In the past years, teachers are moving from being teachers to being facilitators of discussions in the classroom. From a traditional teacher standing in front of rows of students, we see classrooms transitioned into the high-tech environment, collaborating and working in small teams, sharing ideas and debating with each other, searching for information online, and coming up with presentations that represent their collective understanding/view/work. Schools and classrooms have changed in the past five years more than they have in the 200 years before.
Educators who believe that this change is more than enough, that there’s nothing more to be changed, that this tectonic shift that we’ve seen in the past years has reached its peak, and we can sit and rest from now on and just perfect our teaching methods are up to a big surprise. The ever-accelerating pace of technological advancements is here not to stay. They are set to transform every corner of teaching and learning, and then in no-time, transform it again and again and again.
Here are few upcoming changes we clearly see going to transform the education world very soon.
1. Mixed reality
Unlike virtual reality which blocks the viewer from the world, or augmented reality which just adds some virtual items (menus, Pokemon) on your screen/headset, the mixed reality is the holy grail of this new medium. Mixed reality allows the computer to be aware of the environment, and it’s depth, and attach digital objects to physical ones. In this way, our senses are tricked to think there’s a real object in front of us, although it’s digital.
Remember the operations center in the movie Avatar? Everyone is looking at the Tree of Life, from different angles, and they share their thoughts as if the tree is a physical object in the room, although it is a digital rendering of that. This is possible today with tools like Microsoft HoloLens that allow creating a mixed reality environment where everyone shares the same experience. Now imagine this powerful tech in your classroom, imagine you could bring to life concepts in the middle of the classrooms, and let everyone experience them, right in front of their eyes. Allow them to interact with that and allow them to make predictions and test, all while working in between real and digital.
As the total opposite of Mixed Reality, robots help the phygital generation (https://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/05/31/schools-gen-z-phigital-student/) to put the line between reality and VIRTUAL. Robots move around us and interact with us in ways that aren’t possible with digital tools. They are tangible, and we can use all our senses to grasp their motion, space and to interact with them. We can touch them, we can manipulate them, and they are aligned with how we naturally evolved to be visual and tactile learners. Robots can help with many abstract concepts as well, they can be a demonstrative tool, but can also be the subject of the learning itself, in computer science classrooms for example.
3. Artificial Intelligence
It’s not a secret that we are all different people. With different needs, and different points of interest. If we understand that about ourselves, why do we treat our kids with a single template? Why should everyone learn the same subjects from the same books, at the same time, and run the same exercises? How on earth that maximizes our kids potential and performance? The main reason for that is the teacher: student ratio that averages at around 1:25. If we could afford a single teacher per student, obviously, this teacher could’ve fine tune the subjects, the methods of teaching and the practice to maximize her student’s performance.
However, we don’t have the funds to do that. That’s one of the big promises Artificial Intelligence can bring to the table, a learning experience that is totally customized and keeps adjusting and adapting to changes as the student grows. It is also inter-connected, and share and learn from experiences with other students in the class, in the school, in the state, in the country, in the world. Put that together with mixed reality and robotics, and you get a powerhouse of performance and engagement that no one can compete with!
If you are thinking about the movie “Her”, you are damn right!
At RobotLAB, we are focused on these three main innovative ways to maximize the students’ performance. We are working with the best of breed in each category. We are working on a paradigm shift in the learning experience, and in the performance.
Stay tuned to our blog to learn more.