Virtual reality has made its way into Utah State University’s Merrill-Cazier Library. The technology, which aims to give students a more hands-on and visual learning experience, is expected by some at the university to be heavily used by many learning institutions in the near future.
The education industry is poised for massive disruption by innovative thinkers and entrepreneurial spirits. Most people agree that education is the key to helping people achieve and that it should be affordable and accessible. That, combined with an increase in the number of technologies that can be easily adapted to solve problems in the education sector, is why the EdTech space has experienced such sudden growth.
There are teachers using interactive whiteboards, and students sneaking peeks at their phones or using a tablet. But I still see teachers covering material via lectures and students using textbooks--just as they do in my own university. I can’t help but ask: “Why has education changed so little when media and technology have changed so much?”
The student and the district supervisor in these fictional vignettes offer two possible scenarios of how the education community could soon be regulated by artificial-intelligence systems and devices. As a society, we must get used to the concept of "technological legislation," the notion that widely distributed technological systems and devices often govern our lives more effectively than local, state, or federal laws.
"In K-12 schools in the U.S. in the last year, Windows device share grew 4.3 percent on devices under $300 and 8.2 percent on devices over $300, as more and more schools are choosing Windows over competitive offerings," said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of the Windows and Devices division at Microsoft, in a blog post citing data from Futuresource Consulting.
The first-ever study of Michigan State University's pioneering robot-learning course shows that online students who use the innovative robots feel more engaged and connected to the instructor and students in the classroom.
Data has permeated higher education in a lot of different ways. Experts have emphasized the continued need to analyze data to determine the success of programs and initiatives. But with the Internet of Things advancing into a variety of aspects of campus life, higher education institution stakeholders now have an immense amount of data at their fingertips, which can be drawn from to make better decisions.
The education industry saw so many notable, significant changes this past year–from an increased focus on augmented reality and other visual technologies to make learning come alive, to the “Googlification” of the classroom with Chromebooks and Google education apps becoming staples–we’ve reached the point where education technology is now the norm, not a luxury.
Higher education people most often turn to each other when they're trying to make decisions about education technology. And it's not uncommon for them to start with a particular technology and then find a problem to solve, vs. identifying a pedagogical need and then looking for the tech tools that would address the challenges.