- At the NYC Media Lab, researchers are exploring new technology aimed at shifting the way classrooms will be designed and run, EdSurge reports — and tools ranging from 5G internet connection speeds to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are already making their way into K-12 schools.
- The Verizon Foundation, Verizon 5G Labs and the NYC Media Lab co-launched the Verizon 5G EdTech Challenge in 2018, and they are now looking for ways to use these tools to boost education in the future by using 5G to bring better VR experiences into classrooms, tapping voice tech to tailor lessons to students as the spARk project has done and more.
- Artificial intelligence is also on the table, with one project using AI to train voice assistants to widen the perspective and voices students receive in query results.
Technology has always played a significant role in education, whether that’s a writing slate or a smartphone. Newer technologies, however, are expanding student access to materials and how that information is digested.
It's true that schools are likely not going to replace teachers with artificial intelligence and robots, but AI can bring more personalized learning paths to children, uncovering material they’ve mastered quickly while also finding areas where they need to focus further.
As more information goes online, getting ahold of and downloading those resources is crucial. Having adequate broadband — which 98% of school districts in the country had as of 2018, according to the Education SuperHighway — is certainly key. Also crucial is districts and school sites having a reliable high-speed connection, like 5G, so the usefulness of these platforms can be maximized within a set class period.
Desktop computers, once considered cutting-edge technology, are quickly being replaced by mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. This opens the door to mobile apps and tech like virtual and augmented reality that allow students to digitally walk through time and space, having experiences previously not possible.
For example, a child learning about Ancient Rome could today take a virtual walk through the Coliseum, adorned as it may have been nearly 2,000 years ago. That experience could potentially spark an interest in archeology and history, or any number of career paths.
For curriculum instructors, it’s crucial that students have access to these newer technologies and the experiences they can provide to not only ensure the development of a comfort level with these tools, but also to open the door to new experiences that can help broaden futures.