Identifying Disruptive Trends in the Traditional Education System

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.

3 thoughts on “Identifying Disruptive Trends in the Traditional Education System

  1. Pingback: Virtual Reality: The Next Logical Step for Education | DT&L Blog

  2. Thomas Batelli

    As mentioned in one of my other responses, when technology grows, our means to access better educational tools grows as well. Those whom are fortunate enough to have access to current educational models are interacting with learning platforms such as online learning programs, interactive and informative videos and even virtual reality. However, there are many opinions to be shared about these new educational tools. Personally, I am one that was on the fence when I heard my younger sibling was utilizing an iPad-like workbook everyday in elementary school. Perhaps, sometimes we are uncomfortable with things that we are not used to? I guess there is room to be open-minded about the potential benefits technologies like this can offer to a young learner.

    However, many can consider that these are disruptive trends that are arising in our educational system. Ultimately, I cannot agree. The article discusses how people can utilize systems like Khan Academy (which I touched more upon in my What’s Next in Education response) to access information and knowledge without having to pay a ridiculous price. Personally, I do not think that there should be a price tag on education. Receiving higher education should not be free, but other people should not profit it. The expense to attend college nowadays is incredibly expensive, so ensuring that the student has access to materials like these is essential for success. These online learning programs are not intended for cheating, but to further and often better elaboration on teaching specific topics. If a student is better able to understand the material on the day of the test, he/she is more likely to succeed and have confidence in their ability to do so.

    Of course, the vanishing of textbooks is a scary thing, but perhaps we are moving forward to the future. I personally like to take notes out of a textbook, but perhaps that is not the best way to learn? Being open-minded about new educational trends only allows for new doors to be opened. Eliminating the use of textbooks not only lightens your load, but you also cannot lose your book or not receive all your money back because one page is missing. Those making the profits drain the pockets of college students in any way that they can and most likely for personal gain and profits. As one of my favorite quotes goes “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”- it’s almost like an oxymoron.

    Furthermore, technology allows students to connect and communicate on virtual levels as well. Online students are still able to engage with other classmates and interact with lectures. Technology has not only provided us with resources, but it has also allowed us to use those resources to reach individualized learners. The educational system is standardized, but however very complex, especially as you work with older students. There are many different factors to be considered before you bash online education- not everyone is privileged enough to have the time, money, childcare and health to be able to live on campus or commute to class every other day. To say the least, I think that there is much positive potential to be offered by these so-called “disruptive” trends as long as you give them the time to make the impact.

  3. Daniel Alvarez

    The rapid growth in technology has expanded and created new learning methods. The expansion has paved way for many disruptive trends that can either be harmful or helpful. It impacts many facets of society including education. Since the sixth century there has been a structured method of learning that included writing, reading and biblical studies. The education system had not changed much; until now. Some of these disruptive trends include online learning programs, new technological hardware and virtual reality. Online learning can be very helpful and convenient to many. I even find myself using such tools as Khan Academy especially. Khan academy has information for all types of learners and is presented in a very organized and simple manner. It is a free tool that can expand the knowledge of any user and should be encouraged to everyone as it can serve as a supplement of information or a primary source of learning. Online classes are also helpful, students can take a class at their own time and place. Even though the physical presence is absent the students can still interact with the professor and ask critical questions. For me, I am a tangible learner, I like to look at, feel, and see things that I am learning so an online classroom will not be as helpful to someone like me. However, that doesn’t mean it is futile. Many students are not like others and the online classrooms can benefit those who need the convenience and it is also less expensive in some cases.

    Something that technologically blows away the idea of the traditional classroom is virtual reality. Virtual reality can allow for more interactive online classrooms and even virtual field trips to a lot of places. For example, in the comfort of one’s own home or classroom, one can visit many visually visit other places around the world. Through the lens of a virtual reality headset, one can visit the Burj Khalifa in Dubai! How cool is that! Google has launched a project in which they implement these virtual reality headsets into the classrooms to broaden learning possibilities.

    Education for me has always been about me as a learner and no one else, for the sake of a better phrase. What that means is I know myself best and how I learn most efficiently and everyone learns different. If I learn best by reading the textbook and making notes on the actual pages then that is what I am going to continue to do. With all these new ways of learning it will be able to broaden the scope of education so that more people will be inclined to learn as everyone doesn’t gain from the traditional learning systems. Virtual reality can bring fun along board of the learning train. For example, if one is in geography class and learning about volcanoes, what is a better way of learning about volcanoes and geography then by actually visiting a volcano through virtual reality? In the traditional classroom we are limited to pictures and information that can drag and students become disinterested. If they can visit the volcano it will provide for a more insightful and long-lasting learning experience.


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