Learning more about EdTech (2)

A few days ago I wrote about some popular apps within the educational space and I’d now like to focus more on some of the current (technology) trends within the “EdTech” space:

  1. Shift from ‘asset based learning’ to ‘continuous learning’ – We’re already seeing a shift away from the traditional educational model – where learning happens through courses or certificates and has a defined endpoint. John Seely Brown, in a talk called Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Learner in the 21st Century describes this traditional model as an ‘asset-based’ approach. Instead, we’re starting to treat learning as a lifelong process consisting of deliberate practices aimed at constantly getting better. I can imagine that this will have a significant impact on educational technology. For example, learning might become more of a ‘playful’ activity and something which is ‘consumed’ much more on ‘pick and mix’ basis rather than the more linear approach that we’re used to.
  2. Subscription learning – Some trend watchers have been predicting a model where for example universities do much more than just providing you with academic content. It’s about creating a “full stack” model whereby the education provider becomes a school, recruiter, a lender and an employer, all merged into one. This could mean that students have a lifelong relationship with their university, coming back to it as their career and their professional skills evolve.
  3. Combining adaptive learning and competency based learning – The combination of a student picking up some specific competencies (‘competency based learning’) at a pace and in a format tailored to the individual (‘adaptive learning’) is something that technology can well facilitate. I believe this will be one of the biggest trends to watch in the EdTech space over the coming years. As a simple example, I’m currently doing a UX Design course online where I can work through the modules at my own pace and go over specific aspects with my tutor, who I Skype with once a week.
  4. Gamification in educationGamification, as the concept around motivation and rewards, will continue to have an impact on education. The channel through which you access the educational content becomes secondary, it’s all about the ways in which people the subject matter is presented to people and how hooked they become. As a result, learning effectively becomes an ongoing habit (see my point about ‘continuous learning’ above). A good example is Lifesaver which is a prize winning campaign that combines interactivity, live-action film footage and time based decision making activities to teach CPR on your tablet, smartphone or computer.
  5. Enable ‘flipped learning’ – Flipped learning is an approach whereby students watch lectures and read related content online, and then go to a physical classroom to do their homework, under the personal instruction and guidance of teachers. The underlying idea here is that it will increase student engagement levels, both in and out of class.
  6. Bring Your Own Device – The ‘BOYD’ approach builds on the reality that a lot of students already bring their own devices to school and use them for their own needs. Rather than trying to constrain the educational approach and content to a single device or operating system, the idea here is that the content should be device agnostic. I’m sure that over time the technology will get better at ironing out scalability, security and compatibility issues, but BOYD taps into the reality of students having their preferred devices and ways of working.

Main learning point: It feels like there’s a lot of opportunity for innovation and transformation within the educational space. It will be interesting to see at what pace this change will take place and its impact on our education.

 

 

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Image taken from: http://www.videojeeves.com/blog/e-learning-for-kids/

Related links for further learning:

  1. https://medium.com/towards-a-remarkable-career/on-building-a-daily-habit-of-continuous-learning-82ef77a8aff9
  2. http://www.fastcompany.com/3020758/leadership-now/why-deliberate-practice-is-the-only-way-to-keep-getting-better
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course
  4. https://www.td.org/Publications/Blogs/L-and-D-Blog/2014/07/Stuck-in-An-E-Learning-Box-Try-Subscription-Learning
  5. http://blog.ouseful.info/2015/08/27/student-for-life-a-lifelong-learning-relationship-with-your-university-or-linked-in/
  6. http://er.educause.edu/articles/2015/8/data-technology-and-the-great-unbundling-of-higher-education
  7. http://elearningindustry.com/5-killer-examples-gamified-elearning
  8. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/flipped-learning-lets-talk-tech-jon-bergmann
  9. http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2015/06/iste-2015-6-tech-trends-educations-horizon-2015-2020
  10. http://www.k12blueprint.com/byod

Learning more about EdTech (1)

I’m currently doing an online course, learning more about UX design, and I’ve already provided my course provider some feedback on how they can improve their online course experience … I guess I can’t help myself. This experience prompted me to look into the education tech or the “EdTech” space a bit more, starting by checking out both popular educational apps and technology trends within this space. In this post, I’ll have a closer look at three popular educational apps in Udemy, Lynda.com and Khan Academy.

Udemy

Udemy’s motto is “Online Course Anytime, Anywhere.” It’s a purely online service, offering over 32,000 courses on any device to over 8 million students. For example, I’m currently learning about creating prototypes using Axure, and Udemy offers an online course on how to best use this tool (see Fig. 1 and 2 below). Compared to some of the online courses which I’ve done previously – on design thinking and gamification for example – the Udemy approach feels quite interactive, offering more opportunities for students to interact with their instructor (see example in Fig. 3 below).

Fig. 1 – Screenshot of “Mastering Axure RP 7: UX Design Prototyping” by Udemy on iOS

 

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Fig. 2 – Screenshot of “Mastering Axure RP 7: UX Design Prototyping” by Udemy on desktop

 

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Fig. 3 – Screenshot of Discussion about “Mastering Axure RP 7: UX Design Prototyping” by Udemy on iOS

 

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Lynda.com

Earlier this year Lynda.com got acquired by LinkedIn and it felt like a significant acquisition. Similar to Udemy, Lynda.com enables “On-the-go learning”, making it easy for students to switch between devices and operating systems. The two features I like on Lynda.com is that one can preview a specific course (see Fig. 4 below) and the way in which related or suggested courses are displayed, both on desktop and on mobile (see Fig. 5 below).

Fig. 4 – Screenshot of  “Google Analytics Essential Training” by Lynda.com on desktop

 

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Fig. 5 – Screenshot of suggested courses to look as part of the “Web” Category on Lynda.com on iOS

 

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Khan Academy

Whereas Udemy and Lynda.com are aimed at slightly older audiences, the mission of Khan Academy is to offer “A personalised learning resources for all ages.” The story of Salman Khan who started out by posted his math video tutorials on YouTube in 2004 is well published. This eventually turned into a well established platform which teaches maths and other topics to kids from a kindergarten age and beyond. For example, when I watched a video about the basics of adding and subtracting, it felt very intuitive and I could see how I could use this video to teach my two young boys (see Fig. 6 below).

Fig.6 – Screenshot of “Addition and subtraction” video on Khan Academy iOS app 

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Main learning point: Even by just looking at these three apps, Udemy, Lynda.com and Khan Academy, I feel that there’s so much opportunity for educational providers to create new digital products and services, offering students personalised learning experiences.

Related links for further learning:

  1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/schoolboard/2015/05/11/the-only-metric-that-measures-the-success-of-education-technology/
  2. http://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/trends/2053-trends-in-educational-technology
  3. http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2015/06/iste-2015-6-tech-trends-educations-horizon-2015-2020
  4. http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/03/teachers-will-embrace-students-smartphone-addiction-in-2015/
  5. http://blog.capterra.com/best-elearning-apps-businesses/
  6. http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/
  7. https://press.linkedin.com/site-resources/news-releases/2015/linkedin-to-acquire-lyndacom
  8. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobmorgan/2015/04/28/what-linkedins-acquisition-of-lynda-means-for-talent-management/