How Future Technologies Can Change Education

May 7, 2018 by

From the increasing amount of information we can easily access to the way in which lessons and lectures are delivered, current and future technologies are poised to change the face of education forever.

Here are just some of the ways this is happening:

1) No Need for Text Books

Libraries of important texts are being digitized, so students no longer have to buy expensive physical copies and lug them around all day. Digital texts are also easier to use (e.g. search and annotation/highlighting functions) and can be accessed 24/7 from tonnes of modern devices.

It has never been easier to access the information needed to learn.

2) Full-Blown Online Programs

Online educational programs that are accredited have been rolling out much slower than they could because of the profit element to education, but basic online courses for the sake of learning alone are now widely available.

From simple depositories of texts and videos to live-streaming lectures and chatrooms that connect teacher and student, the possibilities are endless.

In the not too distant future, you can add virtual and augmented reality classrooms to the mix.

The main benefit of online programs is that learners do not have to attend a physical institution.

3) Cost

One of the barriers to a good education has always been the cost. University students, who are encouraged to live without a job, still need to borrow thousands to pay for courses if they or their families can’t afford it upfront. However, it’s not beyond the realm to imagine online equivalents at a fraction of the cost. In fact, most of what is contained in a university education can be found for free online, it’s the formal accreditation and the way that it’s packaged that needs to catch up.

4) Personalized and Creative Learning

In the days of the chalkboard, the ways in which educators could teach their subject was severely limited. Today teachers can use technology to employ all kinds of creative and engaging delivery methods.

Experts are also beginning to accept that not everyone learns effectively in the same way. Technology can help personalize learning and help teachers focus on individual students when required.

Even just the ability to give feedback directly to students through online platforms is improving the traditional educational environment. Online portals also give students place to monitor their own progress and access important educational tools.

5) Diversity

The rise of the internet and associated devices has facilitated a more diverse and global community of teachers and other educators. Students from one side of the world can take part in an online space with students from the other side of the world, and teachers from both places can offer their own unique perspectives and guidance.

The experience of foreign exchange students has greatly improved because of this and language technologies.

6) Peer to Peer Learning

Learning used to be quite an isolated experience when outside of the classroom. Sure, friends would study together, but the internet has allowed students studying the same or similar subjects to connect in ways never previously imagined.

Even just an informal group chat on Facebook Messenger between students on the same course can have a profound impact. For example, instead of suffering in silence and ignorance, students now help and inform each other. In many ways, the brightest are able to bring others up to their level through simple communication, when in the past they may have fallen through the net.

Assigned group work is also much easier due to file-sharing and the reality of our connected world.

Centers of learning can also crowd-source opinions and feedback from students themselves to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of courses and to address other issues.

7) Data-Driven Tools 

Data-driven tools have made teacher’s lives much easier when it comes to grading and/or analyzing work. They also help grading to be more accurate. Of course, this only really works in circumstances where data is important. Classroom performance, literary abilities, and other student contributions, sill require a teacher to use their own judgment.

Tools are also enabling the progress of students to be logged, analyzed and displayed in many beneficial ways.

8) Crowd-Sourcing

Crowd-sourcing (in the sense of opening things up to the wider world) offers a number of potential benefits for education. Course content itself can be formulated and regularly tweaked by large communities of teachers and experts in various fields. Imagine a Wikipedia for a High School English syllabus.

A similar approach could be applied to marking and assessing students’ work. Double-marking has long been a policy, but what if a much larger group could have input? Teaching could become more of a hive than a one teacher/one classroom experience.

There are many possibilities when it comes to technology and the future of education. The above represents just some of the ways thing are changing, but who really knows what is around the corner?

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