We live in an age where we’re upon the cusp of a technological revolution: virtual reality, humanistic robots, and homes that are becoming Smart all serve as the things that were once the stuff of science fiction. Never has technology helped us achieve so much, nor been so ingrained within our everyday lives.
Of course there exist plenty of naysayers who predict a not-so-distant end of the world, brought about by AI. As well as the drawbacks of societies where lives are increasingly lived upon social media, rather than in the real world. Yet we’d like to think that technology enables us to advance and achieve like no other tool, and here we look at five ways in which the educational world will be empowered by technology in the future.
Just imagine: history lessons where children aren’t bored silly by lectures upon wars from yesteryear, but are instead placed within the age – to explore, discover and learn effectively first-hand just how history played out.
The once fledgling technology of virtual reality is soon set to become mainstream, as Samsung, Oculus Rift and HTC each contend for market share with VR headsets that already boast a world of apps and games.
What’s more, one app, Timelooper, is already flexing the muscles of VR and all that it can offer for historical experiences – and this app requires nothing more than a cardboard headset and a SmartPhone.
In the future, the question won’t be ‘what can 3D printing create?’, but rather ‘what can’t it create?’ Already this is a technology that has revolutionised the medical world through print-off prosthetics, bone and heart valves, and within the classroom its promise looks set to be equally as impressive.
Educators are already able to print off mini engineering models at the click of a button to test out design principles, and design students are now freed from time-consuming errors through prototype experimentation. This is all whilst students from many other realms are putting their hands upon concepts that were only in existence in their books.
Yet the future of 3D printing within education isn’t about aiding the old way of teaching, but is instead predicted to lead to a new generation of visionaries who can develop skills and test ideas for a 3D printing industry that will span from manufacturing right through to aerospace design.
Virtual schooling has been a vision that has been foreseen since PCs first hit the market towards the end of the 1980s. Yet it is only now, some two decades into the story of the World Wide Web that virtual schooling looks set to become a reality.
Virtual schooling will break down the barriers between countries, and create virtual learning spaces that traverse continents. Yet whilst virtual learning is already seen around the world (such as within long distance learning), it will be the combination of learning remotely, with Virtual Reality, that truly sees this educational change take root. It’s then only a matter of time until VR developers announce the launch of the first of such software - where students that hail from all four corners of the glove could be placed with the same virtual classroom.
Biometrics is a realm of technology that is yet in relative infancy, where emotions and biology meet tech. Within the classroom this will translate to educators being able to completely understand the physical and emotional states of the students that they are teaching – from software that analyses facial expressions to tech that picks up heart rate, skin moisture and other metrics. Pretty impressive stuff, right?
Now for the not-so-great news: biometrics is likely years off even for moderate adoption, and initially will only be seen within the most advanced, well-funded and developed of institutions.
Whilst the tablet has made its way into classrooms around the world, this bit of tech hasn’t achieved what many predicted it would: the replacement of paper. There’s simply too big a divide between the flexibility of paper and the action of putting a pen to it when compared to using a tablet. OLED-based displays could be the answer and, as it turns out, is currently a technology that has plenty of big boys already on the case of taking it to market.
OLED display technology is being rapidly studied and developed by a world of smart phone manufacturers as each rushes to hit upon the next big thing. With the world’s most powerful companies already on the case, it won’t be long until OLED technology hits the shelves.