Perspectives

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The Future of Learning

The Future of Learning

With the advent of YouTube and other video sites, new methods of instruction have developed, and the amount of knowledge being shared on platforms is enormous. Educational videos range from elementary to post graduate and the specifics of many trades. Some information is behind paywalls, but much is still free. Notable examples include MIT Open Course Ware and Khan Academy. Streaming knowledge on demand changes the educational game. No longer are rapid learners held back by the limits of the classroom; they can advance at their own pace. No longer must there be long breaks without any instruction. Classes can continue through the summer breaks and other holidays at a reduced pace, keeping the topics learned in the spring fresh in the minds of the learners. The fall review becomes unnecessary, as the topics from last year are not forgotten over a long summer of no instruction. Struggling learners can seek clarification by watching the video again. Importantly, the video never raises its voice or expresses frustration over the misunderstanding of the student. When videos present the topics, teachers can focus their time on helping those in need of additional explanation or of a different approach to understand the topic. Standardized assessments can be used to judge the effectiveness of the video instruction. Eventually, the path of learning will coalesce around the most effective videos.

Some argue this may reduce the overall number of instructional teachers, but perhaps it will allow more time and personal attention from those teachers helping the struggling learners. The pitfalls of remote instruction hinge on an awareness of self that may not be present in most children and young adults. Students need a degree of self-motivation to take advantage of the materials available, as well as being honest and asking for help when they do not understand a topic. The necessary evil of periodic assessments will help teachers identify struggling learners. The need for motivational counselors may also increase, as they can help the learners internalize the importance of a solid education.

Each January, our Davidson Investment Advisors team takes a look at some of the most intriguing trends unfolding in the new year. More 2021 trends can be found here.


This information is being provided for educational and informational purposes only, it is not investment or securities advice, and D.A. Davidson & Co. is not soliciting any action based upon it.

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