Yesterday I was invited to share my views on technology in the classroom to a group of 25 educational experts. Here’s a brief overview of some of the topics.
Experience based learning
The biggest impact technology can have in teaching is by creating a realistic environment. We learn faster and better in an environment that gives us lots of stimuli and lots of useful feedback on our interactions with the new material.
I introduced my audience to examples of experience based learning like the collaboration between English students in Brazil and people at a retirement home in the US. You can watch that moving story here. It gives me goose bumps every time I watch it!
I also made them remember their geography classes and presented how that class would never be the same again thanks to a smart sandbox (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9JXtTj0mzE) and we watched how augmented reality could help electronics students work and learn at their own pace. We also looked at the power of artificial intelligence and the effect it has on small children in Cognitoys.
And then I really got out the big surprises when we watched virtual reality, thanks to a Google Cardboard and the fabulous virtual reality documentaries of VRSE. Having never experienced virtual reality before, it had a stunning effect on them.
Inspire and experiment
I hope these examples inspire people. Give them ideas on how much more realistic an environment we can create thanks to technology. These examples show how a lot of things can be done, today, with readily available hardware and experimental software. Because this is the time for experimenting. So many things are being invented that could be turned into learning experiences. Today no one has a ready answer on how to integrate these in a school environment and curriculum. Therefore it is up to everyone in education to experiment and learn. If there was ever a time to do crazy stuff; this is the time!