Technological solutions make learning easier and more interesting. Students write tests through online resources or take physics classes in the Virtual Laboratory program. Now it is not necessary to study strictly according to the one textbook you took from the library. The most interesting thing is that students like such changes and no one wants to return to the old methods of education. Now, you can download dozens of programs on your mobile that will help you study and even get programming homework help or other type of assistance in just a few clicks. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg and technology has a much greater impact on education, which we will tell you about.
We are witnessing the formation of the concept of school education 4.0 by analogy with industry 4.0, which is already being born as a result of the introduction of technological solutions in various fields. The key factors in this symbiosis are the spread of wireless communications, increasing the availability of artificial intelligence, the Internet, and other technologies. All this makes different industries “smart”. And the education of a new generation is designed to prepare students for the challenges of the modern world, which is characterized by both dynamism and the ability to quickly learn. Now in the professional sphere, only high qualifications are no longer required, you need to be proactive and have all kinds of “soft skills”.
In solving this difficult task, technology also comes to the aid of teachers. At first glance, it seems that they only increase the distance between the student and teacher, reducing the role of the latter. But in reality, everything turns out differently: services, platforms, and applications help minimize the routine in the work of the teacher and free up time for more important tasks: give each child more attention, help with the choice of profession and subjects for passing state exams, and also form flexible thinking. Contrary to popular belief, along with the introduction of technology, the importance of the teaching profession is only growing.
The Advent of Distance Education
Distance education, which until recently was reduced to suspicious advertisements in the metro and marginal courses for learning foreign languages via Skype, is becoming better. More and more famous teachers and professors are posting their lectures on YouTube or iTunes. Some, such as Harvard professor of political philosophy Michael Sandel with his ultra-popular course on the morality of Justice, become real web celebrities. Every year, a variety of startups receive tens of millions of dollars from venture capitalists and philanthropists with only one goal: to collect the best knowledge and make it available via the Internet.
Together, they move the world to a utopian future, where a person from any corner of the planet can receive a quality education. Trun and Norwig argue that by 2050 there can only be 10 universities on Earth that will simultaneously train millions of students.
Personalization of Training
The concept of personalized learning stands on two pillars: differentiated educational paths for students and feedback that allows you to identify these paths without compromising the quality of knowledge and skills. The main burden in such programs so far lies with the teachers themselves, but very soon new technologies will come to their aid. They already exist today and are called “adaptive learning systems”. One of the most popular, Knewton, uses student activity tracking and big data analysis to provide personalized guidance on the learning path. What is the role of a teacher in such a system? Knewton’s head Jose Ferreira responds: “Data provides a real information foundation for teacher intuition and observation, but it will never replace experience, personal attitude, and cultural context.” The skill of working with adaptive systems will not be out of place in 2035, just like the ability to inspire.
Experience has Become more Important than a Diploma
The best IT companies stopped demanding a diploma. Among the companies for which higher education is not important, are Apple, Google, and IBM. According to experts, academic qualifications will continue to be taken into account when evaluating candidates as a whole, but it will no longer be an obstacle to getting a job. In other words: companies hire candidates whose experience and skills are best suited for the job.
Google recognized several years ago that diplomas and test results are useless in determining future work skills. And IBM already has about 15% of new employees in the United States who have not graduated from college. Remember how companies like Ernst and Young (EY), Apple, Bank of America, announced last year that they weren’t worried about having a college degree. Your experience is the most important thing.
Over the past decade, the educational environment has changed dramatically due to the computerization and informatization of society. Fantastic ideas from the past continue to be implemented before our eyes. At the same time, there is an awareness of the importance of another process – lifelong learning. It must be recognized that education and the world are changing under the influence of innovative technologies, which means we must change too. We must leave the unilateral transfer of a fixed set of knowledge in the past since a postindustrial society needs a “new type” of man – a man who thinks outside the box and focuses on realizing his unique potential inherent in nature. Well, teachers, in turn, should contribute to this process, helping to customize individual trajectories and providing personal support.