Technologies in Education: who will teach our children

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Automation in education is not just about mass online courses – it is coming to schools, home education, and higher education. Only educators by vocation are likely to be able to compete with machines. Even in the distant future, it is still impossible to imagine technology capable of replacing true talent and creativity based on the love of one’s work.

Today’s online space provides a wealth of information beyond human comprehension. More than a thousand books and millions of articles go online every year. From all this variety of information, we need to extract something useful. The problem of not getting knowledge is no longer there. Today’s problem is an overabundance of information.

The amount of information on the Internet today is comparable to the number of grains of sand on all the beaches of the planet. Knowledge comes from a variety of IT resources, from Internet portals and chatbots to virtual reality and robot teachers. The children of the future will no longer be taught by textbooks alone. A vast world of knowledge, which took baby steps and reached us for more than 40 years, will be revealed in front of them.  

Computer science class

Back in late 1970, the University of Illinois developed its first e-learning system for students, PLATO. Its main purpose was to help students write term papers. It was thanks to her creation began the era of online courses, forums, and many tools without which we can no longer imagine the modern web. For example, nowadays we have different helpers where students can buy term papers and save some time for hobbies or other tasks. PLATO did not become especially popular in the educational world, although it set the right vector in the formation of e-learning.

In England in the 1980s, tens of thousands of students and hundreds of teachers were already using applications to study mathematics and new technologies. Computers were actively entering student life. Universities began to host electronic terminals and separate computer science classes. Canadian junior high schools were already teaching children directly at a computer, and California developed a distance learning project.

Rapidly evolving, IT technology began to enter the educational environment more and more strongly. All over the world, it was no longer possible to imagine a modern school without a computer science classroom. And today, every third school in England already uses smartphones and tablets in the educational process. Teachers teach children digital skills and teach them how to code and create apps. At Essa Academy, young people have been using Apple products in classes since 2009. Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University provides each of its students with an iPad for their classes. Teachers work with students to exchange ideas for extracurricular classes in chat rooms, use apps to master learning materials and hold discussions on Skype. Singapore is arguably one of the most tech-savvy countries today, but it’s no exception. Schools and educational institutions in the United States, China, and several other countries support the initiative to incorporate new technologies into the educational process.

Along with the development of new technologies, the curriculum is also changing. Children are already being taught how to use various gadgets, are introduced to Internet portals, and install chatbots. By pushing to learn new things, modern pedagogy needs to revise the choice of subjects of study.

What to teach?

The forthcoming 4th technological revolution should push the educational system in the direction of training technical personnel. The largest IT companies in the world are already building into their strategies the popularization of programming and engineering – Apple is launching Swift playgrounds to teach children programming, and the creators of the largest organizations are sponsoring the online platform code.org. Components and components are developing at a tremendous rate, which leads to the fact that even now a child can assemble the design he or she needs from LEGO Robotics or take an Arduino controller and create something unique.

In 2014, developers from Osmo created the game Osmo Pizza, which taught children the basics of programming. It made Time Magazine’s list of the 25 best inventions of the year. And Tynker plans to introduce a program to more than 60,000 schools in the U.S. to teach children the basics of coding by programming Parrot drones. It is possible that soon we will see kindergartens, where teachers with tablets in their hands will teach children foreign languages, mathematics, and programming. All of this is the first step in preparing future professionals for Industry 4.0. If children are not taught the basics of technology from an early age, it will be increasingly difficult for them to adapt to a professional environment in the future.