Learning Circuits' Big Question for May is "So what can, should, or will, we offer the digital generation by 2015?"
Five years is not very far into future, but in terms of technology things can change immensely in that amount of time. Just think of how learning technology has changed in the past five years. Off the top of my head here are a few things I think we will be offering in 2015.
- We are already seeing the impact of social media and informal learning, but we will see it blend immensely with both classroom and e-learning. Asynchronous e-learning will incorporate social media into courses allowing for more collaborative learning and formative evaluation by the course designer. As for the classroom, we already see a "back channel," but it will be more prevalent and more accepted, even encouraged, by facilitators. More access and advances in smart phones, tablets and smart boards will help blend e-learning, social media and classroom training.
- The cloud has also grown, but I see in five years much more robust development tools on the cloud. There are already great cloud tools out there, but I think we will see more e-learning development tools at the level of Flash, Captivate, Articulate, OutStart Trainer, etc. on the cloud. Much of which will be courtesy of open source projects. Among the many benefits, it will increase mobility on the developer's end. We designers/developers won't be limited to working only on the computer in which we loaded our Flash CS10.
- Adobe Flash will be alive and well. HTML5's full release is two years away. We probably will see it replace Flash for video/audio support, but it will fall short in its quality and level of interactivity and animation. HTML5 development tools will not provide the ease of creating rich Internet applications... at least not after only three years in. We will see Flash be the preferred medium of e-learning developers and a favored output (SWFs) of other e-learning dev tools. Upside Learning Blog has a good post on HTML5 and e-learning development that is a worthwhile read on this subject.
- We will offer even more edu-games. Again Flash will still be preferred as HTML5 just won't be there yet.
- On the design end, the industry will focus much more on offering truly engaging, instructionally sound courses and our audience will demand it. Hopefully page turners will be extinct by 2015.