With a plethora of educational resources out there, what can families do to set their children on the path to be lifelong learners in meaningful ways? As multiplatform media has become a way of life, it is becoming more important for families to balance on- and off-screen learning.
Adding more and newer technology in schools has been a budget and a curricular goal since the costs of the hardware have plummeted and the richness of digital resources has exploded. Now, with handheld technology, we see even more focus on its use including such things as BYOD. Still there remains a remnant of the sentiment among some that all this technology distracts from the business of learning.
When I wrote about my high hopes for edtech back in August, student-created virtual reality was near the top of my list.
Like the tech industry to which it belongs, education technology companies also struggle with a lack of diversity. Kimberly Bryant, founder of the Oakland-based nonprofit Black Girls Code, says the edtech industry bears a unique responsibility because of its intersection in education, youth opportunity and business.
Avatars basically give a computerized human form to advanced artificial intelligence. It may very well upend the roles of teachers and transform education in the future. AI covers everything. Technology has advanced that even virtual pharmacists aid workers in spotting potential adverse drug reactions based on past histories and current prescription regimes.
Education technology is riddled with temptations and false promises. But if you ask Mark Brown, a professor and director of the National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University in Ireland, problems such as falling for hype around new technology is an absolute moral dilemma. He’s caved in before.
On the surface, adopting technology to support teacher needs or student challenges isn’t terribly complex: define the problem you’re trying to solve, identify the right tools for the job, and implement the tools effectively and with fidelity. In practice, these areas are fraught with challenges. End users are too often removed from the decision-making process during procurement.
Public reliance on the internet and technology can have a negative impact on students in the form of internet dependence. The problem begins with the integration of the internet and homework assignments. In order to maintain the quality of education, it is important to balance the use of technology within the classroom.
“When you have a headset on, it’s a relative vulnerable position you’re in--you’re essentially blindfolded,” says Kyle Bowen, director of education technology services for the university. “You’ve probably heard the saying ‘herding cats.’ In this case you’re herding blind cats.” Bowen says his team is working to create software that can trigger several 360-degree videos to start exactly at the same time, so that a professor and students will all experience a similar scene, even as each can look in different directions.