The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in the last two years have changed the education sector in its entirety. Disrupting the conventional offline education, it has opened up new avenues to change and improve the education system by introduction of heavy use of technology in imparting knowledge. With the emergence of a new COVID variant, it seems that online learning will dominate in the new year as well. In this context, let us look at the top trends in the education sector to look out for in 2022.
Focus on skill development
The pandemic has come down heavily on the job market. Availability conventional offline jobs far and few. Employers are preferring to outsource rather than have someone in-house for most of the technical jobs, allowing them to cut costs and not be tied up in long term employment contracts. In such a market, merely having a degree is not going to be enough or even necessary. This would in turn shift the focus of job-seekers in acquiring more skills instead. Especially on skills that support remote work such as programming, data analysis, graphic designing, etc.
Increase in Demand for Massive Online Open Courses
Massive Open Online Courses are free short-duration courses that can be accessed from anywhere at any time and are created for the mass population. 2020 saw over 180 million learners online, spread across 2800 courses, and 19 online degrees, and 360 micro-credentials. These courses offer students a great way to build their skills.
Due to the convenience of MOOCs, learning isn’t limited to those who can afford higher education. This is one major advantage of these courses, apart from their short-duration lessons, which allow students to learn more in less time. The new year will see increased demand of such courses and thus will lead to development of more MOOCs for various sectors.
Blockchain Technology in Education for Data Security
According to Gartner’s survey of 2019, in the next two years almost 20% of higher educational institutes will be using blockchain. It will help streamline the tedious process of verification, transferring records, employee records, students’ unique credentials, making the process easier and error-free.
Free digitalised teaching and learning materials, to be referred to as open educational resources, would be essential for increasing learning access to global learners. This is in alignment with supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4, as Blockchain will play a significant role in ensuring inclusiveness and equitable quality education across the globe, for promoting lifelong learning opportunities across all age groups.
Technology is being recognised as part of strategic development goals for inclusive education. Blockchain makes it possible to provide cost-effective information and makes it available for the standardisation of quality educational content internationally. It is evident that adopting innovative technologies such as the blockchain can help in the effective planning of operations and resource utilization in education.
Augmented and Virtual Reality in Education
The two years of the pandemic has ensured that online education is here to stay. With that established, more innovations will take place to improve the online learning experience. With the introduction of Augmented and virtual reality in education, virtual learning will be as impactful as offline learning.
The year 2021 had a large virtual format, almost real, like platforms for hosting school events. With the coming of metaverse events, the online classroom will look more real than ever. One can be both offline and online at the same time, leading to a surreal learning experience.