January 14, 2013

The Changing Face of Education in the 21st Century

Infographic on the Future of Higher EducationAt 3Pillar, we work with a number of clients in the education space to provide software solutions that enable their students or end users to manage their education, either inside the classroom or outside it. Opportunities afforded by new and emerging technologies are bringing sweeping changes to the world of education.

With the wealth of knowledge increasingly available online, consumer demand for new forums for learning is growing by leaps and bounds. Khan Academy and Codecademy are just 2 examples of the kind of online curriculums that have gained massive popularity in recent years. Codecademy brought in more than 450,000 users last year to learn the basics of web and application programming. Khan Academy has served up nearly 227 million lessons via 3800 video tutorials.

The New York Times ran an article last week on the trend toward Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOC, that focused mainly on an educational site called Coursera. Coursera debuted in August 2012, and at the time of this blog post had almost 2.3 million registered users. The mission of programs like Khan Academy, Codecademy, and Coursera is to provide students with online tutorials in a slew of specialized subjects. This leap of education from classical – where teachers or professors hold court at the front for roughly an hour – to online – where courses are available any time and are simultaneously immersive and informational – is providing entirely new avenues for students to learn. Such modern education platforms create convenient and flexible pathways to people looking to pursue higher education.

Innovation has played an important role in this effective use of teaching and learning virtual programs. Modern audio visual aids have taken teaching and instruction to the next level. Modern education teaching systems comprised of virtual classrooms, teachers, teaching material, audio visual tools, and conference software have made teaching a click away task. Students can log in remotely to classes of their interest and reap education benefits from anywhere in the world. These virtual classes are efficient and provide content delivery over internet. Besides gratifying teaching objectives, these modes are very cost effective and are designed as per real world teaching best practices.

Education Infographic Part 2The online education space, while still in its infancy, has repeatedly proven to be a popular, cost-effective tool for students of any age group to pursue their education goals. Education is just one of the many industries where the Internet has shaped a new era of globalization. A few of the benefits of online learning include:

  • Interactivity via real-time conversation, messaging, video chats, and group conferencing.
  • Bringing hybrid learning into existence with easy on demand updated course material.
  • Online and offline information regarding courses and other activities such as exams, submissions of assignment, holidays are easily accessible.
  • The ability to learn at one’s own pace, as opposed to the pace dictated by the class.

Advancements in modern technology have made more information more readily available to more people than ever before. We believe the education vertical is primed for even more disruption as online education becomes more widely accepted and barriers to entry fall.