Education 2.0: New Technologies for Higher Education
The field of education does not exist in a vacuum and is constantly changing. Together with the experts at paperhelp org I talked about ten digital technologies that are moving the field of education forward.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Our world is already filled with various services with artificial intelligence inside. Modern life without algorithms based on machine learning technology is already impossible. AI technology has penetrated almost every sphere, and education is no exception. For example, in China, children are taught to work with artificial intelligence from the first grade. This trend is relevant because neural networks and machine learning allow the processing of vast amounts of data very quickly and offer optimal solutions based on their analysis, which is relevant in many areas — from marketing to industry.
In education, predictive analytics makes it possible to form an individualized learning track when a program is compiled based on the characteristics of a particular person, his or her experience with past tasks, etc. In addition, AI technologies also perform a recommendation function, offering a specific course to users similar in several parameters to students who have completed it.
AI technologies can also be used to check knowledge — and not only in the format of tests. Artificial intelligence is already quite capable of analyzing even handwritten essays.
Finally, voice assistants are increasingly penetrating the educational process. They are becoming virtual assistants for teachers, helping them make their lessons more interesting by adding interactive elements.
These interfaces are often used in teaching people with limitations to the perception of information in standard ways. With the help of neurostimulation, it is possible to send specific signals to the brain to form memorization, which also contributes to the process of self-learning, allowing a person to learn skills that he would not have been able to get otherwise (or he would not have enough motivation).
Neurodiagnostics of the educational process is gaining momentum when it is analyzed in real-time mode, for example, to what extent a person is interested in a video clip he is watching, whether the process of memorizing information can be improved, etc. With the help of neuro-interfaces, it is also possible to personalize the learning process by offering a person those formats which are better perceived by his brain and thus will be more effective.
Such technologies make it possible to monitor cognitive processes occurring in the brain to use this data to improve educational content and create personalized and mass educational solutions.
3. Augmented Reality Technologies
Augmented, virtual, and augmented reality (AR, VR, and XR) technologies allow you to see or feel something with your smartphone, glasses, and other gadgets. This opens up new opportunities in education. For example, students can “move” to any place and any era in the lesson, which positively affects their interest in the studied material and increases their motivation. Technologies that make it possible to feel something with the help of other receptors (touch, smell, taste, etc.) are still only being developed but may become universally available shortly.
Technologies that complement our reality make it possible to gamify the educational process as much as possible. For example, to train skills that students will need in the future, including practicing possible negative scenarios that are difficult to recreate in reality for learning. Pandemic has shown that almost any process from a school or university can be translated into an online game format.
4. Modern Video Technologies
First, video technologies allow educational institutions to effectively organize a hybrid learning format. They make it possible not only for students to be virtually present in class but also, for example, for parents to attend parent-teacher conferences. It’s convenient and has become the norm in a couple of years.
In addition, the online education is now experiencing explosive growth, where video courses are essentially the primary learning tool. They have to be of high quality, and that’s a big challenge for bandwidth at each student’s location.
The use of blockchain holds great promise in improving the concept of digital learning. This technology can conceptually change how data archives are stored, enhance the reliability of information protection against tampering, and significantly speed up information requests and data processing.
While blockchain used to be perceived by many as a technological solution for the financial sector, today, it comes to be understood that distributed registries and limited issues of tokens can create precedents for licensing, accreditation, certification, and storage of unique data, including in the field of education — for example, diplomas of university graduates. Some universities already give their graduates a digital document on a blockchain along with a paper diploma.
NFT may be good protection against copyright, a very important issue in the educational market because many methods and courses are based on copyright. With the help of NFT, it is possible to organize copyright access and earn money on your educational content.
6. Internet of Things
Thanks to the development of the Internet, the possibilities of instant transfer of information of almost any volume are expanding. Virtually everything that is captured or recorded by any device can be transmitted, analyzed, and used, including in education. This has already led to the emergence of “smart” classrooms that can adjust to changing conditions. Soon it will be possible to study not only from anywhere in the world but also using a set of devices that are not limited to laptops, tablets, and smartphones — all kinds of things around us can be connected to the Internet.
An essential result of the development of the Internet of Things is the hyper-automation of learning. It changes the roles of employees and provides much-needed transparency to educational institutions by capturing all data. That is, a school or university has a complete digital counterpart, which can be accessed even by an outsider. This has not yet been fully implemented in any educational institution in the world, but it is a matter of the very near future. A digital twin will help school administrators make decisions more effectively by having real-time, changing data.
7. Digital Content
More and more unique educational content is being produced today by online universities, educational platforms, social networks, media, and even online games.
Technologies make it possible to automatically generate content in any format — text, audio, or video, as well as automatic translation (in parallel with the recording of a video in one language, it can already be translated into another). The latter opens new opportunities for talented Russian teachers who create uniquely useful content but, for example, do not speak foreign languages.
8. Cloud Technologies
Most technological solutions are developing thanks to them, and not only in education — today, no one stores data only on their servers. Users of technologies, in turn, deal with the cloud, learning together in a virtual space.
Based on cloud technology, it is possible to organize distance learning classes according to the schedule of the educational institution, regardless of where teachers and students are physically present. Migration to the cloud will not only offload their own IT resources and conduct seminars and lectures without disruption but also improve the quality of educational services.
Protecting school and university information systems from cyber-threats, which increase daily, is an important task and one of the vectors of development of the Russian education industry. When transitioning to online learning or a hybrid format, educational institutions must ensure the security of student’s data and other information.
Teaching the basics of digital culture to schoolchildren and students is necessary. In today’s world, everyone should know how to protect themselves from intruders on the Internet. It is also necessary to develop automatic verification and moderation of educational content online: to check whether it is correct, corresponds to reality, and so on.
10. Unifying Technology
Many educational initiatives existing only offline are now becoming successful online or hybrid stories. This is possible thanks to so-called merging technologies — when products are developed within one ecosystem or super-application. In this case, it is unnecessary to create separate super services on their web portals to solve different educational tasks — mini-apps are sufficient.
This allows users to quickly navigate between educational services, being in the same account and getting all the services they need with fewer clicks. Neural networks automatically form a personalized track based on the algorithms of educational methods. They will provide the right content even for an unformed educational request, including by analyzing the personal experience of using different ecosystem products, as well as the behavior and reactions of other, similar users.
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