The future of education completely changed after last year with the Covid-19 pandemic. The sector was on a sure path of introducing new technologies, but the walk just became shorter. Here are some technologies that will make an impact.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual reality is when people immerse themselves in completely digital worlds. Users use a headset that gives them visual and auditive stimuli that make it feel like a real-world even if the graphics don’t compare with real life. On the other hand, augmented reality is mixing the real world with digital objects through our smartphones’ cameras or a headset.
The technology is still in its early stages considering that is not a common gadget in most household. But that was how computers and phones started. And now, more than half the people in the world have access to one of these. But in the future, it will reach the point where many people have access to these technologies.
In education, some institutions already use augmented reality to enhance the student experience. For example, in medical institutions, clinical residents can use AR to practice procedures without risking any patient. But the applications can go even farther in all levels of education. In high school, teachers will be able to make virtual field trips to remote locations.
Imagine learning about space and space travel by doing a virtual visit to the international space station? It is way cooler than watching a video on Youtube, which already is a great step compared to 20 years ago.
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services through the Internet. Its services include storage, cloud platforms, applications, and even computing power, all with an Internet connection. The most popular services are Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure for businesses. But other services like Google Suite and Classrooms are also in the cloud.
In education, cloud computing became key during the Covid-19 pandemic when all institutions have to transition to online learning. Teachers and students could work in the same spaces thanks to cloud computing technologies. The old excuse of “my dog ate my homework” won’t cut it anymore. Students can access classes, material, and homework from anywhere in the world only with an Internet connection.
Even when things go back to normal after the pandemic, cloud computing will continue to be a powerful tool in the industry. For example, students will have access to digital versions of library books even when the physical library is closed. And when students are sick and cannot attend classes, they can have access to the materials they missed from their home.
Learning analytics is, as the name suggests when institutions leverage data from students to optimize the learning process. It isn’t a new subject. Institutions have been using learning analytics for a while now for research purposes. The huge difference now is a key technology, artificial intelligence.
Learning analytics are used to consider the student’s environment to measure key indicators of their performance, decision making, and support student development. But in the years prior, the amount of data that we could analyze at a time is limited. With AI, institutions can analyze massive amounts of information from thousands of students in a moment. Teachers will be able to see personalized insight for each student and make the best decision to improve their performance.
3D printing is a technology that has been around for a few years now, but it hasn’t taken over education yet. It has many practical applications that could make a huge difference in the way we learn. For example, engineer students could 3D print objects to better understand the theoretical knowledge they learn in classes.
They could apply their skills to design prototypes and print them. Even in high school, many times, students have a hard time understanding abstract concepts. If they can have a physical representation of what they are learning, they will probably grasp the concept faster, especially if they do it themselves.
Technology is changing the education industry for the better. VR and AR are only the beginning of creating a new way of learning with immersive experiences. But cloud computing and learning analytics is the next step of optimizing the learning process. And if we add 3D printing to the mix, every student will have the skills needed in the new society we live in today.
Guest Author Artur Meyster