New Tech At CES: 4 Trends That Will Influence eLearning
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How New Tech At CES Will Influence eLearning

Exhibitors at this year’s Consumer Technology Association’s annual show (CES) and the 2018 Toy Fair gave us a sneak peek at what’s happening in technology. But how can that technology be used to make eLearning even more effective and accessible to a broad range of students? Let’s take a look at how advancements in key technological fields could positively impact eLearning in the future for students in a variety of different contexts.

1. Robotics For Interactive Learning

Abilix, one of the exhibitors at CES this year, has been making robots since 1996, when Dr. Yun Weimin created the world’s first educational bot. Since then, the company has been creating more sophisticated models and has over 120 different robot models that are used in thousands of schools. Kubo Robot, another educational robot from CES 2017, helps young children learn to code at home and at school.

Although you might think that robotics in education are limited to the classroom, that may soon change. “Telepresence robots,” which are still in their earliest stages, could help take eLearning to a new level by elevating video conferencing. The robot would respond to voice commands and could follow the user around, which could help teachers demonstrate skills to students in real-time. The current models look like iPads on wheels and are very expensive, but it’s a promising technology for the future of education.

2. VR & AR

One of the limitations of eLearning has historically been the lack of immersion. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) could change that. Instead of learning about history, geography, or biology out of a textbook, students can be transported to another part of the world, or get up close and personal with animals and plants by using VR and AR. Aside from making learning more exciting, VR and AR are beginning to see use in training medical personnel to perform surgeries and other procedures. With these tools, theoretical online study can be much more effective than using just photos and diagrams.

3. AI

Artificial Intelligence can be used in the virtual classroom or in the workplace in a number of ways. One possibility is developing an AI virtual assistant that can offer learning support. The AI would begin by gathering information: identifying learning issues, figuring out what the student or employee’s individual learning needs are, then scraping the internet or database for data and resources that would best help the student or employee to learn or develop skills. With the incredible reserves of data we now have access to, we can use AI to come up with the best solutions for each student. These kinds of systems would help to ensure that students are working at the appropriate level for them, and that no one slips through the cracks—something that can easily happen in eLearning.

4. Biometrics

Cybersecurity has been a hot-button issue for organizations in all kinds of industries and sectors. Although hackers most often target organizations in the financial or healthcare industries, there is growing concern over the safety of student data in eLearning. Breaches have become common at universities, and student privacy violations caused by these incidents could put companies and institutions in jeopardy and subject them to bad PR, even if it does not open them up to fines. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act do not protect students’ data from private organizations and schools, but there are major ethical reasons for organizations to adopt biometrics to protect student data and Learning Management Systems.

Biometrics involve using technology like fingerprint, eye scans, and facial recognition to ensure an individual’s identity. Not only could this help to protect student data, it could help reduce fraud. These techniques could help make sure that only the enrolled students are completing the coursework, and could prevent course sharing.

Creating A More Immersive And Custom Experience

Every year, electronics shows give us a glimpse of the future. eLearning has become more and more popular as technology allows it to advance and become just as effective as classroom learning. All of these technologies have the potential to revolutionize eLearning and create a more immersive and custom experience.

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