The future of e-Learning

                                                                                                  - Rajesh Thambala
Transforming education for future is an excellent introduction to how digital culture is influencing visions of education.  The argument is that the current educational system exists to prepare people for a 19th and 20th century, and that must be recreated in order to prepare students for future.  This goes beyond reading, writing, math, and science.  It explores the role of digital literacy; critical thinking and problem solving; and new approaches to collaboration, communication and creation.


As the learners want more and more control over the learning process and interactive media caters to that demand. Social learning is playing a vital role but this is just a beginning. Such media provides the learner the advantage of interactive games, scores and instant feedback.


There are number of social networking technologies finding their way into education: wikis, blogs, bookmark sharing, video sharing, portals, and educational mash-ups. However, many of these tools are still in the first stage of use in e-learning. Wikis are probably the most used and video sharing tools like YouTube are the initiators but the future is beyond this.



The appetite for e-learning is growing on a global scale. By 2015, Asia will account for the second highest expenditures after North America. Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa represent significant long-term revenue opportunities.
Online learning, e-learning, learning technologies, educational technologies, digital learning, or whatever you call it, will continue to grow and grow, become more prevalent, and more a central part of teaching and learning in higher education.

North America

North American eLearning market to reach $27.2 billion by 2016, the biggest consumers, in 2011 North America accounted for 61.7% of the total worldwide eLearning market. The growth rate for cloud-based authoring tools and learning platforms in North America is 9.0%, which is more than twice the growth rate for all products combined, and the highest growth rate of all products in North America. Corporate are still top buyers, will see the academic buyers emerge as top buyers in next five years and demand for eLearning solutions will continue to grow.

Latin America

The growth rate for eLearning products and services in Latin America is 14.6% and revenues will nearly double from $1.16 billion to $2.29 billion by 2016. The growth rate for cloud-based authoring tools and learning platforms in Latin America is 22.0% and there is a surge in demand for cloud-based authoring tools and platforms.

E-learning market in India was valued at INR 18.41 tr in 2010-11 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20%. Increasing internet penetration, low existing coverage and rising demand are expected to develop this market strongly in the near future. This sector has attracted large investments and is slated to lead to strong growth opportunities for the education sector.

“The global market size for eLearning is predicted to grow more than double by 2017 at CAGR of 23%” 
Key revenue drivers of eLearning

Higher Ed eLearning is major market revenue generator in eLearning industry today and will exhibit the same pace and grow 25% CAGR till 2017. K-12 (Primary and secondary education) eLearning will grow at a CAGR of 33% in between 2012 – 2017.  
Corporate eLearning is the third contributor where in the CAGR has been predicted at 8% in between 2012 – 2017 contributing from $25.5B to $37.5 B.
According to the LinkedIn analytics report the eLearning industry is ont he growth path and will conitnue.The below diagram shows that eLearning industry is in the growing side where in future volume of employment growth will be more. As the penetration and adoptability of this industry in the market is high at all levels (Primary, secondary, higher education, corporate learning, private learning etc...),




The Big Picture
The visualization begins by looking at some familiar technologies: tablet computers, interactive whiteboards, digital projectors, educational games, video-based lessons, e-learning, and open courseware. These tools and innovations are then linked to larger trends in the field such as "Digitized Classrooms," "Gamification," and the "Opening of Information." 
There is also an increasing recognition of the importance of informal learning. With the easy availability of new social media tools, individuals are already managing their informal learning. This trend is only likely to catch up more in the future as the users increasingly search for and access learning resources freely available on the web, such as, podcasts, videos, and blogs, whenever needed.
  1. Learning becomes more individualized and connected through technologies that allow students to manipulate the variables of reality and that adapt to their learning needs. 
  2. By mid-2030s physical schools will have been replaced by studios and virtual teaching. These "Virtual/Physical Studios" rely on technology to provide a hybrid version of education that optimizes the process by, "Bridging the online-offline gap, offering a potential future where embodiment is secondary to information access" 
  3. By 2040, through a reliance on these hybrid models and a focus on project-based learning and portfolio-based assessment, "education becomes a continuous, interconnected effort, allowing students to cope with a perpetually changing world. 
  4. The future of e learning seems brighter with the concept of blended learning where e learning will be mixed with the practical or classroom based education.
  5. Gesture control, voice recognition, built in Skype and retina recognition could be utilized to suit learning objectives.
Model for the future of educational technology is the plethora of very specific tools and developments that it includes. While there are no specific details given for any of the technologies mentioned, but here are the most fascinating with some speculation about what they may actually look like and how they would impact learning:

S2S teaching platforms (2020): The concept aligns nicely with learning models which propose that students learn better and retain more when they actively teach one another. It plays on the concept of mixed age and ability classrooms and makes use of the individualization of learning to connect students with peers who they can mentor or teach.

Algo-generated lessons (2030): Many of the advances under the "Disintermediation" category refer to algorithms as a vehicle for streamlining the tasks associated with teaching and learning. The idea of "Algo-generated lessons" is a natural outcome of the push for big data and data mining. Through these tools, and some new ones such as eye and attention tracking, all student input can be monitored and quantified and lessons can be generated that exactly match students’ targeted learning levels, prior knowledge, and preferred methods of learning.

Neuro-informatics (2040): Though the current state of the field is far removed from the 2040 applications projected, neuro-informatics will allows understanding the functioning of the human brain to such a significant degree that learning can be optimized for an individual’s specific brain structure. It is possible that Matrix-like technology will be developed that allows knowledge or information to be uploaded directly to the human brain without the need for any system of education.

Mobile Learning
The mobile ecosystem – devices, carriers, app markets, etc. – has become the fastest-growing industry ever seen. The number of smartphones sold in the US now exceeds the number of the sales of standard phones; almost 98% of people have a mobile device. More people are using mobile devices than computers to access the Internet. Unlike a PC or even a laptop, this is an education opportunity they take with them wherever they go. 



Today’s next-generation e-learning has been recognized as a cost effective, efficient and effective training delivery method. Future e-learning encompasses the use of Internet technologies for learning, including both formal (e.g., virtual classrooms) and informal learning (self-paced instruction) by using different applications such as user-generated content, web and computer-based learning and digital collaboration. The rapid increasing in number of internet users on smartphones and tablets fueling this market is one of the reasons.
On a business perspective the future of e-learning offers a multitude of business benefits and ways to improve the organizational learning function and environment. Going forward, for the learner and for the organization, the critical metrics will include outcomes delivered in shortened timescales, reduced budgets with reduced time-to-proficiency for new hires as organizations start to grow again. Also expected to see increased growth of the use of story-telling – both dramatised and documentary to make learning more “real and personal” to improve both performance and behaviors.


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