Friday, January 24, 2014

Learning Technology Trends in 2014

Learning Technology Trends in 2014

Traditionally the fields of education and training move slowly.  The adoption of technology has been relatively quick – taking place in two decades rather than the usual five decades.  Now more than 50% of companies use eLearning and most universities and school systems have adopted technology for their distance learning programs.  Still the adoption of specific new applications takes place over several years rather than in a single year.  As a result, many of the predictions for this year are the same as last year.  I have consolidated predictions from others and added my own perspective.

  1. Mobile Learning/HTML5: In both education and the corporate world, there will be further adoption of mobile learning.  Teachers and trainers will adopt these tools right in the classroom and well as online and HTML5 will continue to evolve as a programming language to make mobile learning more effective and responsive – automatically adapting to the size and shape of the screen on the learner’s device.  It will also enable more just-in-time learning.
  2. Social/Informal Learning: This trend has been happening over the past five years or so and will continue.  The Tin Can API will help enable this.
  3. Video: I am concerned that video is often over-used.  Talking head video just uses up bandwidth and slows down people like me who learn faster by reading and being able to search.  In spite of any concerns I may have, the use of video will continue to grow.  Ways will be found to search video content more effectively.
  4. Games and simulations: Educators have long known the benefits of games and simulations.  The airline industry has used simulators for decades.  But formal education institutions and corporations have resisted this for years.  It will continue to gain acceptance and increasing numbers of LMS’s will become games friendly.
  5. eLearning authoring tools will continue to evolve to include:
    a.      publishing to HTML5
    b.      cloud-based/collaborative authoring
    c.       responsive (to the screen) and adaptive (to the learner)
    d.      just-in-time learning/ performance support
    e.      games, simulations and animation.
  6. Adaptive e-Learning Design:  More design will become adaptive to the learner – responding to the situation and needs of the learner - something classroom teachers have been doing for centuries.
  7. Tin Can API adoption: The Tin Can API gives us the ability to track learning outside the LMS – both formal and informal.  More LMS’s and authoring tools will adopt it.  The term Tin Can will stick as opposed to the ADL/SCORM term Experience API.
  8. Learning Analytics/Big Data: There will be increasing use of learning data from both inside the LMS and outside of it using data consolidation tools to get learning opportunities to people more efficiently.
  9. Industry consolidation and fragmentation: There will continue to be both consolidation at the top level of the business with HR software companies purchasing the larger LMS companies.  Smaller companies will continue to come and go.  Smaller companies have greater ability to innovate and some of the new ideas will take root.
  10. MOOC’s:  The impact of MOOC’s will continue to be debated but also will begin to influence the thinking of corporate training organizations.
  11. Personalization: There will be increasing personalization of learning – providing the learner with what is needed when it is needed.  This is closely related to adaptive learning and the use of big data tools. 
  12. The user experience:  Most LMS interfaces are less than exciting.  There will be more use of graphics in LMS interfaces to make them more engaging for learners.
  13. Flipped Classrooms: A fairly recent trend in formal education in which learners are asked to review material before coming to class and the class is used mostly for discussion.  eLearning makes this more possible.
  14. BYOD – Bring Your Own Device: The trend toward BYOD will continue in which learners are expected to have their own device and systems can adapt to smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. More and more instructors will use these right in the classroom as well as for remote learning.

See also:


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