In this post, we have highlighted three of the technologies that have had the greatest impact in 2018, being our will to focus on their strengths and weaknesses in relation to the world of learning. Here we present the result of this observation and analysis and an infographic as a summary in the shape of a SWOT matrix.
1- Virtual Reality applied to education
VR is an emerging technology although it began being developed some decades ago. Since the beginning, the educational field was one of the priorities along with the areas of videogames and the artistic creation, being the flight simulators one of the first fields of application. The current advances are leading VR to the world of education thanks to the interest that arouses in the students, and the immersive and recreational possibilities, being very useful for performing simulations in technical careers and in the field of health. Despite its advantages, it is an even new technology with which we have to develop more experimentation and wait for a price reduction.
2- Chatbots in the educational processes and as a student support
Chatbots can be used for several purposes such as help customers and answer complex FAQs, for instance. They have even been used to help picking candidates in recruitment processes, so it is no surprise that the educational system could be trying to implement them. The scopes of application could be, in advance:
Administrative. With the aim of facilitating procedures and as a date reminder.
Assistance in the reinforcement of educational content.
Mentoring and accompaniment actions.
Properly trained and fed with a huge quantity of data, a chatbot could ease both the educational process of the student and the tasks of the teacher. This artificial assistant could respond to a 7/24 demand, allowing professors to take care of the most qualitative kind tasks. There are still reticences by the students and teachers to interact with machines, but once chatbots demonstrate their efficiency and gain the confidence of both parties, we’ll see perhaps a boost in their use in the educational field.
3- Blockchain in the educational system
Although the conception is changing and we are widening our views on blockchain, people still tend to link this technology only to cryptocurrencies. Nowadays, projects such as the one by Sony Global Education in collaboration with IBM Blockchain which has developed a digital system for storing and managing educational records, help changing this idea and open the path to the use of blockchain in the educational system. As we saw last year, one of the advantages of blockchain applied to education is the possibility of building a global digital system for institutions to share validated documents and to recover academic records under will. Other possibilities would be the dispatching of security certificates and the possibility of Learning Analytics through AI. Despite all, there is still much work to be done to see a full implementation of this interesting technology, for example, in terms of legal standards and in terms of collaboration between institutions.
Desirée Gómez is a specialist in educational innovation within the Generation and Knowledge Transfer Operational Group of the UOC eLearn Center. She carries out tasks of detection and analysis of educational trends, innovation and technology, content curation, communication and observation. She has a bachelor's and a master's degree in Art History from the University of Barcelona and specializes in international relations and educational and technological observation. She is currently studying a Postgraduate Course in Direction and Management of e-learning at the UOC.
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