A lasting partnership: lifelong learning and technology

Photo by Javier Quesada on Unsplash

The first things that are shaping the learners’ landscape are the learner and their circumstances, everything that surrounds them (technology, designs and tools) are medium, some more innovative or trendy than others, that seeks some results with different rates of efficacy.

That means that an apprentice, does not always learn the same way, or to put it in other words, traditional education maybe not responsive enough to what learners need. The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve suggested that traditional learning methods often result in lowered retention rates over time. This curve proves that rote memorization and information regurgitation simply does not work for most worldwide learners. In response, instructional designers have attempted different strategies to increase learner engagement.

Technology has to do its job

Dr Smolle, a German educator and pioneer in eLearning with interactive knowledge, designed a learning method that rejected drill and practice ideas. He exchanged the antiquated classroom method for smaller, more compact units of information that were easier to digest. Each unit required a response from the learner, presenting learners with interactions rather than rote memorization followed by immediate regurgitation, which was nearly as quickly forgotten.

With this in mind, it is understandable that lifelong learning is far from being a linear apprenticeship, such as it is during High School or University. Thus traditional instructional design collides with requirements and specific needs. This portrays us a particular dynamic, one that is closely linked with the labour market: traditional abilities are still a key factor, but, in many ways, they are not enough.

One of the reasons is the leading role that technology holds when it comes to the process of value creation and distribution throughout all industries. This encompasses the approval of two more competences: specific (dealing with a certain type of technology or conceptual framework) and attitudinal. What is expected is that as well as market progress, workers develop along with it. Learning becomes something to be acquired as a subscription format, instead of a clearly defined event in a lifetime.

Some educators have responded to this situation, partnering with technology and innovative professionals to increase student success. The same is happening with some universities, they, have begun to differentiate compliance with traditional learning methods from executive education that includes the changing needs of the students.

Therefore, if one wants to understand how each technology adds value, one has to understand how each technology solves a specific problem or power a particular phase within the learning process. To achieve an effective learning experience, it must be focused on the objectives rather than on a specific technology. The latter is a very powerful medium with the strength to rewrite the whole rule book.

Moving Forward in Time

Lifelong learning stems from a self-initiated education focused on achieving personal fulfilment, whereas microlearning sprout from microcontent, which are small pieces of information delivered digitally. These types of learning blossomed with the rapid increase of technology in classrooms over the past decade, as well as a growing need for classrooms to stay relevant to current educational trends. Modern students use a wide range of content formats to consume new information, and with the help of mobility, they can learn at any given time or situation anywhere.

Chryssa Sofianopoulou, a faculty member at Harokopio University, Greece, discusses Garrison’s model, which, in part, defines student self-management. She reveals that lifelong learning allows students to self-assess and decide on the information consumed. Students manage their education, reviewing their results, and deciding on their own educational paths. As a result, learners range in age and skill level, adjusting their own education to meet their specific needs. Moreover, the Research Institute of America found that online courses have increased student retention rates from 25% to 60%.

New learning experiences, with the aid of technology, are viewed as the learning trends that will have the greatest impact on education in the future. In fact, educators are increasingly partnering with services to provide students with more options in technology and learning.

What is more, the integration of lifelong learning, microlearning, etc. into classrooms and various learning platforms often happens through technology as well as the hard work of educators who partner with reputable OPM companies. Now, learners have the power to access more information and faster using the same technology that entertains them and helps them communicate. The convenience, ability to self-guide, increased information retention and ease of access have increased new learning experiences popularity through technology use.

Some educators are embracing technology and microlearning worldwide, turning learners everywhere into tech-savvy, smarter students who retain information for a lifetime. Changes are becoming increasingly evident: the internet brought ubiquity and accessibility to the learning process, AR helps on the practical aspect, blockchain on the authentication of competences, AI on detecting learning patrons, among others. No discussion needed, technology redefines the education process.

Every effective learning experience is a co-production between those who own the content, who provides the methodology and the ones who leverage the experience with technology.

Improving lives through learning experiences. Delivering a transformative and effective learning experience, everywhere.

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