Sussing out trends

For Lesson 4 Activity in OERu SR4Ed Mooc


Trends for inputs to activity

  • More demand for alternative credentialing
  • Growth in social networking
  • MOOCs and their evolutionary derivatives
  • Disaggregation of university functions
  • Decline of PC
  • Use of analytics
  • Changing educational paradigms (flipped classroom, blended, distance) in traditional settings
  • Wearable technologies
  • Internet of things
  • Ubiquitous displays
  • Game-simulation based learning
  • Augmented reality
  • Mobile apps
  • Decline of siloed academic disciplines
  • Professions and industry will increasingly set standards for academia
  • Wearable computers

I would combine several of these trends into a picture of how they may combine in providing new forms of learning opportunities. These trends are:

  • Wearable technologies
  • Use of analytics
  • Game-based simulation learning
  • Mobile apps

I believe all these developments and more will create new opportunities for “learning by doing” or immersive experiential learning using digital technologies. Some early examples may be found here:
–    Stanford – Centre for immersive and simulation based learning
–    Clinical research
–    Business

With the growth in wearable computers, internet of objects, 3-d printing and augmented reality, we’ll see a move away from PCs toward more real-world engagements with learning simulations, possibly in almost any discipline. With a more outward focus of forward-thinking universities toward the real needs of the world around them, along with declining focus on disciplines themselves (which can still be pursued by specialized universities and research centres),  theory and practical skills will be combined with reflective learning to create problem-based immersive learning simulations that can take place anywhere, anytime, worldwide for rapid learning, scenario testing and feedback via analytics. Wearable computers, augmented reality and flipped classroom models can increasingly involve students in learning by doing, in increasingly realistic or even blended simulation/real learning environments. I believe this is particularly important for the higher education environment as increasing expectations of accountability by governments and taxpayers will demand increased relevance of learning to real-world problems.


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