Tag Archives: classroom

Disruption in Education Conclusion

Education in the beginning of the 21st century has changed drastically. Being actively engaged in the system during this time has allowed us as college students to see its immediate impacts first hand. 

Starting with the traditional education model, we outlined what it was like to sit in a classroom before technology disrupted it. It generally looked like a teacher standing in front of a room full of students with notebooks taking down everything the teachers said. A test was then administered and a student was accessed on their knowledge regurgitation and retention. 

Fast forward to 2010 and beyond – the way a student attends school is drastically different. The concept behind the way information is conveyed is very different. At least at the collegiate level, the idea is to teach problem solving, team work, and analytical skills to the students to allow them to find knowledge. This takes the teacher out of the driver seat and allows students to be more active in what they learn and how they learn it.

There are a handful of new disruptors that are making changes in education by the day! Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and hybrid-online classes are extending the access of education to anyone who has a desire to learn, not just who has the means to pay. The quality of information at the fingertips of the many is going to change the way people become educated and are employed in the workforce. College degrees may not hold as much wait against an untraditionally educated person as they do now. Virtual reality is expanding the reach of the classroom. It is bringing a fourth dimension to schools, allowing teachers to take students to foreign places to expand the breadth of experience from the comfort of a school desk. And of course, all of this is possible because of the largest disruptor of them all – technology. New devices and ways to be connected on the internet of things is opening endless possibilities for students and everyone in the academic arena. 

Wanting to see how this affecting others in academics, not just how the group researching this saw it, we spoke to faculty and students around the university to see their take on disruption and how it is affecting them and their fields. 

Virtual Reality: The Next Logical Step for Education

We’ve seen the traditional education model and current trends in education. Without a doubt, modern technology integrated with education has caused disruption in education for the benefit of knowledge seekers. Although they might not receive college credit, there are free platforms available online to anyone wanting to learn, such as Coursera. Anyone that wants clarification in a certain topic can watch a tutorial video online on Khan Academy for free. All these materials are readily accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

We have managed to fit hefty textbooks and learning materials into a portable device, whether on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. With all this knowledge available at the palm of your hands, the next step is applying that knowledge to the world, which is where virtual reality triumphantly comes in. In our early educational years, we learn about animals, so we take a field trip to a farm. Then we learn about Native Americans, so we learn about pueblos and teepees. We move on to Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre, World War II and the Berlin Wall. We learn about the struggles not only in the Middle East, but all around the world. Maybe we take an engineering class and want to observe the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Geography, travel costs, safety, and liability are only some of the factors that limit one from observing all these interesting locations, scattered across the world.

Virtual reality eliminates all of these barriers from education and wonder. Whether you want to see the Pyramids at Giza or the canals of Venice, Italy, it can all be available to one in the comfort of a classroom, bedroom, or wherever one pleases. If you’re feeling nostalgic and want to visit your childhood neighborhood or you want to learn about where your ancestors come from, it’s all possible. The possibilities with virtual reality are limitless, not just limited to a new kind of gaming experience. Google has acknowledged this and is working on making these virtual experiences affordable and accessible. With its Expeditions Pioneer program, Google is making these virtual field trips available for free for schools, starting in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. The program includes giving schools Google’s basic Cardboard virtual reality headset and smartphones to use with the headsets. Whether a school is well-funded or underfunded, students can all have the same kind of access. If you’re not a student but still want to have these virtual experiences, Google’s Cardboard is still extremely affordable for $25 or even cheaper. It’s hard to put a price on an unlimited supply of experiences, but it’s safe to say that $25 is well beneath that price.

Virtual reality may seems like an abstract platform for education, but it is exactly what we need to supplement our evolving education system. If we can access the classroom and educational materials from virtually anywhere, why not access the world from anywhere too?