Classroom of the Future: Emerging trends and potential pitfalls

Satya Nadella, Indian origin CEO of Microsoft recently said that “What we were going to think about in 2030 is probably going to be true by 2025”. He was of course speaking in context of digital transformation across sectors in wake of the pandemic response. One of the sectors which is quickly becoming a humanoid cyborg version of itself is Education, with all its technology-enabled arsenal!

Over the next generation, the traditional classrooms are undergoing seismic shift towards digital experiences rather than filling papers, worksheets and rote learning. It is time already, to begin going paperless via e-learning methodology. There is a not so gradual move away from textbooks and towards exploring multimedia resources, over a larger proportion of learning. Emphasis is on a flexible learning pattern that’s not time based but interest based, with learning becoming a part of vision, creativity, and ideation.

An immersive understanding of concepts by seamlessly placing digital objects while still keeping real world central, can be done by augmented reality-based learning. For example, Organic chemistry professors have strained and toiled over years for accurate visualization of chemical bonds, molecular structures, but now all can come alive out of thin air!

Virtual reality experiences will immerse you completely by tricking your senses into thinking that you are present in a different world. While reading about the mighty Colosseum, or the Great pyramids a virtual reality headset can take you right where the gladiators fought or how the ancient pharaohs of Egypt saw the pyramids!

Technology used as a tool will amplify teaching and learning abilities. Artificial intelligence (AI) or simply, machines thinking like humans, can provide human like interactions with software, and offer decision support. AI models have been developed which measures muscle points on the face via the camera on phone or tablet, and identifies emotions including happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear and concentration levels! The technology has its value specially during the pandemic, as it allows teachers to remotely monitor their students’ emotions as they are learning. AI combined with gamification of concepts, can create learning paths customized to a students’ learning style throughout the year. Students no longer need to struggle with “one size fit all” teaching systems in schools today, and teachers or parents need not wait for exam results to assess effectiveness of learning.

Of course, there is a flip side! Constant exposure to screens at the expense of peer interaction, can lead to distraction, perception impairment, provoking constant dizziness, depression, physical inactivity, and eye-damage. Can any amount of artificial intelligence replace the words of encouragement or a pat on the back by a teacher? Human intelligence involves consciousness and emotion. A fine balance between personal human interactions and technical interventions needs to be found. Moreover, this tech enabled pedagogy is expensive and needs high-cost maintenance.

At EdPrime, it is always our aim to keep our partner schools at the front and top of the new technology wave and bring for them, the best practices and solutions. Our weekly feature “Valuez bulletin of the Week” shall keep young buzzing brains in sync with advancements around the globe and beyond!

It is indeed time to adopt these technologies to march with the changing times! As we work and interact more with software, screens, and machines, we must simultaneously ensure that core human values, a friend’s hand of support, real pain and joy of physical world continue to stimulate our young minds!

Author:

Harsh Roy
The author is an alumnus of IIT Bombay and Founder of Education startup - Valuez aimed at creating a future ready generation with new age content based equally on Technology and Values

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