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3 Evolving Norms and Digital and Physical Classroom Coalesce

With the recent acceleration in the use of digital tools to augment learning due to COVID-19, we are getting more clarity on how many aspects on learning are likely to be impacted even after COVID pandemic are long gone. The impacts though not exactly the same as how physical shopping malls are being affected by eCommerce; will nevertheless be no less significant in the way it will change certain accepted norms about learning.

Specifically learning norms about :- 

a. What does learning actually means?
b. How learning can happen?
c. Where learning can take place?
d. Who can teach and instruct?
e. Who will be able to learning?

Whilst there is no finality on what exact norms will prevail as things will always be in a flux, we can safely assume that certain things will no longer be what it used to be.  Here are 3 norms that may come our way or in some regards, are already here. 

Learning is getting more and more social
The increasingly interwoven social connections at a global scale, coupled with the explosion of content sharing have expanded the learning space – beyond the traditional institutional learning providers such as schools and workplaces. More and more learning are taking place – sometimes unplanned and inadvertently – within the online social settings. Hence societies’ acceptance of social learning  is set to take root overtime. 

Learning is defined no longer by attendance, but by actions and abilities
When learning can take place anywhere and even when one is on-the-go, the proof of “being there” or “being present” to learn becomes less important. As more and more assignments are handed and marked online; and exams or assessments conducted in the virtual domain, the standards on proof of learning or measures of learning retention will inevitably be raised. Certificates and digital badges – whilst still relevant – will soon be insufficient.  With easy access to learning content for so many, true learning will be being measured and defined by the actions and abilities of the individuals.  Portfolios, performance, past actions and accomplishments will gain prominence, putting certifications and badges as secondary measures.  It is also not unthinkable that one day, certifications and badges may no longer be viewed as reliable proxies of one’s abilities and competencies.

Learning will get 3 Dimensional in the digital realm
With the advent of immersive technologies especially since the last decade, supported by the exponential improvements in computing power and rapid developments in cloud computing as well as artificial intelligence, we are beginning to see a pervasive use of 3-D applications in learning.  Here, 3-D applications refers to any method of digitizing learning content such that it mimics as much of the real world as possible; hence include not just Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality but also 360 Videos, Holographic Projections as well as Robot Teachers.  Learning – be in online or onsite – will be inevitably be enriched with projections of and engagement with realistic contents. 








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