There has been a noticeable revival for educational products, with an increasing number of accelerators and investors becoming interested in educational startups and many corporations working to develop their own educational services/courses. At the same time, this burgeoning market is still in the nascent stage, trying to realize an undefined potential. The trends currently buzzing around the educational world, especially within e-learning and EdTech circles; they fall into one of two categories: the “obvious” and the “next things”.
Obvious trends have been around for years and, at this point, are almost considered mandatory to include, but they are not always the most effective. They include:
- Gamification – using games sounds like a good idea, but rarely is done in a way that will achieve true learning.
- Mobile learning – with mobile internet connectivity exploding, mobile learning is a must. However, other channels (e.g. SmartTVs) may soon make this less important than it seems today.
- Micro-training – dividing information into small (15-ish minutes) chunks helps maintain attention and serves an audience that might not have large amounts of time to devote at one time.
- Soft skills – the importance of developing soft skills is on everyone’s mind as of late.
The next things likely to emerge and/or be further developed in the educational space include:
- Immersive learning – it is believed that the brain doesn’t distinguish between reality and high-quality simulations, making virtual and augmented reality solutions an interesting prospect.
- Voice assistants and chat bots – with mobile devices implanted into our daily, hourly and minute-by-minute lives, voice assistants and chat bots bring mobile learning potential to a new level.
- Storytelling and podcasts – while nothing new, podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular way to consume information. Combined with storytelling, this represents a strong potential for learning.
- Communities and mentoring – learning communities and mentoring are becoming important tools to support the educational process. This is a great way to personalize learning, give more feedback and remove anxiety in the face of uncertainty.
- Individual learning paths – personalization is the new standard with almost everything in our world; the same is true with learning. Personalization allows you to adjust the path of development based on initial competencies and goals as well as the identification of key motivators, suitable formats, intensity and speed of training.