Learning predictions for 2014 & Beyond

MOOC and tablet computing are technologies geared for adoption in immediate horizon.(within the next 12 months). Game-like environments, learning analytics are for  mid-term horizon (within two to three years), discussed in Part 2. The adoption of these technology areas can have impact to enhance  skill development initiatives in developing countries.

Massively open on-line courses(MOOC) has potential to reach a unimaginable number of learners, participating in a single course, working at their own pace, relying on their own style of learning, and assessing each other’s progress. Life-long learners and working professionals  have new way for continued, advanced learning to acquire new skills and improve their knowledge and employability. MOOC works on assumption  that learning is an ongoing activity.

Students can experiment with a variety of subjects and acquire new skills not associated with a degree plan.  A  growing  student population is frustrated on the benefits they get- do not get –  out of higher education for their money.  Will the model where emphasis is on knowledge production over consumption sustain?

Currently students watch videos and learning outcomes are measured via quizzes and papers.  MOOCs  are still to evolve out of the  traditional lecture-style pedagogy. Will the average and below average student benefit from MOOC?.  As the fastest growing economies are non-English speaking, local language support is needed to benefit a larger population. The content on each of the major sites is not “open,” and is copyrighted. 

Lot of people  join courses to enhance their skills and be ready for better opportunities (ie) better job and higher salary. Will  corporates recognize MOOC for employment purposes?  There is a need for empowering a fresh student  to get a better job and need for worker to be equipped with latest knowledge to get higher wages.

Tablet computing is used in education as a portable and always-connected device that can be used in almost any setting.  Tablets are easy to carry for students and enable learners to take and share notes, create to-do lists, store all of their files, and organize their academic schedules.

Students appreciate the need to connected and also find internet costs high. How to reach a balance between the cost awareness and connected  needs of the student?  Today students have ability to rent e-books and learning content for the time period of college and have options  to rent tablets itself.

There are hybrid models in action where tablets comes pre-loaded with course materials, digital textbooks, and other helpful resources.Students can can connect and download updates and incremental content.  Will educational institutions generate content for a fragmented tablet market?  Set-up of wi-fi network in college campus enable students to download the updates and incremental content for free or a low yearly fixed charge.