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17/03/2023 By : Katherine

The top 5 education trends for 2023

For a long time, education involved years spent in classrooms absorbing information before heading out into the world and putting it to use in the workplace.

But the rapid pace of technological change, along with an urgent need to address the skills gap, means the traditional ways of adult learning need to change.

Forbes outlined its Top 5 Education Trends In 2023, outlining the way technology is helping to evolve the way that both students and adults learn. It also highlights its potential to address issues such as access to education for those living in remote communities or for “top up” workplace-based courses for adult learners which can be delivered without the need for stepping inside a classroom.

As Forbes observed, organisations needed to embrace “technology and concepts such as life-long learning to ensure that we are better equipped for the fast-changing world of today.”

The news outlet listed the 5 most important trends driving change over the next 12 months as:

1) AI – the power reshape every industry

Forbes described Artificial Intelligence (AI) as “the most transformative technology of the 21st century,” with the technology now “reshaping every industry and field of human activity, including education.”

Within the classroom, virtual assistants help students and teachers manage their time and complete their assignments, tutoring systems adapt to students’ ages and abilities to create personalised learning experiences for students of all ages and abilities.

AI also enables translation to be provided in settings where pupils speak a wide variety of languages. But its not just the educators who are harnessing the power of AI: much to the disappointment of teachers and lecturers, some students have also harnessed the abilities of AI chatbot ChatGPT to write essays on their behalf.

2) Extending training reach through remote, online, and hybrid learning

The global Covid-19 pandemic forced schools, universities, and course providers to accelerate their capabilities in delivering distance learning. Speedy adaption was needed to provide education on online platforms to ensure learning continued around the restrictions of the pandemic.

However, the disruptive effect of the pandemic followed in an explosion in the number of massive online open courses (MOOCs) such as those offered by FutureLearn, Coursera and, within the travel trade, OTT.

Within schools, remote and online learning has the potential to provide equality of access to education for children living in remote or rural locations. For busy travel professionals, online learning has the potential to deliver training at a time, place and pace of their choosing.

While remote and online platforms have the potential to provide an education for children living in remote communities, they will also enable adults to continue “lifelong learning” when other commitments make it difficult for them to attend classes in person.

Online learning will also help companies who need a convenient way to upskill employees or stakeholders. With the accelerating pace of technological advancement skills need to be updated frequently and employers can achieve this through quick online courses using updates such as micro- or nano-learning.

3) Addressing the skills gap

With global labour markets remaining tight, employers are having to develop their own initiatives to solve the skills gap with vocational courses likely to form part of the solution.

Forbes reports that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has suggested that while 43 per cent of high school graduates go on to study at college, a disproportionate amount of school resources were focused on preparing this minority group.

The study also found that less resources were focused on students who plan to continue their education through apprenticeships or on-the-job training. Forbes predicts that we are likely to see a shift away from the graduate jobs market and towards development of a workforce with specific skillsets necessary for the future.

Within Europe, 2023 has been designated the European Year of Skills, with the initiative running from May 9, 2023 until the following year. The initiative will promote the mindset of reskilling and upskilling within vocational education with the aim of boosting the competitiveness of European companies and creating quality jobs.


4) Virtual and Augmented Reality provide immersive learning

Virtual Reality (VR) allows users to step into a virtual world. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) granted the first certificate for a Virtual Reality (VR) based Flight Simulation Training Device for helicopter pilots in 2021 which enables pilots to practice risky manoeuvres in a virtual environment.

Forbes highlights many applications for VR and Augmented Reality (AR) which can allow us to: experience history through our own eyes, train for dangerous tasks such as conducting repairs in hazardous environments and even enable nursing students to deliver emergency care or train doctors to perform surgery. Even if we are far away from the education being delivered, we can also go into a virtual classroom for a more immersive experience.

Augmented reality (AR) involves superimposing computer-generated images onto what the user is actually seeing via a phone, tablet or headset. The technology can also provide real-time information, such as warning a manufacturing trainee that a piece of machinery may be dangerous.

AR uses computer vision algorithms which can analyse images captured by cameras in the headset. Within schools AR textbooks boost engagement through images and models that "come alive" when looked at through a smartphone camera. This enables students to get a more in-depth look at anything from ancient Roman architecture to the inner workings of the human body.

AR is also being more increasingly used in museums and sites of historical or scientific interest to create more immersive education opportunities.


5)...but the human touch is still vital

While computer generated technologies have the potential to provide greater access and engagement within learning, the human side has not been forgotten.

The ‘soft skills’ of communication, teamworking, creative thinking, interpersonal problem-solving, relationship management and conflict resolution are unlikely to be replicated by machines.

While AI has the potential to complete many routine and mundane technical tasks, ‘soft skills’ will increasingly be taught as part of technical education and will remain highly valued by employers and industry. But while soft skills are vital to a company’s success, they are far harder to assess and measure in terms of impact in comparison to mathematics, engineering, and computer programming.


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