So the world didn't end in 2012, and now we're all excited to pop open the champagne, eat way too much food, and ring in the New Year!
Despite the number 13's unlucky reputation, we're all excited for 2013. Not only internally, where we here at Noodle are working hard to improve our product and give our users a top-of-the-line educational experience, but big changes are also happening externally in the education field.
So we've put together a list of the top 5 trends in education that we're most excited to see in 2013.
Happy New Year!
1. Social media will play an even bigger role
Social media has made its way into most sectors from advertising to sports to the entertainment industry. So naturally, it was bound to become popular in the education field sooner or later. From student-created YouTube videos to SMS marketing to professors creating classroom-focused blogs and Facebook pages, both teachers and students will continue to benefit from social media inside the classroom. Although social media has become increasingly popular in the past year or two, in 2013 we expect it to make an even bigger splash in the classroom.
2. More universities will offer online learning
From free podcasts and online learning tutorials, the internet has made it possible for people to push their educational boundaries and access some of the best resources from the comfort of their own home. Now in addition to paid online classes and degree programs, some universities are even offering free non-credit online courses. Top schools like University of California Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Stanford University are currently offering free courses, and we only expect to see this trend grow in the coming year. Noodle has also jumped on the online learning bandwagon, with a collection of over 450,000 free online learning materials available to our users anytime, anywhere.
3. The MOOC trend will carry on
Whats a MOOC you might ask? No, it's not a character from Dr. Seuss. It actually stands for Massive Open Online Course and has been all the rage in the ed tech sector since the term was coined in 2008. MOOCs are revolutionizing the way students learn, and this trend is making its impact across the globe. These courses are typically free, and only require a computer and, of course, the internet. For the new year, there is even talk that MOOCs will become a mechanism for students to receive official college credit. Currently the MOOC methods reach nearly 200 countries in 44 different languages, and have 4,500 testing centers around the world.
4. A better job market for college graduates
The recession might not be completely over, but upcoming college graduates can (hopefully) look forward to a less stressful job hunt than their predecessors. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers said they expect to hire 9.5% more graduates from the class of 2012 than they did from the previous graduating class. And students getting their degree in one of the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), will be especially valuable to employers hiring in the new year. So to the class of 2013, take this as a sign to brush up on your interview skills, update your LinkedIn profile and score your dream job in 2013!
5. Game-based learning will gain popularity
Who doesn't love a good game? Game-based learning (GBL) is becoming increasingly popular inside classroom walls, as teachers become more and more familiar with the process and its many benefits. GBL can be anything from learning simulations, to serious games to using video games in the classroom. It's understandable that parents might be skeptical (Video games at school? Seriously?) but GBL is designed to balance gameplay with subject matter, and help students retain and apply what they've learned in the real world. Although it's still in the early phases, we're sure to see games being used more frequently in the learning process in 2013.