3 Keywords For Using New Technology in the Classroom
Technology these days is evolving at a massive pace. As a product is released into the market, newer versions or updates follow almost simultaneously, making previous versions obsolete. Back when I was in school, the only technology we had was the basic computer, calculators, VCR players and slide projectors. In a few years, technology allowed us to learn through apps on our smartphones, compact and more user-friendly laptops, tablets, and so on.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Lindsay S.
Computer-aided-learning is vastly used across the three C's - curricula, courses and countries. Right now, it’s all about the cloud. With IaaS, PaaS and SaaS (Infrastructure / Platform / Software as a Service), educators can create customized applications and tools as e-learning solutions. This allows students to learn real-time or at their own pace. The internet is here to stay. So, let’s delve into what the technology of the future will seem like in a classroom. By the looks of it, technology is heading towards three spheres – Artificial Intelligence, Mixed Reality and Quantum Computing.
We already have robots – like Honda’s Asimo, the world’s most powerful humanoid; Milo, who helps children with Autism; Moley, the cook, and so on. We have personal assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri. We have sensors in our smartphones that enable us to take perfect photos. AI has silently become omnipresent in our day to day lives. Yet, we have but only dipped its nib.
We will soon be able to provide personalized tutoring for students. AI will catapult the possibility of each individual having personal learning companions, one which knows his/her background, strengths and weaknesses. Even students with disabilities will be able to acquire any skill – there are studies that already show AI teaching social skills to ASD students, with positive results.
As AI becomes more intelligent and sophisticated, it will be possible for it to recognize when a student has difficulty grasping a subject, even read facial expressions, and simplify the content for the learner. AI will be able to cater to students from different levels, languages, abilities and geographies – simultaneously. The role of a teaching will be more of a facilitator or motivator in a classroom. Even all types of grading can be automatically done.
Imagine a world where the real and virtual are merged as one and coexist, where the physical and digital interact in real time. This is mixed reality. With the existent Microsoft HoloLens, one can bring a hologram into the real world in front of you, which looks and sounds genuine. We can interact with real people in the real world while simultaneously exploring the virtual world in 3D. For students learning through MR, they can touch and control virtual objects, stimulating a greater understanding of them. They can experience and interact with formulas and concepts, as opposed to audio-visual learning in a classroom. This kind of learning is more fun, engaging and effective compared to any other traditional method.
MR can cater to all types of learners concurrently – visual, auditory, reading/writing preference, and kinesthetic. Using MR, students can go back in time and interact with pre-historic creatures. They can visit a certain decade and have a realistic experience of historical events. They can design architectural models to bring their ideas to life. They can even explore foreign countries – walk the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, night dive in the Maldives to see beautiful manta rays, climb the Everest and devour the view from the summit. Imagine.
A quantum computer is the mother of all computers – one which has the power to solve the world’s biggest and most complex problems. One which has the potential to cure cancer. There is a reason every tech giant and government in the world is investing in this. A quantum computer can make the advanced and sophisticated computers we use today, seem like abacuses. In education, this can be the ultimate tool to teach, learn, invent and innovate in the most seamless and efficient manner. Students need to be preparing for roles that don’t even exist yet. One can say it’s a quantum leap into the future, pun intended.
Now envision a time when Artificial Intelligence, Mixed Reality and Quantum Computing come together. Seems quite inevitable. It will either lead to a ‘generation of idiots’ like Einstein predicted, or, be the bridge to the next generation.
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