The ability to learn outside the classroom is only as good as the tools you have to make that happen. It wasn’t too long ago that students would take correspondence classes through the mail. This method took a long time while also making communication between professor and student awkward and difficult. However, wildly new technology is producing an environment that seems like futuristic education – but it’s already here.
Smartphones and Tablets Are Like Mobile Classrooms
A decade ago, simply using a computer to access a pre-recorded lecture would have been considered futuristic education. Now, almost every device in your home (and out of your home) has the ability to connect to the internet. The futuristic education of the past isn’t even novel today – it’s “expected.” Tablets, cell phones and even televisions are starting to have this capability. (The idea of a smart TV still seems strange to most of us, however, they are expected to make up 40 percent of all TV sales between 2012 and 2014.)
But much more compelling than TV sales is that companies are now creating educational environments specifically for smartphones! In other words, it’s possible that in the coming months, we will take the next step from our current “futuristic education” these smart device won’t only be an option, but the expectation. All of us have known that mobile phones are a mainstay for 24/7 communication, but not many would have predicted that by 2015 we’d actually have “technology driven” classrooms.
Talk Instead Of Typing
Another modern marvel is the ability to talk at your computer instead of having to type in your text. After you are done speaking, the voice recognition software will then turn your speech into text on the screen. If you are not a very good writer, you can use this technology to help you communicate better on written assignments.
This is because you can generally catch grammatical errors or other issues such as repetition in your text when you talk it out. On a practical level, it saves your hands from having to type so much. When you can just use your voice, it makes it a lot easier to get your work done without hurting yourself.
Cloud Servers – the Final Piece of Futuristic Education?
Cloud servers now make it possible to access files from wherever you are. In the past, you would have to be on your own computer to access a file. This then changed to allowing people to store files that could be accessed on any computer. Now, you can access any file simply by putting it online, and exploiting “garden variety” technology for distance learning.
As long as you have access to the network that the file is on, you can access it from any Internet connection in the world. This allows students and teachers to access materials no matter where they are. You could be on vacation in Switzerland and still get your coursework done if you really wanted to.
Having everything on the cloud also makes it much easier to secure your files. There is no risk of losing a floppy disk or a thumb drive with all of your files on it. If a server ever goes down, your files will still be available because a cloud server is technically a virtual server. This means that it is merely a replica of an existing server.
Technology has subtly yet profoundly changed the way that people learn online. You no longer need to worry about having a file saved on your computer. A cloud server takes care of that. You no longer need to worry about being around a computer at all. Your cell phone or television could allow you to access the material. It will be interesting to see how technology will continue to alter the landscape of online learning.