Digitization is also opening up completely new opportunities in education. In parallel to Industry 4.0, the new technologies are also spreading further and further in classrooms and universities, in museums and libraries. The difference is that artificial intelligence, game learning and augmented reality in education are only at the beginning of their development.
Many already fear that the traditional, “analog” teacher or lecturer with his face-to-face teaching could soon be a thing of the past. Even today, neither can compete with the flexibility of the new media. This is because digital content is constantly being updated and remodeled. Boredom and routine in the classroom can be reduced to a minimum level with digital transformation.
Three digitization concepts in particular are relevant to education, which we will introduce in this article. Central elements of digitization in education are augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI) and games-based learning (GBL).
1. Algorithms in the classroom: the role of AI
Especially the self-learning computer programs of AI provide the machines with a kind of autonomy that could already be established in the working world. In addition, they are the better chess players, translate texts , create medical diagnoses and steer our cars soon in traffic jams and rush hour traffic.
So it was inevitable that digital subjects would also find applications in schools and education. Especially when the teacher cannot or does not have to be present, digitization opens up new areas of activity. The established educational elite is already hastening to put this ominous development into perspective: The digital transformation can only ever supplement the usual teaching. By no means can it push the human teacher to the side or even completely replace him or her in the end.
However, a digital assistant is the first thing to make truly individualized instruction possible. It can, for example, create precisely tailored tasks that provide the individual student with targeted learning material. For the individual educator, on the other hand, it is simply not possible to create a separate worksheet for each student in the class. Based on ability profiles, however, an AI system is able to do this, and it thus enables learning that is appropriate and effective for each student.
Different levels as the result?
It is true that other cautionary voices in the education sector are already voicing their expectation that the new digitization concepts will lead to a differentiation and thus a distancing of learning levels. And a fragmentation of the class into “fast learners” and those who lag behind cannot be accepted by a socially oriented pedagogy.
The proponents of AI counter that the entire society is now shaped by digitization. The topic must therefore also be present in schools, whether as an examination of the effects that are already apparent or as a teaching medium that enables real experiences with the help of new technologies. Moreover, students are already exposed to AI over and over again in libraries and museums – and not just because of financial benefits. So it makes little sense to maintain the school as an analog refuge in an otherwise completely digitized world.
Practical advantages of the software
Last but not least, AI helps to organize lessons better. The algorithm automatically detects whether the student is in school or whether parents have signed him or her out. It can also independently notify guardians if there are delays.
The systems also check students’ papers and essays for spelling and grammar. In addition, the technology detects plagiarism, and the teacher corrects assignments based on content criteria after these preliminary checks.
2. Game Based Learning (GBL): Learning through playing
The advantages of learning through games are partly obvious and long known in the analog world. Playful actions often make it easier to convey content. In addition, fun is an emotional factor that reinforces memory performance via the limbic system.
The learning success is therefore significantly improved by playful mediation. In the best case, GBL leads to a symbiosis of games and learning content. This also reduces the pressure to perform, tests and examinations fade into the background and positive motivation develops. The fun of playing triumphs over the stress of learning .
The advantages of the GBL at a glance:
Have fun, no stress
- Fast transfer of the contents
- Improved transport of knowledge
- The pressure to perform is eliminated
- Positively motivated students
3. AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality) and Metaverse as digitization concepts in the education system
Virtual reality in particular is attracting more and more attention when it comes to digitization in education. The systems make it easier to understand learning content and ensure greater educational equity in the long term. In a three-dimensional learning space with the help of VR glasses, students experience previously unknown or difficult-to-access educational content
The programs enable direct engagement with objects, which conveys emotions in a playful way. Pedagogical theory now recognizes different types of learners who experience reality in different ways. The optical-visual type learns primarily through visualization and observation, while the haptic type acquires knowledge through touch and feel. Finally, cognitive-intellectual learners prefer thinking and reading as the source of their knowledge.
The advantage of Metaverse and other VR systems is based primarily on the fact that all three forms of learning are contained within them. And the experiences complement each other: What used to be strictly separate in school is once again combined into a unity by augmented reality as a form of learning, as was always taken for granted in the analog universe, but not in the classroom.
Experience the history practically
With AR, students can experience historical events close to reality, for example the Apollo mission. They can look at the original space capsule in a simulation, such as the one on display at the Smithonian Museum in Washington, D. C.
Chemical reactions that the teacher can no longer demonstrate in normal chemistry classes because of their potential danger can also be vividly recreated. VR thus offers opportunities for teaching educational elements that were previously unknown or simply unimaginable.
The technologies mentioned will not only decisively change industry. They will also be of crucial importance in the field of education in the future. They are already simplifying the storage of teaching material in libraries, making it easier to systematize and access content. More than traditional media, they also allow new learning experiences that in some areas even surpass previous forms of learning in terms of effectiveness.