How interested are you in broadening your cultural horizons? Have you become interested in what it takes to learn Spanish, French or Italian? Perhaps you instead wish to exhibit your bilingual talents within the workplace. In any of these scenarios, it is always possible to enroll in a university course or to schedule one-on-one exchanges with a native speaker. However, what about “smart” technologies such as apps and interactive websites?
Could these also provide valuable opportunities? To answer this question, we first need to take a look at some of the latest trends which are relevant to distance learning.
A Growing Number of Courses
Recent studies have shown that the sheer number of distance learning options continues to increase on an annual basis. One reason behind this observation involves how commonplace the digital community as a whole has become. Another point to remember involves younger generations that are much more technologically savvy than in the past. As more institutions begin to offer such classes as viable alternatives, there is no doubt that their popularity will grow even further.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Most of us interact with AI-based software daily. Common examples include advertisements related to our previous purchases and the predictive text algorithms employed when sending an SMS to a friend. It just so happens that these very same methods have begun to become embedded within the world of online learning.
For instance, those struggling with a foreign language may be able to activate a smart text feature that allows them to choose from a host of related words when creating a sentence. Artificial intelligence can also be seen in the form of a chatbot that answers frequently asked questions. When combined with machine learning, these utilities can provide a much more user-oriented experience.
Are There Any Possible Drawbacks to Consider?
It is just as prudent to mention a handful of potential pitfalls if we want to remain completely objective. One common criticism involves the simple fact that artificial intelligence and similar “smart” approaches to learning cannot replicate real-world human interactions. Another issue that has been raised in recent times involves whether or not students may become somewhat “lazy” due to the massive amount of help that can be offered by AI. While this naturally depends upon the individual, it is still an important point to highlight. Finally, programs which offer AI-based learning can be somewhat expensive. This may present a problem to those who are grappling with a limited budget.
To be fair, the presence of smart technology within the distance learning sector is only beginning to be felt. It is a foregone conclusion that further advancements will take place in the not-so-distant future. These should provide an even more personalized experience. Although brick-and-mortar classrooms will always have a place within the educational sector, the digital world is also having a profound influence. This is why it will be interesting to observe what other innovations come to light.