Technological innovations in education are progressing so quickly, the possibilities are unbelievable. So unbelievable that it can be hard to tell the difference between what’s real and not real!
Check out the amazing inventions below and click on the photo to find out if it’s real or not real. The real ones will link to more information about the technology, and the ones that aren’t real will lead… somewhere else.
Assessment by neurological scanning
Image: Simon Fraser University
Until recently, the most efficient way for teachers to assess their students was through "classroom clickers," wireless handheld devices that allow students to respond individually and immediately to questions. Teachers could get real-time feedback from their class. Now, however, there is an even more comprehensive and efficient method of assessment. Wearable scanners developed at MIT can read and interpret students' neurological activity, giving teachers a much more complete and detailed assessment of how a student is responding to the material. No more cheating on tests or communication difficulties - this data is straight from the source!
Image: N Santhosh
Humanoid robots are not being programmed and tested to do various jobs, but one of the first ones that has already shown to be successful is the robot teacher. In Japan, a society where the aging population means a shortage of skilled teachers, robots are being used to fulfill this essential role. In the USA, robots are used to teach subjects such as math and nutrition. The robots may seem creepy at first, but they are a promising innovation when it comes to dealing with teacher shortages, exposing students to new technologies, and providing a personalised learning experience.
The internet leaves computers
Image: B2B Marketing Insider
Computers may be ubiquitous, but until now, they required humans to input data and give commands to make them useful. Now, objects can be equipped with a digital identifier and connected to the internet. This is called the Internet of Things. It means that things can generate data for us, and with the progress of artificial intelligence, perhaps soon even make decisions and carry them out on their own. Classrooms in the UK are pilot testing a school programme using the Internet of Things to collect data and tag objects with digital information to supplement their maths, science and geography curriculum.
Image: Flickr user Kendra Paulienne
Imagine being able to look at any object and immediately be able to bring up digital information about it. Or have mini video lectures and quiz questions oop up as you read through a text book. Augmented reality has made this possible. It layers digital information on top of real-world images. Smartphone apps and textbooks are now available that use this technology to blend real and virtual into a powerful learning experience.
Genetically enhanced intelligence
Image: The Telegraph UK
Education starts long before school does, and now it could start even before birth. Scientists in China have collected thousands of genetic samples from the world's smartest people and have sequenced their genomes in order to identify the genetic characteristics that determine intelligence. Now, parents can modify the genetic makeup of their embryo to increase its intelligence even before it has all its fingers.