A rock and hard place are converging on the Education sector. Budgets are being scrutinized and student demands are expanding at a dizzying rate.

The solution? Technology. While not a new approach, technology is increasingly used as a first-step solution, not an afterthought.  Want proof? Follow the funding.

“Ed tech funding jumped 55 percent in 2014 with no signs of slowing down, according to CB Insights,” notes Aaron Skonnard, author of 5 Top Trends in Education Technology 2015. That translates to $107 Billion expected to be spent this year. That’s B, for Billion.

Tech trends and spending will be focused on these segments in 2015:

Online corporate learning

In contrast to MOOCs and the high cost of MBA programs, corporations have recognized a middle-ground approach to furthering employee’s education. Corporate learning programs can be tailored to a specific industry and tailored to individual learning styles. It’s a win-win if the company is willing to invest time and money.

Skills measurement

To truly deliver an optimal learning experience, software has to accurately assess the individual’s skillset. Layer in a standardized scoring approach whereby skills are assessed against a large body of students, and the value really becomes clear. Unlike standardized testing, this approach relies on a wide variety of ways to test skill-levels, thus the need for advanced tech.

Alternative learning styles

An easy way to sum this up is to think ‘Gaming’. If you like to play games on [pick your device] then get ready to see more educational content delivered with the look and feel of [insert your favorite game here]. Complete with rewards and social media sharing tools, this new learning frontier will add an exciting new layer of educational options for students.

Online competency-based training

Mix skill measurement, online corporate learning, and pre-built university courses together to create the ultimate 360º assess+learn channel.  Whether you’re learning how to operate new machinery, or how to teach a graduate level economics class, chances are you will soon be able to find a pre-packaged competency-based training program. This concept is especially suited for newly minted graduates, who have their sights set on a particular employer or industry, who can round-out their degrees with job-specific skills.

Flipped learning tech

Is it every student’s dream to get hands-on coaching to accomplish their homework assignments? Perhaps the days of the head-scratching parents are gone.  If the learn-anywhere-anytime trend takes hold, then class time can be spent completing homework—with the teacher’s help. While it may be a teacher’s dream, the student must be accountable for self-directed learning. With the variety of learning styles accommodated for, this should soon be an easy expectation. (image via Shutterstock)

Source: Aaron Skonnard | 5 Top Trends in Education Technology | Feb 3, 2015 | Inc.com

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