Perhaps the biggest challenge for the students will constitute the education itself. Already today, in order to stay competitive in the job market, workers need to constantly “upgrade” their knowledge and skills. This is closely connected to the speed of technological changes – the technology develops exponentially, the tools and apps, which were demanded yesterday, are already outdated today, while today’s tools may quickly become outdated tomorrow. This trend creates new job opportunities and professions, which did not exist yesterday.
Basically, we are talking about the life-long learning process. Today’s students should get ready to continue learning throughout their entire lives. Perhaps, not at the same college or university, but they will need to continue acquiring new knowledge and skills from wherever possible. The older generation is currently struggling to keep up with the speed of technological advancements and transformations of the job market. They refuse to return to college and start learning something new.
Let’s assume all education moved online. No matter how engaging, interesting, and progressive it will be, using virtual and augmented reality tools, such education will require students to move less, reduce their physical activity. Students will stay at home, sitting at their desks, or even worse – lying on the sofas. Reduced physical activity has many known negative implications for one’s health.
Will future educational institutions be ready to compensate for these shortcomings of online education and mitigate health-related risks? Will they have enough budgets to provide students free recreational activities outside the studying process, or to pay for their medicine? These are all interesting and worrying questions, which may not have easy and simple answers.
Long-Term Implications of Educational Technologies
In order to feel free and comfortable in the digital world, it is not enough just to be able to use the technology.
By now, there was hardly any other more influential factor impacting the culture and behavior of individuals than the cumulative effect of digital technology. The consequences of this shift in society are enormous and, in particular, they are driving the key changes in human life.
In the world of modern, powerful technologies and things like artificial intelligence and augmented reality, simply being able to use and even master the technology is not enough. It is no less important to understand how technology can improve your life, increase professional opportunities and aid your work (study).
Students need to show an in-depth understanding, skills, and knowledge of modern digital tools, possess the ability to face the new challenges, and create new content.
Understanding how to live in the era of rapidly developing digital technologies, as well as finding your own strategy for behaving in the digital world – is one of the most difficult challenges for today’s and future students.
Other Important Challenges
Imagine that digital education suddenly went viral, and stayed with us forever. What will change for students?
- Self-organization requirements will increase: online learning will exacerbate the need for large and self-directed training. If students want to study online without losing the quality of education, they should devote more time to preparing for the lecture (online lecture) and the homework. The quality of educational programs will increase only when a student will learn to structure their time and tasks, and when the educational process becomes reorganized not to simply broadcast the material, but to make it easily understandable and engaging to the students.
- Student motivation will acquire even more weight in the studying process and educational programs. The methods of selection and assessment of talents, which are hunted by the best schools and universities, will be further adjusted precisely to assess the motivation and self-organization of applicants. Highly motivated students will gain an advantage in the job market. Self-motivation is precisely the main personality trait that employers are seeking in applicants. Thus, learning to strive for new knowledge and skills while at college and later in life will become the main task of the students of tomorrow.