Is it ever possible for humans to overcome the limitations of the brain? From short-term memory loss to difficulties in learning and even language, will there ever be a time that these challenges would become a thing of the past? Now that would be a better and smarter life for everyone. It seems like technology is moving towards this direction and every advancement that we see is taking us closer to the time when human limitations in terms of thinking and learning will finally be solved.
According to Google executives, Jared Cohen and Eric Schmidt, the neurological limits that result in oversight and forgetfulness will soon be supported, and their effects eliminated using specialized information systems. With the use of such tools, the quality of life and efficiency of the human brain will surely be improved.
Such technology will also make conversations be free from biases and generalizations especially when business and planning is brought into the picture. Even communication using a second language will soon see itself improved both in speaking and writing.
How Distant is This Future?
We’re on the verge of seeing this future unfold. At present, gadgets are already able to help humans find answers and improve memory. The latest ones even aid in improving cognitive abilities. Yes! It’s here, and there’s nothing that can stop it from happening. The latest technology that makes these things possible include real-time translation of language, implants in the brain and even the smartphones that we carry around in our pockets which can rescue us from the struggles of everyday life.
As more and more of these new technologies find their way into schools and eventually into individual user’s hands, the future that we’re talking about is no longer far from fruition.
Technology in Education
According to a research done by Randstad Education, different schools and even colleges are now embracing the use of technology to improve the techniques in teaching which will then result in the lessons becoming more engaging and interactive for students
It was found that public schools are the ones leading this trend of having digital technology applied to their syllabus. In 2013, the Shireland Academy has won ‘School of the year’ under the category ‘Apps for Good.’ This educational institution in West Midlands has then partnered with SMART Technologies and Microsoft- two organizations seeking to teach educators the needed expertise in making lessons that are more engaging using hi-tech devices.
Even the Minecraft game is now being used in teaching students to create a simulation of different cities. Finished projects are then projected on a wide screen which teachers can evaluate in an effort to improve design skills, decision making, spatial reasoning and even practical skills of planning even on a tight budget which is much needed in the real world.
But there’s more to it than just improving engagement among students. Sound evidence from different research reveals that by enhancing visual abilities, there’s a host of other benefits that can be derived since we learn primarily through our vision and perceive things by what we see. At present, there are plenty of ways that can help fix deficits in visual abilities caused by problems in the eye itself but in terms of practices that can help boost the ability of the brain to process information gained through vision are still limited.
Gamification in Education
Scientists strongly believe that a technique called “Gamification” can help improve the brain’s ability to process visual information. Classes that are immersive help teachers hit two birds with a single stone. Students who learn more effectively by way of visual experience are not only benefiting from the lessons being taught but also get the change to enhance the perception of some elementary features including image recognition and even line orientation.
But even with the clear benefits that gamification can offer, it’s still not that popular when compared to programming skills being taught in schools. The trend of introducing new approaches to learning in educational institutions will increase because of the pressure that’s coming from the job market needing some new skills in information technology and other related fields.
As businesses and big companies embrace technology, more and more positions that need skills in this field will open and create a “skills gap”. The gap then needs to be addressed, and educational institutions are the primary ones that receive the pressure to produce people qualified to fill in the need in the workforce.
Universities need to adjust their teaching methods and move from the traditional one that is subject-based to something that’s favorable in teaching skills which are highly useful in modern tech-based societies. And it’s not just subjects that will need to undergo significant changes, even teachers need to adapt as well in order to achieve success in this endeavor. Soon, the need for tech-savvy, skilled and computer-literate teachers will increase. Looking into the current trend in the job market, it is clear that the demand for a STEM-based teaching position is increasing.
The heavy workload of teachers is also made lighter with the help of technology. For instance, in the UK alone, the use of live chat support, video classes, smartwatches and other devices in teaching new curriculums is increasing. This makes the boring process of learning to become more engaging. Is gamification the only effective way to improve learning through visual perception and coding the most important skill one should have in our modern day and age? The answers to these are highly subjective, and its general effects remain to be seen.
What the Skeptics are Saying
In every new trend that gets introduced, there will always be skeptics or those who are not convinced of the reasons why it needs to be implemented in the first place. People who are against the integration of technology into education say that constant interaction with gadgets and digital stuff with screens can also have adverse effects on our brains.
After all, if we look into it, technology’s positive effect of making us more efficient in many aspects of life can easily be overshadowed, but its harmful effects are making us lazier and even dumber. Most of us become too dependent on technology that even the simplest things which we can store in our brains for ourselves to remember are already being saved into the devices that we carry around every single day.
Moreover, gamification and its effortless way of teaching different concepts are seen as the primary cause of students lacking the necessary knowledge and skills to survive in life. It is impossible to teach resilience if everything is taught in an environment full of pleasure. Making changes in the traditional methods of teaching in order to serve shaky business and job markets also sounds like something that’s too risky to take.
A change in the trend in these markets can affect millions of people who spent a lot of time learning how to code. Will they end up assisting machines that have Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities or are they going to face another challenge of learning new skills to fit into the changing job market?