The education and technology sector was valued at $76.4 billion in 2019 and it was expected to grow at an annual rate of 18 percent. But these numbers probably changed after the pandemic when every institution around the world had to go to online platforms to continue their operations. Technology is becoming a more essential part of the sector. Here are the future trends we will see.
The introduction of new technologies is changing the way students learn. Access to information was never as easy as it is today with the Internet. Before, the learning process was the responsibility of teachers or parents. Teachers give the lecture and choose the materials and any resources they would use in the class.
Now, students can learn anything they want from their smartphones. They decide which methods they prefer and can use different platforms to learn. Students have ownership over their education. This will become more common the more schools develop to adopt new technologies.
Students will be able to choose how to learn by adopting the best technology to solve a problem. They will feel more engaged because they will be using the tools they grew up with. And they will be more likely to make a connection with real-life problems outside the classroom.
Mentors Instead of Teachers
With the introduction of more technology, teachers will step back a little during the learning process. The traditional method that is still used in many institutions around the world is the teacher giving lectures to dozens of students. But kids that grew up with technology have a different way of learning, and it will be harder for teachers to engage them with monotonous lectures.
Instead, technologies like artificial intelligence will serve to build learning platforms that give the classes and provide the materials. The teachers will concentrate more on being mentors to guide the student when they are stuck. They can help them learn on their own, which is the most important skill to have when you go out in the real world. Technology will become the virtual assistant of the teacher so they can concentrate on the student.
Another trend we will see in the education industry are interactive classrooms. This will be possible with several technologies at play. First, we will start seeing smart learning centers thanks to the Internet of Things. IoT is the interconnection between smart devices, sensors, and other technologies through the Internet.
Imagine a building with cameras, sensors, smart doors, windows, locks, and anything you can imagine. Everything will be connected and sending data every second, making it possible to optimize their operations. Students will be able to have access to specific information depending on where they are on campus.
Secondly, virtual reality and augmented reality can offer immersive experiences that will engage the student like nothing before. Virtual reality is when you immerse yourself in a virtual world, and augmented reality is when you see virtual objects blended with your surroundings.
It will be another experience altogether to learn history or astronomy by seeing it in virtual reality, don’t you think? Overall, the classroom as we know it today will change completely. And it could become completely virtual at some point where students attend classes with VR headsets no matter their location.
We can find an excellent example of how VR is being applied to the classroom in diving training. Some diving schools are relying on VR technology to train their students. New tech like the FIFISH V6, developed by QYSEA, has made this a reality.
However, it is worth noting that, in most cases, VR is not a substitute for in-person training. It is important that diving students are accompanied by a trained professional when they are snorkeling or diving until they are ready to explore on their own. The ocean is a dangerous place and simply training with a VR headset won’t prepare you for it.
On that note, the Manitoba Underwater Council is working on a map of diving routes where their members dive, something akin to Google Earth but underwater. As dive computers become more like smartwatches and have the capacity to run more complex programs, more divers could use this technology for a self-guided tour of the area.
With education moving to digital platforms, the accessibility will increase tenfold. We already saw a very fast shift caused by the pandemic. The number of online learning platforms multiplied extremely fast. For people in remote locations, with disabilities or other learning impairments, this is making a huge difference.
They can now learn no matter where they are through a computer and Internet location. They can also attend self-paced online courses and learn when they feel up to it. And with technologies like AI and machine learning, learning platforms are becoming more personalized. It will adapt to each student’s needs.
The education industry has been slow to adopt the latest technologies and to change their methods to adapt to new generations. But the sector made a huge leap this year because of the pandemic. So we will see changes sooner than we expected. We will see students taking ownership of the learning process, teachers becoming more like mentors, incredible interactive classrooms, and education becoming accessible to all.