The quick and constant advancement of technology means that the world is always changing. Change is not bad, as long as it spreads across multiple areas, especially if said areas are interconnected and interdependent. Unfortunately, for a very long time, education was one of the areas that was resistant to change, and was thus the weak link of the chain. Fortunately, technology has finally made its breakthrough in this field, and education as we know it will never be the same again. Here are 5 emerging technologies in teaching, learning and creative inquiry on a global scale.
Education puts a great emphasis on the theory part, but theory alone cannot always suffice. There are certain subjects that can be easier to understand by using physical representations of certain aspects rather than theory alone, and while an image can be worth more than a thousand words, an actual physical object can be worth more than a thousand images. 3D Printing is a technology that allows the easy creation of physical objects of any shape from scratch, thus allowing teachers to create physical representations of the subjects or concepts they are talking about. This makes it easier for students to interact with said objects directly, and thus obtain a better understanding of how they work.
While certain subjects can take advantage of physical elements being present, that possibility is not always available and does not apply to all disciplines – some are simply too complex or would not benefit enough from a physical model. This is where the most recent technology truly kicks in in the shape of virtual reality. This technology, exactly as its name suggests, can create a virtual reality that can be generated and controlled as per the needs and requirements of the teacher and the subject at hand. With the help of virtual reality, a history teacher could bring his students to the scenes of various historic events, for example. While Virtual Reality recreates an entirely different reality from scratch, there’s also its twin technology – augmented reality, which blends the real world with digital elements, allowing for a highly interactive and entertaining learning environment.
Gamification is more of an implementation method for other technologies rather than a technology in itself, but it is still an important element that shapes the future of teaching and learning. By taking students’ interest for gadgets and gaming and combining it with virtual reality, augmented reality, gamification seeks to stimulate learning through playing. The concept brings a creative approach to the learning process and is aimed to allow students to learn new things by playing specially created games that incorporate educational elements and methodologies. Putting it simply, the students learn by playing.
One of the biggest advantages of the Internet is that it provides instant access to information, and in an educational environment, this is pure gold. However, while information is available, a user has to know where to look for it, and searching through a ton of information can be a daunting and time-consuming task. MOOC platforms aim to change that. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses, and the name is pretty self-explanatory – it is a huge collection of courses carefully curated and organized to fit in with curriculums. Thanks to MOOC platforms, teachers have access to more up-to-date information than what’s usually found in manuals and textbooks, so the materials they teach is more accurate. On the students’ side, MOOC platforms allows them to revisit some lessons for a better understanding, and even go through them with a private tutor for the best possible results.
With most of the learning process digitalized, it was only logical that homework and grade systems to enter the digital era as well. Cloud computing allows teachers and students to stay in touch and exchange information on dedicated school platforms, from the comfort of their own homes, and even while on the move, using devices such as laptops or smartphones. Students can submit their homework, access their grades and schedule, and get access to everything that is school-related in one single place, while teachers have easy access to the entire situation of any student with just a few clicks or taps.
Author Bio: Daniel Lewis is a writer and blogger who writes articles for smiletutor who provides reliable home tuitions in Singapore.