Technology is rapidly changing how we learn and grow. More and more, tools and platforms that make use of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and extended reality (ER)—collectively known as immersive learning technology—are moving from the niche world of Silicon Valley into retail stores, warehouses, factory floors, classrooms as well as corporate education and training programs. The value is clear: these immersive learning tools help companies, training providers, and educators train workers better, faster, and more efficiently. Of course, the impact doesn’t stop at the bottom line. Immersive learning presents an opportunity to reliably train employees for situations that are expensive to support, challenging to replicate, and even dangerous. And it can be done efficiently, safely, and with better learning outcomes.
1 in every 3 small and mid-size businesses in the U.S. is expected to be piloting a VR employee training program by 2021, seeing their new hires reach full productivity 50% faster as a result.1
The worldwide AR and VR market size is forecast to grow nearly 7.7 times between 2018 and 2022.
14 million AR and VR devices are expected to be sold in 2019
By 2023, enterprise VR hardware and software revenue is expected to jump 587% to $5.5 billion, up from an estimated $800 million in 2018.
Virtual Reality VR A computer-generated experience that simulates reality. VR may include visual, auditory, or tactile experiences.
Augmented Reality AR A live experience of a physical space, where computer-enhanced visualizations, sounds, or tactile experiences overlay the real-world environment.
Mixed Reality MR A blend of virtual experiences and the real world where virtual and augmented experiences are presented simultaneously
Extended Reality ER An immersive experience involving interactions with the real world, virtual reality, augmented reality, as well as other machines or computers adding content to the experience.
Soft Skills Technical Skills Immersive learning technologies can help people develop human skills, such as empathy, customer service, improving diversity and inclusion, and other areas
Technical Skills. Immersive learning technologies enable workers to learn through simulated experiences, providing the opportunity for risk-free repetition of complex or dangerous technical tasks.
When do you believe technology enhances learning, and when do you believe
it does not?
How has technology impacted your own learning?
Does your school, library, or organization have a specific learning philosophy that guides ed-tech purchases and implementation? If yes, what is that philosophy?
More than 450 responses were received (those that agreed for their answers to be
shared publicly can be seen at http://www.modernlearning.com).
For the purposes of this report, “educational technology” (often abbreviated as “ed tech”) is assumed to refer principally to the use of modern electronic computing and other high-tech, mostly Internet-enabled, devices and services in education.
When it becomes a distraction.
● When there is little or no preparation for it.
● When just used for testing / score tracking.
● When used for consuming and not creating, or just for rote learning.
● When “following the education trends: everyone else is doing it.”
● When the tech is “an end rather than means” (also stated as, ”when I don’t have a plan or learning goal…”). We found this very significant, and it is the focus of Observation 6.
● When there is a lack of guidance in how to effectively use new ed tech tools (“when there is no PD”). This is the focus of Observation 4.
● Finally, when it “gets in the way of real time talk / sharing.” Forgetting that the tech “cannot mentor, motivate, show beauty, interact fully, give quality attention, [or] contextualize.” Also: ”outcomes related to acquiring the skills and attitudes cannot be enhanced by technology.” As mentioned in the introduction, this would be missing the “human factor.” One respondent
captured this as follows: “3 reasons tech innovation fails: Misunderstanding Human Motivation, Human Learning, or Human Systems.”
Networked information technology has rendered the words “teacher” and “student” more ambiguous. YouTube tutorials and social-media discussions, just to cite a couple of obvious examples, have made it abundantly clear that at any given moment anyone—regardless of age or background—can be a learner or a teacher, or even both at once.
1. Computers and internet access alone don’t boost learning
Handing out laptops, providing high-speed internet access or buying most other kinds of hardware doesn’t on its own boost academic outcomes. The research shows that student achievement doesn’t rise when kids are using computers more, and it sometimes decreases.
2. Some math software shows promise
math programs such as SimCalc and ASSISTments. One popular program, DreamBox, showed small gains for students, as well. Only one piece of software that taught reading, Intelligent Tutoring for the Structure Strategy (ITSS), showed promise, suggesting that it is possible to create good educational software outside of math, but it’s a lot harder.
One commonality of the software that seems to work is that it somehow “personalizes” instruction. Sometimes students start with a pre-test so the computer can determine what they don’t know and then sends each student the right lessons, or a series of worksheet problems, to help fill in the gaps. Other times, the computer ascertains a student’s gaps as he works through problems and makes mistakes, giving personalized feedback. Teachers also get data reports to help pinpoint where students are struggling.
3. Cheap can be effective
a study in San Francisco where texts reminded mothers to read to their preschoolers. That boosted children’s literacy scores.
This session will describe an approach to online discussions that moves beyond the threaded message boards of D2L Brightspace, yet still maintained an asynchronous online delivery. Using teams, discussions were differentiated by product to allow students to turn in an artifact that represented their shared understanding during specific online course modules. Strategies, Technology guides, rubrics, and student feedback will be shared.
Presenter: Michael Manderfeld
Senior Instructional Designer
Minnesota State University Mankato
“Use technology to nudge students away from looking for confirmation for what they already know. Instead, challenge them — encourage risk and confusion that can’t be solved with a few clicks. Find learning technologies that identify and push against a student’s cognitive gap, that space between what a student knows and doesn’t know.