Blog 4: How Technology is Shaping the Future of Education
Published on February 17, 2020 – By Katie Jones
Technology has transformed almost every aspect of our lives, and now it seems that education systems around the world are due for an update.
Educators are tapping into the digital revolution and adopting new technologies to help students reach their full potential, but can they adapt quickly enough to prepare children for the changing future of work?
The Growing Role of Tech in Classrooms
Today’s infographic from Best Education Degrees explores the different ways technology is transforming classrooms, and disrupting education as we know it.
The Next Generation
Although some might view technology as pervasive, for younger generations, it is ever-present.
Children and young adults make up one-third of all internet users, so it’s no surprise that they are more hyper-connected and digitally savvy than their parents.
The combination of evolving educational needs for children and a more uncertain future of work means that updating what children learn, and how they learn it, has become a crucial issue for schools and colleges—but what should be prioritized?
In a survey of 1,400 educators, the majority of them say they believe that classrooms of the future will be centered around self-paced and personalized learning.
This student-centric approach would allow children to choose their own pace and learning objectives based on individual interests—all of which could be guided by artificial intelligence, chatbots, and video-based learning.
Artificial intelligence in education typically focuses on identifying what a student does or doesn’t know, and then subsequently developing a personalized curricula for each student.
The AI-powered language learning platform Duolingo is one of the most downloaded education apps globally, with more than 50 million installs in 2018. The platform single-handedly challenges the notion of traditional learning, with a study showing that spending just 34 hours on the app equates to an entire university semester of language education.
AI-driven applications in education are still in their infancy, but Duolingo’s success demonstrates the growth potential in the sector. In fact, the nascent market for AI in education is expected to reach $6 billion by the year 2025. Over half of this will come from China and the U.S., with China leading globally.
Chatbots are also quickly becoming a fundamental tool in next generation education. Designed to simplify the interaction between student and computer, chatbots provide a wide range of benefits, including:
- Spaced interval learning: Uses algorithms and repetition to optimize memorization
- Immediate feedback: Papers can be graded with 92% accuracy and in a faster time than teachers
- Self-paced learning: Tracks a student’s performance and guides them based on their individual needs
This innovative technology is arming educators with new strategies for more engaged learning, whilst simultaneously reducing their workload.
Although video-based learning may not necessarily be considered as innovative as artificial intelligence or chatbots, 98% of educators view it as a vital component in personalized learning experiences. Most institutions report incorporating video into their curriculums in some way, but even higher demand for video-based learning may come from students in the near future.
This is due to the fact that video learning increases student satisfaction by 91%, and student achievements by 82%, which could be why educators are increasingly using video for tasks like:
- Providing material for student assignments
- Giving feedback on assignments
- Flipped instruction (blended learning) exercises
A flipped classroom overturns conventional learning by focusing on practical content that is delivered online and often outside the classroom.
The Battle Between Traditional and Tech
Flipping classrooms is a trend that has gained momentum in recent years—and may be considered to be a radical change in how students absorb information. The relatively new model also eliminates homework, by empowering students to work collaboratively on their tasks during class time.
Although new models of learning are disrupting the status quo of traditional learning, could the increasing amount of time children spend in front of screens be detrimental?
Research has shown that children are more likely to absorb information from books rather than screens. There has also been an evident increase in low-tech or tech-free schools that believe that human interaction is paramount when it comes to keeping children engaged and excited to learn.
Creating First-Class Humans
Although we may not be in the era of iTeachers just yet, the benefits of technology as teaching aids are undeniable. However, what is more important is that these aids are used in tandem with developmental and educational psychology—ultimately keeping students rather than technology at the core of education.
The future will be about pairing the artificial intelligence of computers with the cognitive, social and emotional capabilities of humans, so that we educate first-class humans, not second-class robots”
—OECD, Trends Shaping Education report
After all, how children develop these skills is perhaps less important than their ability to navigate change, as that is the only thing that will remain constant.
CHECK SOME INTERESTING CHARTS ON THE LINK BELOW AND AFTER READING THE WHOLE ARTICLE, ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
1 Do you think online learning will eventually replace traditional schools and classrooms? 2 In addition to better organizational skills, what do you think can be done to help students avoid plagiarizing? 3 Do you know any famous cases of plagiarism? What happened in those cases?