Let us know in the comments below.