What does the future of personalized learning hold?
Personalized learning is not a new concept. In fact, the idea of adapting learning to suit learner needs was first documented as early as the 1800s. However, in recent years we are seeing changes in the techniques that educators have been using for over a century. Most of these changes have been brought about by the rise of digital technologies, especially Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). In this article, we will talk about the effects of technology that we are already experiencing, as well as how it is expected to shape the future of personalized learning.
How has technology already affected personalized learning?
The effects of technology on personalized learning are all around us, whether we notice it or not. Learners from around the world already have access to learning platforms that provide customized data using AI algorithms. They can easily find courses that match their preferences, skill level and learning goals. Not to mention the abundance of online resources and virtual assistants that help them continue learning at their leisure. Finally, they can constantly connect with learners who have similar interests to exchange information and broaden their horizons.
At the same time, educators have a huge weight lifted off their shoulders as AI helps them with repetitive tasks like grading and creating lessons or assessments. Moreover, communication between them and their learners is greatly facilitated by tools such as chats and forums. Sometimes their input is not even needed, as they can create knowledge bases that take care of anticipated questions. This gives them more time to carefully curate their learning materials to create attractive and effective learner experiences.
What to expect next?
Technology develops in great strides, which means that it is difficult to know exactly what it will look like in 5, 10 or 50 years from now. However, there are a few things we can expect based on what we know so far. Here are 5 predictions about the future of personalized learning in the digital world.
1. Assessments and fact-checking
Technology of the future, and especially advanced AI, will have the ability to evaluate learning progress over a long period of time and thus immediately give the educator a complete picture of the learners’ knowledge gaps, acquired skills and projected development. At the same time, as more AI writing assistants make their appearance, a large part of the assessment process will separate the “truth” of AI-generated content. Therefore, in the future, AI will be equipped to quickly detect and prevent such incidents, rather than educators struggling to check the work of their learners.
2. One-on-one personal learning
As digital tools that promote personalized learning continue to evolve, group learning will fade into the background. Instead, Artificial Intelligence will be able to act as a personal instructor for learners, giving them all the attention they need and adapting their learning paths. However, this does not mean that personal interactions will die out. Human instructors can still support learners when needed, and contact with peers will take place on learning platforms or a virtual learning environment.
3. The virtual classroom
Speaking of virtual environments, the virtual classroom is expected to become much more popular in the world of education. Its purpose will be to overcome distance and foster a sense of teamwork and community among online learners. There will be digital versions (avatars) of the learners able to communicate with each other and learn together. Even in cases where learners are in the same physical location, VR and AR tools will be used to enhance the learning experience.
4. Lifelong Learning
This is already a reality, but it is expected to be even more common in the future. With technology and global connectivity making education more accessible than ever, more and more people will make lifelong learning an important part of their lives. They will begin to find additional resources while still students and continue to continually enrich their knowledge base to aid their professional development.
5. Diversity And Equity
So many steps have been taken to make learning accessible to all. But what is an ongoing struggle now will be an effortless habit in the future of personalized learning. Supporting learning with technology will enable us to reach every corner of the planet, offer instant translations of training courses into any language, and integrate features to help learners with any type of disability. Finally, AI will eliminate biases now present in its databases so that it can always provide us with results that are correct and objective.
The virtual grass is not always greener
For many of us, all these technological advances make the future of learning look bright and impressive. However, we should not treat digital tools as a panacea. Of course, they can help instructors and learners save time by tackling repetitive tasks, but there are some things that still require human emotional intelligence. For example, during the early years of education, the presence of a human educator cannot be replaced by a machine. Doing so will have a negative impact on young learners, who need to practice important soft skills such as communication, teamwork and problem solving. Finally, it is important to remember that AI is not yet ready for us to completely rely on it. Fact-checking and editing the information it gives us is still necessary to avoid misinformation and data bias.
A bright future lies ahead
It is undeniable that Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are here to stay, and the effects they will have on the future of personal learning will be hard to ignore. And, to be honest, you shouldn’t want to. Technology can be a valuable tool for educators and instructors in any learning environment, helping them identify knowledge gaps and design customized learning paths to address them effortlessly. So, find out how technology can serve the needs of your audience and use it to create enhanced learning experiences.