Online learning is evolving at the speed of light—or at least at the speed of the internet. That’s why it’s important to keep up with the new ways today’s students learn and the increasing role of technology in education. But education no longer pertains to children, in the classroom of life, adults and children alike are on a constant learning continuum. Technology and education have never been more synonymous than they are today. Along with a continuation of video and mobile learning, which allow students to access training tools on their computer, laptop, phone, or tablet wherever and whenever they want, e-learning experts predict that pop culture–influenced learning will be a hot new trend.
An article on the website Campus Technology explored some of the ways popular technology is poised to revolutionize online learning. Here are a few of the trends the article highlighted:
More than simply playing games, gamification learning consists of applying game-design thinking to the virtual classroom. Examples include programs that teach skills to a team, complete with leaderboards of who’s progressing fastest, or using an avatar to achieve certain skills necessary for a job. “Players” can receive badges, stickers or other rewards as they move to the next learning level.
Gamification can not only be fun and challenging for learners, but it also can lead to more knowledge recall and retention by providing instant feedback, letting users practice real-life situations and challenges in an environment where they can only “virtually” fail, and rewarding goal achievement.
Anyone who has ever played simulation games like Sim City, farming, racing and flight simulators understands simulation gaming. Like these simulation games, simulation learning lets users choose avatars. But these avatars don’t usually play games. Instead, they’re put into specific circumstances, like taking a complaint call from a customer or explaining a new technology the company offers. These simulations can also include videos, PDFs or other files specific to the learning situation.
Simulated situations can be customized to individual learners, recognizing their strengths and weaknesses and drilling down on specific skills they need to learn. They can also be broader, offering consistent, cost-effective training to all employees. And they can monitor a learner’s performance and participation in real time.
Virtual reality goggles are allowing more and more people to experience 3-D environments, so the concept of hologram learning won’t be foreign to students as it becomes more mainstream. But at this point, hologram-based learning is in its infancy—the first test occurred in Australia in 2017.
While holograms have been traditionally designed for scientific learning, they have the potential to expand to all types of training. For energy companies, holograms could allow students and teachers in remote locations to converge in a single virtual classroom. Students could also do job-related tasks with the help of a hologram.
Holograms aren’t likely to appear in a company or classroom—real or virtual—in the next few years, but gamification and simulations are real-life solutions that exist today. They can improve students’ and employees’ engagement and retention, save costs and make learning fun—particularly for millennial employees. And they reward the innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will be increasingly important in the future.
Implementing the latest technology into education programs and the utility industry can be a difficult task to navigate. But it doesn’t have to be, if you have the right partner. AM Conservation group has developed customizable efficiency education programs to engage the next generation of customers! Be sure to check out the EarthWise Adventure™ online education program, which incorporates gamification and simulations to engage students and help their households save both energy and water.