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Distance learning is not simply a contemporary trend that will fade away. When considering the future of distance learning, it is important to look at many of the trends related to learning. Particularly the ones that are already influencing current trends and planning.
The amount of knowledge and information that must be taught to tomorrow’s leaders is expanding at a tremendous rate. The high school graduating class of 2016 will be exposed to more new information in one year than their grandparents were in a lifetime. Memorizing facts will have a much lower value, while utilizing information for analysis and decision making will be a critical skill for educational and professional advancement.
Continuous learning will be essential
The typical worker will have many distinct careers in his or her lifetime. Each of these career paths or changes will require the attainment and practice of new knowledge, skills, and competencies. Lifelong learning will be something every individual must do to remain competitive. Students will be expected to have an ability to conduct research, analyze data, adapt to changes, etc. In this way, distance learning provides a more resourceful solution for the student and working population. Its flexibility, accessibility, and program diversity better meets the immediate educational needs of individuals, making learning more meaningful, effective, and practical.
International study will not be as dependent on travel
The world is shrinking rapidly. The Internet has brought the world together in ways that nobody could have expected. You can now attend a college halfway around the world with classmates living in any country. International education will likely gain in popularity and enrolment as demand from students increases. Travel costs, bureaucracy, and cultural barriers will impact international study less and less.
Distance learning will impact the operations of traditional schools
Universities and colleges will likely begin to collaborate with one another in an effort to diversify their offerings to meet the ever growing need for higher education while staying competitive in the global market. Private companies will not be excluded from the changes affecting higher education. People will telecommute to their jobs as their employers will be increasingly forced to compete on a global, rather than local, scale. The skills that distance learning will impact upon students will continue to increase in demand — skills such as an ability to learn, to adapt quickly, to communicate across a neutral medium, to analyze data, to utilize technology, an ability to conduct research, and, of course, the ability to work independently without compromising productivity.Colleges, universities, and schools of the future will utilize technologies far more advanced than those of today. (Consider the complexity of today’s technology, some of which would have been inconceivable only thirty years ago.) Learning to use the new technology will be essential to navigating modern life and advancing professionally.
In order to meet the needs of the changing world noted above, future learning must be:
What distance learning institutions will have to do?
Organizations that deliver distance learning will need to consider these issues and more:
Likely changes that will happen
As a result of all of those factors, we may see some of the following predictions come true in the next decade:
Advantages of distance learning