Top Education Trends and How Companies Can Embrace Them
The pandemic has brought different kinds of challenges to various industries. Most thrive by keeping up with trends and reinventing systems to adapt to the changing needs. This is true for the education sector. One of the most interesting educational trends today is the Genius Hour, which focuses on achieving results through an unconventional process. The education trends that will be discussed here are those that use certain instruments or methodologies. Let’s take a look at them and see how they can be observed and applied to organizations and to individual work.
Trend 1: Mobile learning
Mobile learning or m-learning can be seen as an evolution of e-learning (electronic learning) where any of its three components can be mobile at one time or all at the same time: the learner, the gadget used, and the learning itself. A few of the best uses of m-learning in education and training are just-in-time learning, where one can pick out a mobile device at any moment learning is needed; mobility of the learner, such that one can learn from a cafe or any place of choice; and mobility of learning, an example of which is learning about the things that one can see along the way by making use of mobile technology lenses, such as the Google Lens.
On the other hand, organizations have the concept of the mobile workforce. It refers to IBM employees being connected through different mobile technologies, like laptop computers, smartphones, and other mobile devices, and not bound by a central physical location. An international study posted that a mobile workforce had a 67 percent increase in productivity, 53 percent increase in employee engagement, and 43 percent revenue growth. Supporting this finding is The Economist Intelligence Unit’s study on Mobility, performance, and engagement, where one of its key findings is “workers who say their employers use mobile technology well are typically more productive, creative, satisfied, and loyal.”
Different types of mobility can be observed from the mobile working experience of employers using mobile technology. One that can be inferred is working with mobile devices and apps while at work, which was reported by the study’s respondents to have increased their productivity by collaborating effectively (33% in Japanese respondents compared to 21% globally) and led to quick and easy access to information (53% in Australia and New Zealand compared to 42% globally).
Another kind of mobility is the ability to work from any location at any time. This was chosen by the participants from the countries surveyed (Australia, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, UAE, US) as the most important productivity driver. The UK respondents, on the other hand, point out that the ability to access information easily is their most important productivity driver, the second being the ability to work from any location at any time.
Mobile working, whether merely using mobile devices at work, making oneself mobile while working, or working from a choice of place and time, can be viewed in parallel with the fifth industrial revolution’s (IR 5.0) personalization. As IR 5.0 is described by many as achieving personalization by means of higher product customization, so as working can be personalized through the benefits of mobility at and of work.
How to effectively implement mobile work
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s study mentions that the “employers using mobile technology well” have the practice of offering technical support for employee-owned mobile devices for technical issues affecting work. Another good advice it mentions is to make sure people have the right technology and use it in the right working environment; it can be inferred that this refers to mobile gadgets and applications used for work. Another recommendation that can be useful is strategizing for employee adoption and considering how to provide tools that employees need to succeed.
Trends 2 and 3: Gamification; Nanolearning and microlearning
Gamification in the education and training sector has been heard even in previous years as an effective strategy for 21st-century learners. In organizations, The KPI Institute (TKI) teaches it as one of the approaches in changing the organizational culture. In some of the certification programs offered by the TKI, such as the Certified OKR Professional, gamification is a part of a module taught.
In this Performance Magazine article about gamification, three steps are mentioned as key to its implementation: (1) adapting to the organization’s needs, objectives, and culture; (2) rewarding and having benefits provided to motivate employees; (3) engaging employees in a system that they can use to solve problems within the organization.
Nanolearning is a smaller version of microlearning, but in the education and training field, both of which are related to chucking information so that learners obtain optimal learning within 2-5 minutes for nanolearning and 6-10 minutes for microlearning.
Small bits of learning can be inferred to be highly effective since experts have found that in the year 2000, the average attention span of people was 12 seconds, and by 2015, this fell to 8.25 seconds.
From an individual motivation perspective, this finding can be relevant to chunking tasks into smaller pieces as necessary. Another thing learned from the in-house training organized by The KPI Institute about time management is that chunking tasks not only makes them more manageable, but it also gives a sense of accomplishment for every time tasks are completed. Hence, it can increase one’s motivation to work.
Trend 4: A student’s well-being as a growing mental health challenge
This last trend is about bringing the challenge to a spotlight rather than highlighting a practice. As per observation, the pandemic has forced most educational institutions worldwide to resort to distance learning, whether temporary or eventually leading to hybrid delivery (online and on-site). The same can be said to the workforce, where more people and organizations shifted to remote work. In the training statistics of The KPI Institute alone, the years 2020 and 2021 had a total of 84% and 99% live online training delivery, accounting for a 30% increase in the total training delivered online throughout 2008-2021. The result of the shift to the online environment can be feelings of isolation and the disadvantage of less social interaction and connection.
How to cope with the challenge
In the field of education, the result of mental health challenges is dropping out (Boston University as cited by Bandalaria, 2021). This is avoided through predicting, with the help of machine learning, and intervening early. In the workplace setting, the same prediction can be done through the help of the # Employee Engagement Index. In April 2021’s TKI KPI of the month, the concept is further discussed in an infographic, and practical do’s and don’ts are advised.
Further, this mental health at work article may also shed some light to cope with the challenge from an organizational and individual perspective.
The three other trends mentioned above as a part of improving employee well-being can also be a part of the solution to address the growing mental health challenge.
In conclusion, adopting these trends from the education field to a workplace setup requires proper alignment of organizational or professional mission, vision, and goals, down to the people’s needs and preferences. Though the trends mentioned here highlight the good impact, careful consideration and further review must still be done prior to implementation. Random literature (for example, Accenture’s article states that people are working an extra 2.8 hours a day at remote work setup to achieve the same level of productivity in-office) may suggest that not all trends will fit a person’s or organization’s work needs.