What is the future of learning? How will the future classes look like? Technology in education, is this only our dream? New hi-tech, such as cloud computing, augmented reality and 3D printing, pave the way for future in the education system. Anyway, we have something to push away from.
1. Virtual reality
We are still waiting for the augmented reality to storm our world. Google Glass, Oculus Rift and other interesting things that bring to our life the taste of augmented and virtual realities are upcoming. It is expected that these devices will amaze the public with their capabilities, allowing users to layer information on what they see through contact lenses or glasses. Currently, access to augmented reality technology for educational purposes is limited mostly by smartphone applications.
For example, the Sky Map application allows you to study the night sky in search of constellations. But now technology in schools is far from this.
With the help of Google Glass and other similar devices that are about to appear in the public domain, students will be able to explore the world without being distracted. Andrew Vanden Heuvel, a physics teacher from Switzerland, opens big opportunities for remote learning. He broadcast everything that happened inside the LHC through Google Glass to his students thousands of miles away. They saw everything as he saw it. The Hangout feature is especially useful here for team collaboration in the execution of projects and assignments. In other cases, students may see additional interactive information, such as historical artefacts, to learn more about their history.
2. 3D printer
What could be a better gift for your 10-year-old son than a LEGO set? For example, a children's 3D printer. Such a thing should be in every classroom. Students of the future will be able to print any desired 3D model for a variety of tasks. Young engineers and their teachers are the best examples of people who need 3D printing when studying. In Minneapolis, one of the schools has already acquired a Dimension BST printer, with the help of which students can create some prototypes.
A 3D printer allows you to create a working mini-model to test the engineering construction, so students can hone their skills to the smallest details. Today, with CAD programs, any student can save a lot of time and money if they use a 3D printer. Let's not forget that 3D printers are constantly falling in price, which means very soon they will be available to everyone. In addition, physical models develop abstract thinking, hence if you print out a physical version of molecules, pupils will be able to understand it better.
3. Cloud computing
Excuse in a style of "my dog’s eaten my homework" is not going to work with teachers in the near future. Cloud technologies are evolving, and very soon all aspects of our lives, including education, will be changed. In future classes, students will simply need an electronic device that will provide access to homework and other learning resources in the cloud. No heavy textbooks, no “forgot my assignment”, no looking for pay to write my paper, all materials will be available as long as there is an Internet connection.
Such convenience will give students certain freedom because you can work on projects both at home and in any other place. A digital library will be available even in the absence of a real one. Cloud computing tends to virtualize the classroom. Schools can use cloud technologies and create online platforms for student learning. Simply log in and attend classes in a virtual environment.
Take, for example, the concept of a cloud-based virtual learning environment (VLE), which allows students to access learning content and participate in discussions in forums. Assignments or tests can easily be distributed throughout the class, minimizing the need for students to attend classes physically, but encouraging interaction and discussion.
4. Social networks
Numerous universities have already registered in the virtual world of Second Life to provide students with an online platform for communication with each other. Being a large part of a cloud platform, such social networks allow students to focus on their studies and freely discuss ideas, while teachers act as moderators. An important role in all this is given to teachers, lecturers, and professors who can act as a guide, helping with answers and asking questions, instantly uploading information to the cloud environment. Another advantage is that it works as an excellent feedback tool.
5. Flexible display
Taking notes is still working, especially during lectures, but it is shifting from paper to laptops, netbooks, and tablets. As education becomes more digitized, we can safely say that in the future paper will become secondary. To keep her convenience, people can use flexible OLED displays. Similar to plain paper, these displays will be light, flexible and incredibly thin. They can be rolled up into a tube or stored in a pile. Unlike ordinary paper, these plastic electronic documents are not only durable but also interactive.
6. Multitouch display
Over the past few decades, many have seen the emergence of video projectors in schools, as well as the transition from the usual chalkboard to the whiteboard. It is quite possible that the next step will be something related to smartphones and tablets. For example, the following “board” may well become a giant LCD touch screen, allowing greater interactivity. The main difference between our current sensor devices and such kind of a board will be that it allows data input from several students at once.
7. Study with play
Today, children suffer from a lack of concentration because of the Internet. This is not surprising since, from childhood YouTube, Facebook and smartphones feed them with information 24/7. To satisfy the fast-growing generation, schools will eventually have to abandon traditional cramming methods. Now it is important not to know the arrays of information, but to know where it can be obtained. However, there is one way to get wants and needs met: video games. Kinect Education, for example, represents a single online community for interested educators and students who want to use Kinect for educational purposes. The best examples are learning sign language and playing the guitar with the help of Microsoft hardware.
In the future, education may no longer be limited to formal institutions, such as schools and courses. Augmented reality, cloud computing, social networks, and adaptive learning systems that use eye-tracking technology will enable lessons to be held outside the school walls.
School children will regard learning as a welcome part of their lives, which requires active participation, and not as a routine that is boring and tedious. However, we were all children.
Author’s bio: Jeff Blaylock is a PhD in psychology who has been interested in science since his childhood. Started with small childish experiments in dad’s garage and grew to a compelling writer with thought-provoking articles on education and science. He creates reviews of any unusual and captivating hi-tech product and adores spending time browsing scientific publications online.