This report, titled: “The Future of E-ducation: The Impact of Technology and Analytics on the Education Industry” examines the nature of the technological revolution which has influenced education by bringing innovation into a previously stagnant field, as well as studying the associated complexities and issues with this shift. This report ultimately expresses how these changes will be pivotal for achieving the United Nations’ goal of universal education by 2015, in addition to allowing the quality of education to be globally innovative, engaging, customisable and accessible.
The study examines the impact of three different broad categories of technology in modern society which influence the shape of education: Open Sources and the Internet, mobile and “multi-faceted technology,” and virtual learning environments/learning analytics.
“This report shows that technology will disrupt education in a way never seen before in other industries. The tech tsunami is coming towards the shores of education and it will disrupt all education business models and the meaning and purpose of education, from curriculums to certification, to how and why people are hired in the future,”
said Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.
Open Sources and the Internet
Two technological areas of particular importance to education, which the report examines in detail, are that of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the Web 2.0 Platform. MOOCs and Web 2.0 are Open Source technologies which have been born from the Internet, and the drastic changes the Internet has brought about in how people communicate and process information. These two technologies defy the traditional barriers of education, and allow the overall structure of education to decentralise and universalise.
The report highlights that the previously rigid, top-down structure of education is now giving way to a more adaptable, fully customisable, individualised system; primarily due to the ubiquity of modern technological devices. The standardisation of the Internet, Web 2.0, mobile devices, computers and virtual realities, as part of our everyday lives, will help to facilitate and reinforce this fundamental shift by means of normalisation; utilising the fact that modern students are already “digital natives”.
Mobile and Multi-Faceted Technology
While Open Sources and the Internet revolutionise the structure of education itself, mobile and multi-faceted technology revolutionises the way society can provide education to students. A prime example of this which the report provides, is that of cloud computing, which changes how institutions store information, with cloud computing ultimately being a more reliable and simple technology; without the need for constant investment and maintenance. Conversely, mobile devices provide more accessible, individualised portals through which said information is accessed, shattering the rigidity of traditional education.
Virtual Learning Environments and Learning Analytics
With this mobile technology and its increasing prevalence around the globe, students can then use this technology to merge their virtual lives with their physical ones, by completing assignments and educational games online, or by receiving feedback online through virtual learning environments. Learning and teaching can now both occur in these online environments, due to the presence of analytics.
The New Educational Paradigm
When these three broad categories of technology are taken together, the report shows that they serve to reinforce and strengthen one another, and together they solidify the progression of education towards a new paradigm. Though it may seem overwhelmingly positive, the report is also careful to explain the many complexities and issues surrounding the individualised, adaptive future of education. Regardless of the outcome, the report shows that technology is certainly having a profound impact on the future of the educational sector, for teacher and pupil alike.