Advanced technology continues to shape our world on a daily basis. But how does it impact education? There are actually quite a few surprisingly practical technologies that would have been unbelievable to those who went to school just 10-20 years ago. Others are still in the works today, but are expected to make a big entrance in the next few years.
Our first contestant is a type of learning technology no one could have predicted just a few years or decades ago. Digital textbook tracking is already used by more than 3 million students and teachers worldwide, and it is able to track the use of electronic textbooks by logging how many times the document was opened, whether or not notes were taken, how many pages were read, and a host of other metrics to help teachers better understand their students' learning practices.
Another technology that is already available today is TDCS (Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation). It works by delivering small electrical currents to the brain and stimulating cerebral cortex activity. The technology has already been used to help pilots cut their training time in half on a simulator, and there are many talks about its implementation to assist students in improving their alertness and cognition.
Still a very new teaching technique, virtual field trips using augmented reality can help students thousands of miles away to interact with their teachers and view real life animations and interactive information being displayed through digital means.
The differences between using pen and paper versus touchscreens and keyboards is still a deep chasm in today's digital education. One future technology that would have seemed unlikely a few years back, however, aims to bridge this gap by providing lightweight, extremely thin OLED displays which could replace paper, allowing students to roll them up like newspapers and take them home after taking notes during class.
Games are already making the shift from being used for leisure to becoming a powerful learning tool for future generations of doctors, architects, historians and even IT experts and engineers. Programs for introducing game-based learning for young students and children are already underway, and special learning games are also being developed for higher education applications.
Wearables are probably the most complex devices in the world today, and new software is in the works to adapt them to improve the academic potential and communication capabilities of students. Soon enough, you might be seeing kids and students sending information via email, text and social media with simple voice commands spoken into their wearable tech, while keeping track of their schools' updates much faster than they ever could with a regular smartphone or a computer.
Many aspects of holographic technology seemed to come straight out of sci-fi just a few years ago, but, today, many schools and universities are thinking of implementing these technologies to deliver lectures to multiple classrooms, allowing for remote access and attendance through 3D imagery, connecting classrooms thousands of miles apart, and even building interactive simulators that could send students “back in time” to the age of the dinosaurs, the civil war or any other important event in history.
Advanced technology is rapidly getting closer to looking like actual magic, and what better task to use it for than to help our future scholars achieve their maximum learning potential? Which of these technologies would you like to use to help you study?
Please rate this article