How Will Technology Transform Digital Learning In The Next Decades?

How Digital Learning Technology Will Change In The Next Decades

Let us first see what digital learning technology is offering right now. Some of the advantages of digital learning at the moment are:

Easy access and ability to adapt to user’s preferences.
No location or time constraints.
Multimedia resources and interactive environment.
Users are part of virtual communities.
Learning material constantly updated.
Limited socio-economic status constrains.

Digital learning is constantly transformed due to technological advances and eLearning providers are always on the look for new tools that would improve or supplement their end product. For example, social media are extensively used to support the eLearning process. Facebook is probably the leader in this category and can be used for uploading articles, offering additional resources, and stimulating interaction.

What Next Is Coming?

We can surely expect more technological innovations implemented on digital learning environments in the following years. Some emerging technological trends are:

1. The disappearance of computers.
Computers used to be the main device for accessing the internet, but tablets and smart gadgets are taking the lead. Nowadays people use a variety of mobile devices, depending on where they are and what they are doing. Portability and easy access have become crucial factors for internet users.

2. Cloud-based learning.
Cloud-based learning refers to learning online while data are stored in the cloud. Learning resources are virtually available and can be accessed by multiple digital devices. Benefits of having a cloud-based learning system are:

Less costs for customer support, software installations, and data management.
Less time for set up, system updates, and technological maintenance.
Flexible learning on the go and by all internet enabled devices.
Vast space to capture and store data.

The main concern raised regarding cloud-based learning is the security risk. eLearning providers will have to choose between hosting and managing their own virtual platform and using an external provider. In the second case, a thorough understanding of the provider’s terms, conditions, and policies is paramount to ensure an unhindered business operation.

3. Increased emphasis on digital portfolios.
Digital portfolios are online data collections that users can store, edit, and download, and these collections can include various formats as text, multimedia, and links. Such portfolios can be used for not only keeping learning records, but also building digital profiles, analyzing learning data, and as a tool for managing learning communities.

4. Gamification.
Gamification of learning refers mainly to the application of video game design principles in learning environments. The goal is to motivate and engage learners via using the same elements that make video game environments challenging and enjoyable. This can be achieved by, for example, increasing the feeling of self-achievement via launching a competition with a winner prize.

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