Where Is Technology Taking Education?

A few months prior I had written a piece about the coolest technology that is being implemented in classrooms. And while that article focused on impressive technology in classrooms, it didn’t really delve into how that technology is shaping the future of education. And in today’s incredibly advanced technological society, it’s almost impossible to get away from technology. That is why we must embrace it and use these new advancements to our advantage. And many educators already are.

One of the most inspiring ways that technology is being applied to education is through inclusion and diversity. Children with chronic illnesses or diseases who could not leave their houses or hospitals were at an immediate disadvantage, not being able to learn in a classroom setting. Luckily, technology is stepping in to change that. According to a recent report from The Conversation, classrooms are implementing telepresence robots that allow children with chronic diseases to virtually attend class. The most popular example seems to be of a 10-year-old girl named Peyton from Maryland. She suffers from a rare type of liver cancer that would have prevented her from going to school. But with the assistance of the telepresence robot, she has been able to “sit” in class with her other classmates and enjoy the same lesson plans as they do. Other school districts are even looking into adapting the technology for their students.

Technology is also benefitting higher education students and attempting to give them the best opportunity for graduation. For example, the Austin Peay Degree Compass is an algorithm designed specifically to study a student’s transcripts, analyze his or her grades, and then suggest the best possible classes and courses for that particular student to excel in school. There are a bevy of other software programs that analyze individual students’ academics and provide instantaneous suggestions and recommendations, saving educators thousands of hours of labor.

Other technological advances, like 3D printing can also revolutionize various facets of education. 3D printing is the creation of three-dimensional objects through the use of synthetic material. The objects are based on digital schematics created through CAD software. Students in various fields, from business to astronomy, can benefit from the technology. Examples of 3D printing used in education include business students designing and printing products and then learning how to market said products in real time and archaeology students reproducing missing pieces to artifacts in order to study them more in depth. And this technology is still incredibly new, so it has room to grow.

Clearly, the possibilities for technology are endless. It can open paths to success for some students, and provide a sense of inclusion for others. And as we continue to advance our tech, we will be able to apply it to education in ways we had never thought possible. I am extremely happy to see what technology has given us, and even more hopeful for where it will drive us.