New technologies such as AI and augmented reality are radically shifting the ways in which we experience and interact with the world around us. One sector that has yet to fully embrace the benefits of these tools is education – specifically, public education. These technologies have the potential to make a profoundly beneficial impact on education as we know it.
AI, short for artificial intelligence, is an area of computer science that aims to create technologies that allow computing systems to simulate human-like behavior. There are several different types of AI systems that work in different ways and aim to achieve different things.
AI has two main functions as of now: first, to increase efficiency and productivity by augmenting data, and second, by allowing machines to perform tasks without the supervision or help of a human. For example, rather than having all callers communicate with a human, many businesses use AI technology to help people resolve their issues without ever having to talk to an actual human.
Augmented reality is often confused with its reality-bending counterpart, virtual reality, which is the creation of an entirely virtual world. Conversely, augmented reality changes the way one experiences their physical surroundings. Augmented reality changes one’s experience of the space around them by utilizing several different types of technology, namely: cameras and sensors, processing, projection, and reflection.
By applying these technologies, augmented reality changes what someone sees and hears in a physical space. For example, if a company was creating a prototype for a shoe, rather than having to create an entirely new shoe for a prototype of a different color, they could instead, with the help of augmented reality, superimpose various colors onto a blank shoe with the click of a button.
Though many businesses have taken the leap to incorporate AI and augmented reality into their operations, schools, especially in public education, have been slow to adopt these new technologies.
Unfortunately, surveys have shown that less than 10% of schools today have incorporated the technology of augmented reality into their classrooms. One aspect of why this is the case is that people are skeptical of the actual academic value that technologies such as AI and augmented reality can lend to classrooms. This likely stems from a lack of exposure that many have had to these technologies. Becoming aware of the tremendous potential that these technologies can have on the education system is key to having them implemented into practice.
Many are aware of the tremendous impact that teachers have on the development of children. Unfortunately, many teachers are overworked and have little extra time to provide individual attention to each and every student. AI technology can offer an effective solution to this problem by automating the process of grading work and pinpointing what information students are and are not retaining. By not having to spend as much time grading, teachers will be able to focus more time and energy on sculpting lessons and teaching at a more precise level.
In addition, by knowing exactly what concepts some students are having trouble with, teachers can use their time more effectively on various subject matter that requires reiteration.
Anyone who has interacted with younger children knows that it can be difficult to hold their attention. This becomes even more true when it comes to teaching children advanced or difficult concepts that require a higher level of focus to understand. By utilizing augmented reality, teachers can pique the interest of their students and make them more excited to engage in lessons.
For example, though geometric equations can be overwhelming to a child, being able to adapt and mold geometric forms can make these concepts easier to digest and understand. By utilizing augmented reality in the classroom, it is likely that children will be able to retain more information since they are more engaged in the learning process.
Though there are numerous benefits to the adoption of more advanced forms of technology in day-to-day life, we’re starting to learn that some forms of technology have unintended negative consequences on people’s wellbeing. Particularly, social media has had some severe negative effects on people, especially children. The enticing nature of social media has, in some cases, actually caused children to be less inclined to interact with others in the real world. Augmented reality offers itself as a natural antidote to this crisis by actually encouraging children to interact with others in a physical space. By utilizing augmented reality in the classroom, schools can effectively promote a way for children to interact with both technology and other humans in their physical environments.
AI and augmented reality can offer public schools the opportunity to educate their students in more effective and impactful ways. By implementing these technologies into their curricula, public schools can benefit both the learning experiences of students and the teaching experience of teachers. Even though change this radical in nature can seem daunting, the potential to benefit the lives of millions of people makes utilizing AI and augmented reality seem like an obvious choice for the classroom.