The Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam recently arranged for a VR-enabled tour for school kids to see the great artist’s ‘Sunflowers’ series. Teaming up with the school and updated VR technology, they did something that no one in the world has done before. Although housed at different museums at various locations around the world, the students could see all five of the paintings in the series in one place.
Augmented reality, on the other hand, makes 3D models pop up in classrooms, bringing lessons to life. Students can get access to extended information for their assignments and homework through these AR-aided tools. AR has helped a school in Canada turn their gym walls into interactive games of skeeball by projecting images onto walls that students have to shatter using rubber balls.
Such is the far-reaching impact of technology in education these days. We are fast approaching a time when this will be a reality in most of the schools, colleges, and universities. With 96% of Americans aged 18 to 29 using a Smartphone, access to updated tech and its influence on education is right upon us. Read this blog to find out how the future of education is relying heavily on these technological advancements.
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Education: then and now – what has changed?
Education has evolved over the ages. It has embraced the ever-growing understanding of the world around us. Recent technological advancement and the age of the Internet have brought on newer forms of education beyond the traditional classroom markers.
The popularity of web portals like TED, Udemy YouTube comes in the wake of a new generation of learners. Self-education is making the rounds for the masses, thanks to the Internet revolution.
But our classrooms remain the same as before. We continue to categorize students according to specific age groups and make them visit a building five times a week. Inside the building, they are made to listen to grown-ups speak for hours at an end. The entire learning system relies on our hope that this mechanism yields fruitful results for all the people involved.
Education: overcoming barriers with technology
Let us now take a look at the challenges that the existing system of schooling poses for the educators and learners.
Teachers always seem to have their hands full – be it the start of the term or the middle of a school year. Here are a few challenges that teachers have to deal with in the existing education system.
- Lesson and assignment planning throughout the school year
- Grading thousands of copies each week
- The expectation of giving individualized attention to every student in the class
Students are at the other end of the spectrum. However, they are riddled with the following woes at all times as well.
- Having to follow strict schedules throughout the school year
- Stress over homework, assignments, and exams
- The pressure of meeting expectations of their parents and teachers through the traditional scoring systems
The conventional methods of education are giving way to more evolved and inclusive modes of learning. However, modern technological marvels like virtual reality and augmented reality are shifting the base towards individual-specific methods of learning.
A lesson that takes the students inside the Great Barrier Reef through VR headsets is actually way more effective than one with traditional notes and a map. Students get hands-on experience of what they are learning. Teachers can also make those student engagement numbers shoot through the roof with smart uses of these updated techs.
Real-time lessons and podcasts reaching out to millions through the Internet can bring out the live and social nature of education. Connecting to students’ forums online, or using digital tools and apps to notify about and upload homework and quiz solutions also make it easier for educators to take it a step further. Let us now see what the future holds for us with cutting-edge tech solutions in the educational sector.
Education in the future: what to expect
As technology goes on to make lives easier around the globe, the education sector lies to benefit significantly from this upsurge. From schools in Myanmar adapting VR tech as learning resources to Google Cardboard becoming widely popular around the globe, we are all set to embrace a futuristic outlook on education.
Educators all over the world are ditching the blackboard-and-chalk classroom for VR-aided smart classrooms. And with that, we move towards a future that can seamlessly combine individual-based learning systems into a regimented educational framework. The Smartphone generation of learners will be quick to adapt and accept the changes in methods of teaching while educators can also drive positive results through better cognitive strategies.
Here are a few ways that education may evolve in the future. With some of the technology already in use in classrooms around the globe, the rest will soon follow suit.
Personalized education is all set to take on a big role in immersive education. It refers to adjusting the curriculum, teaching style, and course structure to fit the needs and ambitions of the learners. As opposed to traditional formats of learning, personalized education does not rely on a standardized set of subjects and learning resources for everyone.
Instead, it caters to individual needs and puts the learner in the driving seat. Learners can take this form of education at their own pace and style.
Learners following personalized education have already made their presence felt in the learning sector. Leading studies reveal that they are doing better in academics than those following a traditionally structured curriculum. The brain processes information that we find interesting in a way that helps in learning new things quickly. Personalized learning aims to tap into that capacity to take it further in education.
It makes complete sense too. If you think about it, the most popular teachers are the ones who can successfully engage a classroom full of children to sit up, take note, and actually engage in the subject. The same goes for this kind of learning as well. These learning experiences create a positive impact on the brain, impacting the learners’ ability to process the information at a cognitive-synapse level.
VR and AR are gradually blurring the borders of a traditional classroom setting. You could be in Ohio, and logging on to an online lecture on thermodynamics from a professor based in Melbourne. VR headsets like the Google Cardboard can actually take you on a quick tour to the ruins of Pompeii as part of your history class in high school.
Sure, these sound like something you would have seen in movies. But we are closer to sci-fi movies than ever.
- 97% of learners say they want to study a VR course
- 7 out of 10 teachers express interest in teaching a course through VR
- VR in education is set to reach the $200 billion mark by 2020
- Education is the fourth biggest sector for VR tech adaptation
VR brings the ultimate sci-fi fantasy to life: teleportation. You can just pop on a headset and tune into your class. It sure creates incredible opportunities for learners living outside hardcore urban areas. The changes in the learning landscape show that it is a positive step towards making education accessible for all.
A Berlin B – School uses VR games as part of their curriculum in leadership. Aiding learners get a hands-on experience of what is to come in the professional world, this B-school is ticking all the right boxes in learning. The course is wildly popular due to the innovative experiences it offers throughout its learning systems. Additionally, this is one of the many ways that technology is reshaping education as we know it.
Students with disabilities and critical illnesses do not have to miss school anymore. Their virtual avatars can be present in class, and they can participate through video beaming technology right inside the classrooms from the comforts of their homes or healthcare centers. This goes a long way to combat the marginalization of learners with disabilities. Rick Smith, founder, and CEO of Axon, a VR-based tech company, says, “Rather than just training police how to use a Taser, maybe we should train them how to avoid using it.”
The Standford University med school is not too far away from catching up with the Berlin B-school. Medical students are learning how to avoid distractions using VR headsets. Videos and interactive experiences make it even more appealing to the learners of the new generation.
Cutting-edge technology can now cater to the individual needs of students in education. With the use of VR headsets and AI-enabled learning systems, the future of education looks pretty promising indeed. Soon, the way we know classroom settings traditionally will transform for the better as well. With modern communication systems and new-age VR technology, reaching out to millions of students who cannot otherwise gain access to educational resources can be a good place to start.
The last two centuries have been nothing short of a revolution in terms of taking the world literacy rate upwards. New technology in education promises to transcend the boundaries of learning even further. It is time to reach for the stars in the learning sector, and with proper training and inclusive policies, we can soon achieve the goals. Here is hoping for a brighter and bigger future for education in the times to come, thanks to impressive new-age tech.
Featured image source: Freepik