With the powerful trend toward digital everywhere, educators will be increasingly challenged to find new and compelling ways to engage learners. Students will continue to be both intrigued and distracted by new technologies and overwhelmed by avalanches of information.
The key will be to help teachers figure out how to use the right technologies at the right time to do the right job for students. This will require teachers to know how to help students sort through data and information to learn what they need to know to secure their future paths. Educators will be able to build bridges between what the workforce needs, and how to effectively prepare students for the future, and for jobs that may not exist today.
One key factor to make this a reality is to enable students to think critically and creatively —– to encourage them to demonstrate persistence in solving some of the most difficult challenges we face as a global society. Providing students with real-world obstacles to push through and solve gives them the ability to engage, evaluate data, consider solutions, and forge an entrepreneurial path forward.
New technologies will leverage massive amounts of data produced across different technologies, applications, and networks. This data might be about the campus environment, student experience, student performance, student services, data security, or campus security. Schools, colleges, and universities will be compelled to determine how they can effectively leverage data to support and guide better learning outcomes.
Technology is already providing educational institutions the ability to monitor student traffic and space utilization, understand whether or not students are attending courses or using their cafeteria cards, and observe how they are performing in their courses.
New applications help universities to engage students in extracurricular activities, provide scheduling information, and help them acclimate to student life. Video and collaboration technologies provide ways for students to attend courses anytime, anywhere, on any device. Those same devices allow educators to scale access to quality learning.
In the future, education will become even more engaging with new applications for virtual reality. Imagine students being able to immerse themselves in the human body without having to do a physical autopsy. Imagine being able to have a virtual guest lecturer who appears to physically be in a learning space.