The automation of education is not just about mass online courses – it is coming to schools, to home education, to higher education. Only educators by vocation are likely to be able to compete with machines. Even in the distant future it is still impossible to imagine technology capable of replacing true talent and creativity based on the love of one’s work.
Today’s Internet space provides an enormous amount of information incomprehensible to human processing. More than a thousand books and millions of articles go online every year. From all this variety of information we need to extract what is useful. The problem of not getting knowledge is no longer there. Today’s problem is an overabundance of information.
According to EMC, the amount of information on the Internet today is comparable to the number of grains of sand on all the beaches of the planet. Knowledge comes from a variety of IT resources, from Internet portals and chat bots to virtual reality and robot teachers. The children of the future will definitely no longer be taught by textbooks alone. They will be exposed to a vast world of knowledge that has been reaching us in small steps for more than 40 years.
Computer science class
Back in late 1970, the University of Illinois developed its first e-learning system for students, PLATO. Its main purpose was to help students write term papers. It was thanks to her creation began the era of online courses, forums, and many tools without which we can no longer imagine the modern web. PLATO did not become especially popular in the educational world, although it set the right vector in the formation of e-learning.
In England in the 1980s, tens of thousands of students and hundreds of teachers were already using applications to study mathematics and new technologies. Computers were actively entering student life. Universities began to host electronic terminals and separate computer science classes. Canadian junior high schools were already teaching children directly at a computer, and California developed a distance learning project.
In rapid evolution, information technology began to penetrate more and more intensely into the educational environment. Around the world, it was no longer possible to imagine a modern school without a computer class. And today, in England, one in three schools already uses smartphones and tablets in their teaching. Teachers are teaching children digital skills and teaching them to code and create apps. At Essa Academy, kids have been using Apple products in class since 2009. Nanyang Technological University in Singapore provides each of its students with an iPad for their classes. Teachers work with students to share ideas for extracurricular activities through discussion boards, use apps to master learning materials and lead discussions over Skype. Singapore may be one of the most technologically advanced countries today, but it is no exception. Schools and educational institutions in the United States, China and a number of other countries are supporting the initiative to integrate new technologies into the educational process.
What should be taught?
The upcoming fourth technological revolution will push the education system to train the technology workforce. The world’s largest computer companies are already incorporating the popularization of programming and engineering into their strategies: Apple is launching Swift playgrounds to teach kids how to code, and creators at large organizations are sponsoring the online platform code.org. Components and elements are evolving at a tremendous rate, so even today, a child can assemble the model they need from LEGO Robotics or take an Arduino controller and create something totally unique.
In 2014, Osmo developers created Osmo Pizza, a game that taught kids the basics of programming. It made Time Magazine’s list of the top 25 inventions of the year. And Tynker plans to introduce a coding program to more than 60,000 schools in the U.S. to teach kids the basics of coding by programming Parrot drones. It’s likely we’ll soon see kindergartens, where teachers, tablets in hand, will teach children foreign languages, math and programming. All of this is the first step in preparing future professionals for Industry 4.0. If children do not learn the technical basics at an early age, it will be increasingly difficult for them to adapt to a professional environment in the future.
The World of the Future – Today
If we return to the problem of information overabundance, it is worth noting that without the help of modern technology, humans are unlikely to be able to gain quality knowledge. This year, artificial intelligence will be increasingly involved in the field of learning. Through the study of Big Data and machine learning technologies, we will be able to curb the continuous flow of information and derive useful information from it. Studying these technologies today will enable young professionals to become in-demand in the labor market of the future. Our children are becoming part of the emerging information society. They must learn to master the tools of the new century – the intellectual tools.
Problems of Internet-education
The enormous volume of information will increase every year. EMC predicts that the volume of information will double every two years over the next eight years. One of the main drivers of this growth is an increase in the share of automatically generated data to over 40% in 2020. However, the proportion of information useful to humans will be less than 35% of the total. It will be harder and harder to get the knowledge we need using the Internet.
The average user of the world wide web spends more time not for getting the necessary information. Instead of visiting educational resources, such as https://studycrumb.com/, people look at pictures of cats. More and more Internet addicts are appearing, capable of spending more than 18 hours in front of computers and gadgets. In 2013 in Japan there was a predominant number of high school students and schoolchildren falling into this group.
Today we need to see the line between educating children digitally and fully immersing them. Global companies are creating more and more servers for big data and they are constantly in need of specialists able to process it with the help of technology. However, changes in education with the development of IT technology are imminent.
Is the future behind the machine?
Despite the large amount of data in the world network, it will be people who will have to monitor the quality of information. But technology is already coming to their aid today. Teachers of educational institutions, holding classes for an average of 30 people are forced to follow the educational program, not stopping for the laggards. In countries such as China, Japan and India, thousands of young people have a hard time getting an education because of a lack of qualified teachers and an overabundance of students in classrooms. Artificial Intelligence, flexibly adapted to each learner, can help them get the knowledge they need.