Looking Towards Tomorrow: Future Trends in Distance Learning

By: jimzorn
The future trends in distance learning will be defined by technological advancements and student empowerment. Looking at the way information technology is helping distance education to proliferate, it would be safe to say that technology will be the singular trend to watch out for in the future. Today's students are technologically sophisticated and are aware of what they want and the medium they want it in. With time, these students will begin to ask for a greater degree of personalization in distance education services.

Winds of Technological Change

As the world of information technology develops further, we will be looking at a highly informed student base. These students will be demanding smarter services which will broaden their learning process and experience. This would include intelligent software for learning and tutoring, moreover global networking and automated language translation will be accessible to a lot more people and this will enable students to interact with individuals from across cultures, races and countries. The future trends in distance learning indicate that the world will indeed become a village where interacting with a multitude of people will be possible.

Restructuring Economies Affects Education

Today, many economies are being restructured and streamlined, which has resulted in people being rendered jobless. To survive in this changing atmosphere, it is necessary for people to keep their skills advanced and relevant. People's attitudes towards training and learning are changing. Today a large number of executives are taking part in tertiary education through the means of e-courses and distance learning. Infact, research indicates that by 2010, 50% of all college students will be adults, and that in America alone, more than a 100 million people will be taking part in adult education programs. These facts are indicative of future trends in distance learning.

The People Who will Benefit

Reviewing the way things have progressed in the distance education arena, opportunities for learning and higher studies will be available to a far wider community of people than before. This would include, people who are unemployed or less skilled; women, both working and housewives; the disabled and adults with low functional literacy amongst others. The distance learning audience will slowly grow more mature in terms of age, when compared to now.

The future trends of distance learning indicate that people will need to upgrade their skills on an ongoing basis, thereby making education a lifelong experience, and the technology being employed will need to be user-centric and adaptable.
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