Current trends in education include online learning programs, new technological hardware, virtual reality, and the classroom outside of school. Online learning platforms, such as Khan Academy and Coursera, are free options for anyone to access. The two platforms vary in their background, but ultimately they allow anyone to educate themselves without a hefty price tag. Online classes allow students to take a class at their own time and pace. Classes can also keep their material online, leading to the idea of flipped classrooms. Students can watch lectures at home and use the class time to ask the professor questions, effectively saving time. Virtual reality further extends online classrooms. Students, professors, and visitors can virtually sit-in and participate in a classroom from anywhere in the world. Furthermore, students can take virtual field trips without the cost, expenses, and liability that comes with traditional field trips.
These trends are visible in all levels of education, from K-12 and higher education. Textbooks no longer have to be carried around since they can all be accessible in a lightweight computer, tablet, and even a smartphone. Schools have also invested in smart boards, which make a traditional white board more interactive for students. Technology also allows students to collaborate together on their work and projects without necessarily being together at the same place. Students can also refer to material online if they miss a class or just want to refresh their memory.