Digital learning is getting a major boost – great news for education. A 2017 report from the Fosway Group, one of Europe’s top HR and learning analyzers, pointed out that there are fast-growing investments in digital learning platforms and content. Of the learning and development professionals surveyed, the biggest demands they are seeing in new technologies have been focused in video learning (77 percent) and mobile learning (76 percent). Today, video and mobile are dominating as optimal ways that people consume content and learn. They’ve have been on the rise for a few years, becoming much more than passing trends. Let’s take a look at the research and the impact on teaching and learning.

Video Learning Increases Student Engagement
In the beginning, video learning was expensive and difficult to create, but that’s no longer the case. There are more than 135 million how-to videos on YouTube. More than 100 million hours of how-to content have been watched in North America, from how to create a spreadsheet, how to bake a pie, and pretty much anything else you could imagine. 67 percent of Millennials agree they can find a YouTube video on anything they want to learn, and they highly prefer receiving content through videos and not text. The research traces its success to two fundamental facts: 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. According to a report from Forrester, one minute of video content is worth 1.8 million words.

Students have quickly embraced the revolution of videos in recent years, as we’ve seen with the explosion of MOOCs like Udemy and Coursera. Video creates a whole new window into active learning through different content styles including 2D/3D animation, virtual reality environments, and interactive video. It has had a powerful impact in K-12 and postsecondary classrooms, particularly with gamification. Almost 80 percent of learners say they would be more productive if their university or institution embraced gaming more frequently. The use of games, puzzles, and online questionnaires has helped educators capture their attention, increase interactivity, and improve learning retention in the long run. The majority of learners are increasingly motivated by the increased competition between students that gamification brings. Beat the GMAT, the largest online community for students preparing for MBA programs, is one example of fast growth in student engagement. They dramatically increased social pages-per-visit by 195 percent and time spent by 370 percent – enabling students to increase their changes of getting into an MBA program through gamification techniques.

Mobile Has Turned into a Lifelong Tool for Learning
Mobile learning is booming globally. By 2012, the market surpassed $5 billion. It was expected to reach $12.2 billion this year; according to a new PayPal survey, mobile will rise to as much as $37.6 billion by 2020. According to a recent article in Education World, 92 percent of teachers say they have greater access to educational content, resources, and material due to the Internet. And the application of mobile learning apps are also growing among employers, creating a habit of formal and informal learning that lasts way beyond K-12 and postsecondary education and into their careers. 85 percent of organizations are capturing the importance of mobile and plan to implement a mobile training strategy.

A large number of teachers all agree that mobile devices have enhanced classroom learning overall: 77 percent of teachers have said mobile devices have boosted student motivation, 76 percent said they enhance lessons, and 76 percent found they helped meet the needs of diverse learning styles. At El Capitan High School (CA), 94 percent of students have been equipped with Chromebooks, and students and parents have enjoyed the benefit of easier access to their teachers and collaboration with peers, allowing their learning process to last longer than the school day. And for teachers, they’ve seen the added benefit of increased collaboration and sharing of ideas with other staffers.