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5 Ed-Tech Predictions For 2024, According To Jack McDougall  

UK leading education technology provider The Skills Network is committed to another year at the forefront of learning technology innovation. Jack McDougall shares his top 5 predictions for the ed-tech space in 2024.

My Top 5 Predictions for Ed-Tech in 2024

  1. Microlearning
  1. True Blended Learning
  1. Data For Personalisation
  1. Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  1. Chatbots

Convenient, easily digestible modular content is the hallmark of microlearning modules and we will see more of this in 2024. 

In 2024, we will start to see meaningful momentum behind education technology. For years, we have tip-toed around these incredibly innovative ed-tech solutions, having not known how to fully embrace or even loosely incorporate them into traditional teaching methods. 

These technologies will transform the learner experience, allowing them to reach new depths in their studies and equipping FE providers with unprecedented learner insight. 

What could be more powerful?

My 5 predictions for 2024 also serve as a written commitment to The Skills Network’s continual efforts to support our partners with outstanding tech solutions and make online learning accessible for all markets.

Prediction No.1 Microlearning

Convenient, easily digestible modular content is the hallmark of microlearning modules and we will see more of this in 2024. 

With studies indicating that the average attention span of a human is just 8 seconds, we must adapt to new human behaviours.

Times are changing, and some learners simply cannot or don’t want to commit to a ‘full qualification’ anymore, whereby learning takes place over a matter of weeks and culminates in a pass or fail. Learners in 2024, want ‘chunked up’, digestible and easy learning content, whereby their sense of achievement is regularly validated. Learners will experience immediate progress in their learning development, enhancing motivation with instant results that can propel them into the next part of their learning journey. 

We will see more bitesize learning content being utilised by learners on multiple devices- movable learning from laptop, tablet and phone seamlessly.

High-quality content can be delivered in short episodic online bursts of just 5-15 minutes with a similar look and feel to a TikTok, Instagram reel or YouTube short, and it will quickly become mainstream in ed-tech.

Prediction No.2 True Blended Learning

In 2024, I predict we will start to see multiple technologies being used to create what I call a ‘true blended learning’ experience. Blended learning has been around for a while and integrates different learning experiences to create a comprehensive and flexible learning environment. 

The goal of true blended learning is to leverage the strengths of both traditional and technology-mediated instructional methods to enhance the overall educational experience. 

Blended learning in 2024 might look like ….

  • Online live lectures for theory-based learning
  • Microlearning for revision techniques
  • Virtual reality (VR) environments for sandbox practice and confidence-building
  • Classroom (online or in-person) tech usage for team tasks and interaction between students
  • Gamified content for engagement and assessment
  • Guest masterclasses for differing perspectives and real-life experiences

Sadly, blended learning has been limited in previous years to being awkwardly bolted onto an in-person teaching session. Having worked with many FE providers, I’ve seen firsthand a great amount of hesitancy when considering how to integrate immersive tech into curriculum and lesson planning, which is often the result of a lack of training or worse yet, an all-out fear of the tech.

It is not uncommon to visit a college and discover 50+ VR headsets gathering dust in a cupboard with the wrapping still on! But the important thing is, they have proven their commitment to the benefits of education technology.

2024 will start to see a holistic and interwoven approach to both traditional and tech-enhanced teaching methods. Learning should never be static but engaging and relevant to the outcome for the learner, and I think a true blended learning approach can achieve this.

Prediction No.3 Data For Personalisation

In 2024, data will provide education providers with the knowledge to deliver better personalisation of learning. Ultimately, this will equip learning providers with an unprecedented stack of insight into learner behaviours.

In the realm of education, tutors routinely amass valuable sets of data concerning students’ daily performances. Regrettably, extracting meaningful insights from these data sets is not only challenging but demands specific data analysis skills.

Here at The Skills Network, we pride ourselves on our award-winning online learning platform called EQUAL, which is built to not only deliver a frictionless learner journey but to enable admin users to collect and report on invaluable learner data for our partners to make informed decisions and shape their curriculum effectively.

The analysis of a student’s performance and behaviour has the potential to significantly enhance their learning experience. Uncovering patterns, learning gaps, modes of learning vs interaction and timing of learning can play a crucial role in determining the learning outcome. 

Being able to conduct course-specific trend analysis and see how different learners engage and interact in a programme of learning can help educators put the right support in place, at the right time to aid progress and outcomes. 

Prediction No.4 Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)

It will be no surprise to anyone that generative AI has made it into my top 5 predictions for 2024. 

Type AI into Google and you will be inundated with some rather entertaining queries such as “is AI a Scrabble word?” and “Will AI take over the world?”.

Whilst AI has already made itself well-known, it is likely to be used more broadly by learners, tutors and product developers alike in 2024.

Acer recently reported on generative AI technology such as ChatGPT and Bard being used to support students with…

  • Learning difficulties
  • Language barriers
  • Reading comprehension difficulties

Supporting SEN learners can be a complex task for a single teacher managing an entire class, often at the expense of learners. Artificial intelligence can ensure that nobody is left behind and all learning necessities are met.

Teaching staff can harness the power of AI as a helpful tool to design individualised lesson plans with clearly outlined learner outcomes and schemes of work, saving them valuable time and resources. 

From a product development perspective, AI releases valuable time back to developers so they can focus on user experience (UX) and design creativity.

I do not doubt that AI can help ease the burden on teaching staff and serve as an enriching and inclusive resource to learners.

Prediction No.5 Chatbots

Chatbots in education are not new, but the explosion of use in 2024 will see a more ‘on demand’ and personalised learning experience because of them.

The rise of character AI chatbots tells us that learners not only want to get their information quickly, but they also want to be engaged and entertained by a chatbot’s unique response.

Chatbots will empower learners to have greater autonomy over their own personal skills development in 2024. Simply type “How do I improve my HTML coding skills?” into a chatbot and the likelihood is, that you will get a comprehensive game plan with recommendations on how to get there.

We will see learner data being used to strategically bring chatbots in at key learning times to support a student. If our data tells us that most students are active in their learning at 7pm, then having chatbots enabled allows the learner to….

  • Ask questions
  • Research topics
  • Seek alternative viewpoints and counter-arguments

The utilisation of chatbots in live online classes will help interaction between students and the teacher. Chatbot integration enables learners to deeply immerse themselves into a subject on a very human level, so when tutors are not available in real-time, they still have access to interactive and engaging commentary.

It’s time to truly embrace the power of education technology in 2024

There is no doubt that educational technology has rapidly transformed the learning landscape in recent years. COVID-19 aggressively accelerated the adoption of tech amongst many education providers. 

But 4 years on, it’s fair to say that many of our partners still need expert guidance when it comes to getting the very best out of our learning technology solutions.

These 5 ed-tech predictions for 2024 reflect The Skills Network’s ongoing commitment to harnessing the power of education technology and making learning truly accessible to all.

By Jack McDougall, Head of Business Development at the Skills Network

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