About 15 years ago, online learning was a thing, but the learning creators were still worrying about low bandwidths and Flash (now called Animate) was super-awesome because it helped us create eye-candy content that was byte-cheap. Smartphone wasn’t born, and online learning meant sitting in front of a computer. All you could use your phone for, was to make calls and sending tiny little messages that had to be multi-tapped. Most of the online learning was for cognitive content, and most of it was BL3 and below.
In the coming 10 years, with the advances in Internet Speeds (next generation Internet – 6G), Artificial Intelligence, Connectivity, IoT/IoE, we should expect the learner’s needs as well as the learning methods to undergo a sea-change.
Here are the 5 learning Trends that I believe will appear in the next decade.
1. Digital Avatar Tutors: We will be connecting to our future learners through custom-avatars, designed to make our learners comfortable. These avatars would be projected through VR Apps on the screens and will interact with the learners in real-time. Here’s an example of the use of Alter-ego in a Fox Show.
2. Holographic Content/Exhibits: All the learning that won’t require real-life interactions, will be done online with the use of holographic content. The pandemic has taught us that we can learn online. Unfortunately, the technology still doesn’t allow us to get as realistic with the content as we would like to – but with the growing Internet speeds and digital capabilities, it’s inevitable that we will. Read more about the future of holograms here.
3. VR Content: Virtual Reality will become more real, tangible, and immersive. AR will transcend into MR. To achieve this, it will push the frontiers of olfactory and tactile sensations. Virtual Reality Rooms or Chambers will become more inexpensive and will reach the homes of the customers. eLearning instructional designers will be storyboarding highly immersive and hence customized VR experiences, and due to the need to create immersive content, rapid authoring will take a backseat. The UX Designers will rise and rule once again. Read about Virtual Reality here.
4. Training-Bots or Teacher Robots: With substantially higher speeds where it will be possible to download hundreds of GB of data per second, Robots would be able to download content in all its forms, display the videos, speak the voice-overs, print the text, and implement the practice activities. Training bots will upload the videos of the class for any human intervention, if required. Read about the 10 ways in which robots could transform our future here.
5. Virtual or Robotic Trainings in the Affective and Psychomotor Domains: As Artificial Intelligence becomes more natural (or, in sci-fi speak, computers go closer to becoming sentient,) they would step up to provide psychomotor and affective domain trainings too. This would mean there would be a requirement of soft-skill and motor-skill SMEs.
As we can see the next 10 years are going to be filled with new opportunities and challenges. Today, as we await the implementation of 5G, we must also prepare ourselves by looking forward to what lies beyond 5G. Companies such as Apple, Google, and LG have already started re-imagining the future with 6G. A future in which learning and technology come together by mixing the real with virtual, is inevitable, and we must start preparing for it now!
Photo by Andrea De Santis on Unsplash