‘Personalisation is key to the future of education’

Everything we own, sign up to and buy into has a personalised element to it. Marketeers have known that personalisation sells for years now, and products that offer the consumer something unique are increasingly popular. So why is education, a cornerstone of our society, still lacking the personalised touch?

Personalisation has taken over the world. To connect and spend money with a brand, we like to feel that the brand values and understands what motivates us to spend. We engage better with marketing campaigns that target our interests, past purchases or demographic and we are happy to align ourselves with a company with a shared ethos or values. For the brands and companies who get personalisation right, a deeper connection is forged, we are more engaged, and we are more likely to return for more products and services time and again.

So why is it that education, the system that helps define and grow our future generations, is so lacking in personalisation? This one-size-fits-all education system is flawed in the age of personalisation, as not every student will engage with this way of learning, and many will be left to fall through the cracks and end up without the tools or skills to achieve their dreams.

Education reimagined

So, let us imagine a new way of learning; one personal to the student and intrinsically linked to their individual learning style, interests and passions. Surely this new education would be more engaging, harbour a deeper connection between student and teacher and ensure that the student is given the skills to nurture and grow their individual passions, resulting in a confidence and belief that they can achieve great things.

This new learning pathway is here, and many edtech platforms have already realised that this is the future of learning and have designed and developed their programmes to offer a unique learning pathway for each user.

The smartest edtech platforms are built with artificial intelligence (AI) at their heart, enabling them to be able to customise the learning journey and identify the best learning pathway for the user to reach their goal. Driven by powerful algorithms these new app-based platforms can match courses with skillset and actively learn from the performance and learning style of the user. Personalised recommendations that range from who to connect with, how to upskill, where to go and what to do, all help create a compelling and engaging platform.

The smartest edtech platforms are built with artificial intelligence (AI) at their heart, enabling them to be able to customise the learning journey and identify the best learning pathway for the user to reach their goal

The age of the student and stage of their leaning, along with previous qualifications, are defining points that enable the AI to learn the student’s demographic and preferences and identify any knowledge gaps or areas that need further attention. Platforms can then go on to predict the student’s grades, the time it will take to complete each course, and how interesting the student will find it. These predictions, based on personalised data, are what makes this type of learning so engaging.

A digital layer can also link to real-time data, such as location, and social media can then recommend supplementary local events or ‘in person’ classes that the student can attend.

Designed to be simple and easy to use, an interface will guide the user on their learning journey and update them on their progress with personalised notifications. Digital transformation has meant that edtech platforms have needed to adopt cloud-based technology, meaning users can log in from anywhere in the world, creating a truly flexible solution.

A new dawn of personalisation

This new progressive way of learning is so much more engaging to the user, and the faculty who run the courses usually offer more passion and support as they have a class full of engaged students.

As part of this edtech boom, we will begin to see virtual networks being built, where tasks, progress, coursework and achievements can be tracked. And from this virtual world, learning can be made more enjoyable with many platforms using gamification parallels to track progress and goals, fully immersing the student and actively encouraging them to reach their targets.

As part of this edtech boom, we will begin to see virtual networks being built

As the edtech sector continue to grow, we will see a new age of education in schools, colleges and universities that take on a hybrid version of this model with students engaging in lectures and study sessions remotely, leaving the in-person sessions to cover the more manual or hands-on aspects of education. The pandemic has accelerated this transition, and many learning establishments had to scramble to offer some sort of digital layer during the various lockdowns. This has opened many education professionals’ eyes as to how the future of education may look, and it has driven many to implement further digital learning systems to free up in person teaching time for other more important tasks, such as catching up students that are behind, or offering extra support to those that have behavioural or emotional issues.

As we embark on this new age of education, we can be excited and enthused about a new system that allows for those that don’t thrive in traditional schooling; we can look forward to a future where students are equipped with the skills to create a job, rather than finding a job; and we can hope that this bright new generation can then go on to solve some of the many challenges our world will face in the years to come. Society 5.0 will be tech driven, with automation, AI and digital transformation leading the evolution. Now is the time to design and implement an education system fit for this new society that doesn’t leave any child behind.

You might also like: Using smart building technology to create healthier learning environments


Leave a Reply

Free live webinar & QA

The digital difference - Build a culture of reading with ebooks & audiobooks

Free Education Webinar with OverDrive

Friday, June 24, 2PM London BST

In this webinar, hear from Havant Academy Librarian Joanna Parsons to learn how she uses ebooks and audiobooks to help boost reading among her secondary students.