Education is constantly changing to meet the needs of students and the work opportunities that are available to individuals when they leave school or college. The most recent changes that have altered the face of education in the 21st century are mostly focused on the development of technology and the types of jobs that teachers are preparing students for. This article covers some of the main trends that education is currently following.
Increased importance of graduate schemes
Although in previous years simply gaining a bachelor’s degree was enough to secure a successful career for many students, more and more people are now deciding to take up graduate schemes at different stages of their career.
These schemes are now starting to provide a platform that can boost career advancement for those that are in their early careers and help them to stand out in an increasingly competitive job market. For instance, Marymount University’s MSN FNP program allows graduate nurses to increase their career opportunities straight after their bachelor’s degree, enabling them to specialize in a subject which they are interested in.
More students study online
One of the greatest changes that is occurring when it comes to education is the way that students learn and where they are when they study. Rather than learning on a campus or a classroom, remote learning has become a major trend, particularly for those who are seeking a college or university education. Remote learning can ensure that you are able to take a course from anywhere in the world, allowing you to study around your other commitments.
Not only is online learning convenient for those who want to advance their careers, but it can also help educators to easily share their resources and knowledge with students from all over the world, enabling them to access this information on online portals and forums. Now, many colleges and universities give you the option to take their courses both online and offline, which can allow students to choose a program that suits their individual needs.
Students use a lot of technology, and will use even more
Technology has always been a major aspect of education, and this is no less the case in the 21st century, with many students using technology to get the most out of their different courses. For instance, teachers use smart whiteboards in order to put a greater focus on interactive and collaborative learning, which is more likely to engage students in their classrooms.
Educators are also choosing to use mobile applications and digital games to make learning fun and which their students can use from home, helping them to complete homework on an easy-to-grade platform. There have also been instances where educational institutions have relied on video games, such as using Guitar Hero to teach music, as a way to make student’s education more exciting and to help them to learn without the boredom of a regular curriculum.
Many of the most recent tech innovations are also starting to crop up in education, with programs such as virtual reality being used to create an immersive digital platform that can simulate learning environments and real-world situations. This can allow students to interact and experience media in a way that they have never done previously, ensuring that they can put their practical skills to the test even when an educational institution does not have the correct facilities to support this.
Greater focus on skills and experience
Although the importance of academia cannot be understated, many educators are now beginning to realize the importance of teaching practical skills which employers are looking for. This includes ensuring that students are skilled and experienced in technology and IT before they leave the classroom.
This greater focus on skills and experience, and the growing penchant for work experience, will enable students to be better prepared when they leave the classroom and will break down many of the barriers to their careers. A greater focus on skills and expertise is especially important since the range of pathways toward different careers is expanding. A greater respect is being given to apprenticeships and combined practical and academic study, other than the purely college and university mindset that used to dominate educational institutions.
Plans to adapt to jobs that haven’t been created yet
Although students through time have always been studying for jobs that haven’t been created yet, this is no more evident than now where technology is making industries lose and gain different job roles. Teachers are beginning to find ways to prepare their students for a variety of job roles that do not exist yet, such as focusing on transferable skills by concentrating on STEM subjects, and by creating greater integration between subjects that can allow students to adapt as the job market begins to change.
More personalized plans
Educators will also start to develop more personalized lesson plans and curricula as it becomes more evident that each student has different learning requirements and that their needs and skill level differs. This will start to be integrated into current curricula by allowing students more chances to conduct and carry out independent research, giving them the opportunity to set their own goals and to lead their own projects. Additionally, this can help students to work in a way that suits them best, whether this is collaborative, independent, or by using certain tools, such as technology. This will help each student excel by their own merit.
Increased independent research
Furthermore, as we move even further away from rote education, it is starting to become clear how important independent research is in terms of preparing students for the world of work and allowing them to learn at their own pace. Not only can independent research make learning engaging, but it can also help them to gain the presence of mind that they will need when they leave for university or college.