Education is the foundation of our society. Without it, we wouldn’t be the people we are today. Imagine not attending that art class you liked back in high school, or those endless hours of maths, history, geography or biology. At some point in life, we were naive enough to say they were useless but were they? Just ask yourself this: “would I have the same understanding of the world without the education I was given?”. Of course not! It’s not only our appearance that makes us unique but also our knowledge together with character and personality. This is how important education is in our lives. It defines us and our kids.
Across different periods of time, education was addressed in various ways. For example, what today may seem like a drudgery for modern students, was a regular learning technique in the ’30s. The learning techniques we used are way different than those our kids are using now. As technology innovates, we grow more and more selective with our teaching methods. And we should be. Different individuals require different learning styles. Unfortunately, compulsory education doesn’t fully grasp that yet and students often regard school as a burden that steals their freedom.
Technology is the game changer
This is where technology comes in and takes charge. We live in a future where younger generations already have access to learning apps that manage to generate gamified experiences almost as addictive as games. What more could we ask for? Adaptive learning and learning through play are two of the most effective learning techniques and modern technology incorporates them successfully in their attempt to “tame” the human brain.
But what are the technologies that will surely change the future of education? For now, we can only mention virtual and augmented reality, but there’s no doubt that artificial intelligence will follow. Unlike classic tech that we’ve already seen and used (like Google Docs, PowerPoint or other creative apps that are still not widely used in classrooms), AR and VR have the potential of converting the class in a sci-fi spaceship that students will absolutely love. I mean… it’s magic, right? The closer we get to science fiction and magic, the more success we will have with teaching.
For example, Mondly, the popular app that made language learning possible in virtual and augmented reality is the first in a still limited list of apps that managed to create immersive learning experiences. And students simply love it. How can you not enjoy learning how to say “elephant” in Spanish if an actual size elephant is roaming around the classroom?
In AR and VR everything is possible. Imagine studying geography or history in VR. The level of immersiveness would be undoubtedly unimaginable. Basically, this is how smart technologies are changing the future of education.
If governments will allow and budget it, kids might experience, in a not too far future, this type of immersive learning in the classroom. And what do you think it will happen then? Here’s your answer: more kids will love school and more teachers will love their job – because, even in this digitized context, they remain irreplaceable.
Should we worry about our children’s education?
Not necessarily. In short, the positive impact that AR and VR tech will have on education include immersiveness, storytelling, personalized learning, learning through play and even interactive teaching materials. But wherever there’s good, there’s also a drop of bad. This major change in education could restrict social interaction because of its addictive nature. As we very well know, games already do that. Besides, ill-intentioned people could find new ways of controlling our decisions from a young age. Sounds a lot like a conspiracy theory, but it’s totally possible.
In terms of behavior, this type of education could lead to a predisposition in valorizing spectacular more than the natural course of things and nature. But, at the same time, on a more positive note, digitized education offers the possibility of testing a wide range of real-life scenarios helping the students to become more practical. Less theory and more practice is the saying we should all live by.
It’s perfectly natural to want the best, the most beautiful, the smartest but, sometimes, all that we need is a good paper-made book and some fresh air. Doubtlessly, this means that the best course of action is to try and maintain a balance between traditional and tech-generated education. Are there special infinity stones for that too?