In the era of rapid digital advancement, schools are struggling to maintain relevancy in their classes due to rapid changes in the job market and set of skills required for the future jobs. Relaying on school education and system may not be a good idea because it can be sometimes not relevant. This happens due to the slow adoption of new information that becomes available every day. Sometimes this information covers already knows knowledge set and provides a different, more advanced perspective.
Teaching the curriculum of the past becomes less relevant and the curriculum of the future is very diverse and technically oriented.
Schools are obliged to innovate to sustain their development by building a strong ICT infrastructure to accommodate 21st-century learning demands for K-12 students. However, it is not enough to simply add technology to existing teaching methods. Technology must be used to strategically benefit students with the quality of its digital content with a strong academic relevance to provide effective learning.
It is well known, that STEM becomes more important nowadays because of the skills set it requires. This skill set has the focus on the 21rst century skills that may be required to cover new jobs that will arise on the market in the coming decade. Where is the curriculum and education sector? How advanced is it and how quickly does it accept the change?
Education system is at the stage of analogue age. Therefore, STEM is still taught the same way it was before: books, experiments, some creativity development, manual work and tasks, read and re-tell what you understood. Think on how you were taught and compare with the way your parents were taught. The tricky part is that schooling is still pretty much at the same state now. What is the generation gap between you and your parents? What is the generation gap between you and your kids? It is huge because of technology that drives business and our day to day life. The development of technology is extremely rapid. We need to think of having it as a part of STEM education process for our kids because digital skills are already required everywhere.
Why at the age of technology STEM subjects are delivered with learning through the books and light experiments? Technology can bring efficiency and motivation to any classroom and save money on experimenting. The same experiment can be repeated as many times as you want without any investment in materials for experiments and no harm to nature.
STEM is much more exciting when it is taught with modern technology for any kid and provides benefits like: development of digital skills, opportunity to personalize learning process, provides experimental field and real time feedback, feeds in the relevant information because it is much easier and quicker to update software than the printed books. This makes education and information relevant to the progress and development of society.
Thinking of the efficiency in the learning process and information acquisition, how important is it to be able to memorize more and more every day? Studies say, that people remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear and 90% of what they experience. Augmented Reality is the best tool to demonstrate and interact with complex information of STEM as well as its memorization.
Augmented Reality makes a difference the education because it is a proven fact that Augmented Reality engages them both inside and outside the classroom, improves test-score by up to 33% and increases retention rate by up to 100%. It supports all learning styles: verbal, physical, logical, aural, visual, social and solitary.
School budgets may restrict school trips, or, for example, a teacher can’t bring real animals in his classroom, or a spaceship. Augmented Reality technology can step in and support learning. Augmented Reality is easy to adopt and a teacher doesn’t need to be techie to use it in his classroom. Augmented Reality apps are plug and play solutions and normally even do not require any internet connection. Majority of solutions based on Augmented Reality are easy to use and can be a great visual aid for any classroom even with one device.
STEM and Augmented Reality go along together is an extremely great combination. They provide all necessary resources for kids to learn in groups and on their own, for teachers to excite, innovate and motivate to go back to the learning material right in the classroom. The great part with Augmented Reality is that outside the classroom any kid can come back to the material he would like to repeat for himself without asking teacher for help.
The future workforce is right now at kids’ desks at school. Why not investing in the now and help them to get the skills businesses need for the future jobs? It is much more expensive and time consuming to teach employees when they join the company. Digital skills and STEM knowledge are must today. They form the important basis of the 21rst century skills.
It is important for everyone: parents, businesses and schools to take responsibility for helping kids in getting ready for the future because tomorrow can be too late.
About the Author
Darya Yegorina is a serial entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of CleverBooks and other ventures in multiple industries. Apart from being an entrepreneur, she has a massive professional experience from start-ups to multinational corporations. Darya’s current focus is on emerging technologies for education where she has the mission to deliver the most innovative Augmented Reality technology to schools around the world to create equal access to technology for kids globally. She is a professional speaker on a global scale representing women in tech and inspiring new entrepreneurs.
Darya is the winner of Digital Female Leaders Award in the category Entrepreneurship in 2018, named as Innovator by Irish Times in 2018, awarded Young Irish Entrepreneur in 2016, featured in Inc.com, Forbes and other global media as the promoter and facilitator of education technology for the best future of the kids in the world.