According to industry experts, the e-learning sector will continue to grow with the invention of new technologies and tools in 2012 and beyond. According to this year’s NMC Horizon Report released by the reputed New Media Consortium and the Educause Learning Initiative, 4 key technologies are likely to have a major impact upon the way e-learning and teaching is currently being imparted in the global arena.
Mobile devices and apps are now being increasingly used not only in colleges and universities, but also in K-12 schools. The potentiality of mobile devices is great, ranging from solving complex mathematical problems to viewing emails, website links, to capturing and storing information. With the advent of 3G and 4G networks for mobile devices (Smartphone’s, tablet PCs, iPads, etc.), location based services are widely available that enables you to access wireless internet from anywhere across the world. Students can use these mobile technologies to mail and send necessary documents to their classmates, indulge in video calling round the clock, and download relevant video clips, games and songs in record speed. These were impossible to achieve with older technologies.
The latest form of computing is much more portable and handy via tablet PCs. You can easily carry a tablet PC to the classroom and use it for researching or browsing the internet. These computing devices come with a bigger screen than the new generation smartphones and don’t disrupt learning (no phone ringing or incoming SMSs). Tablet PCs and iPads are simply great for one-to-one learning at educational institutions. They can also be used to share educational content, emails, and videos with the classmates, 24/7.
Currently, about 63% of the U.S. population play video games and experts believe that gaming technology will be in rampant use in schools and colleges within the next 2 to 3 years, to enhance learning. Teachers in some schools have already started implementing video games or board and card games in the classrooms to foster higher engagement and interaction amongst students with the aim to benefit and propagate interactive education. Dr. Susan Ambrose, director of Carnegie Mellon’s Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence said, “This is motivational because we can quickly see and understand the connection between the learning experience and our real-life work.”
Already over 900 million people are using Facebook for various personal or professional reasons. Educational institutes have found in social media a great weapon for success. Many schools are already in the process of developing social media rules to set the groundwork for e-learning. Teachers believe social media websites can be used to tap into a wealthy resource of professionals online as well as interact and get useful content and such other resources from their online friends.