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3 major changes coming to the way we learn

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Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” In a world defined by flow, education itself is the only certainty of 100% return – and sometimes the only lifeboat we have to stay relevant in a world rocked by constant change.

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EdTech (educational technology) has been dominating the news lately, with the huge EduTech Africa Expo just held here in South Africa. Seoul-based educational tech startup Mathpresso, which has impressed international investors, also recently completed a vital second funding round, showing how viable EdTech is seen by financiers. It is a world dominated by technologically disrupted and disruptive learning.

But what if the very nature of learning and the systems and processes around education are themselves disrupted?

In fact, it is not the ‘future’, but the ‘now’. The learning landscape is changing, ushering in a whole new way of learning. Additionally, as the shelf life of current skills rapidly decreases, learning suddenly has a “best before” sticker, translating into an accelerated urgency to create continuous learning and development.

So what does this “now” look like? What are the latest learning trends?

The days of the fixed learning schedule or reserved classroom are over. The new learning environment is characterized by interconnectivity, collaboration, active engagement, symbiosis and constant change.

Education is changing on all sides – institutions, educators and learners. There are three key players who are all equally important to successfully navigate the learning landscape.

  1. Learner Changes

    First, the habits of the learners themselves have changed considerably. Learners now learn at the speed of their needs – where and when they want.

    Additionally, learners have changed the way they perceive the value of their learning. It is a much less passive enterprise than when the old guard was bored in the classrooms. Learners today are demanding more accreditation to show potential employers their ever-increasing value proposition. In fact, the boundaries between work and learning are blurring. Learning is now a seamless complement to work itself.

    Because of this convergence, education is becoming a much more personal experience, requiring that any learning initiative not only be career-aligned, but also responsive to individual interests. During the learning process, learners will be encouraged to become more creative, adaptive and innovative.

  2. Changes in the very nature of learning

    For this reason, the emphasis of learning will be introspective, autonomous and personalized. Rather than punctuated by certain one-off milestones, it will be part of a continuous professional journey over the long term. Learning will become increasingly learner-directed, with frameworks for development defined and shaped bottom-up rather than top-down.

    Therefore, learning methods will adapt to this and be informed by peer-to-peer learning, even for self-study in the workplace. For example, employees will create and share content that is both relevant and material.

    Technology will be paramount in supporting and improving learner engagement. And to be engaging enough, the technology will need to be both mobile and social. Augmented and Virtual Reality (VR) will create new simulated learning situations and Artificial Intelligence (AI) embedded in content delivery will allow us to manage and adapt learning to be personalized and individual. Rather than the old one-size-fits-all method of education, technologies will expose learners to different and dynamic ways of learning.

    Virtual collaboration rooms within organizations will become the new classroom and technologies such as gamification and virtual reality will further change the way learning happens. Employees want to see how they stack up against their peers, earn badges, collaborate, and feel a sense of accomplishment, all through technology, and will need to demonstrate persistence, risk-taking, attention to detail, and problem solving skills to stay on top.

  3. Changes in learning within organizations and at work

    To remain relevant and competitive, organizations will not only need to change their approach to learning, but they will also need to fundamentally change the learning culture of the organization to show that learning is an asset contributing to the achievement of results. commercial.

    In the workplace, the emergence of learning experience platforms (LXPs) like HowNow will allow employees to take full control of their learning and development. Employees will also expect to access content anytime, anywhere, as they do in their personal lives, and workplaces will need to ensure learning is mobile.

    At the same time, the savvy business will realize that an increased focus on soft skills training – the human side of the equation – will help prepare employees for the future of work.

Let’s end with another quote: this one from a more current source. Education mastermind and coiner of the term e-learning, Elliot Masie says:

Online learning is changing. And we will see new models, new technologies and new designs emerge. So let’s drop the ‘e’ or at least give it a new and broader definition.