Industry 4.0 is a term that stands for the fourth industrial revolution. According to the explanation provided by the World Economic Forum, this is the logical step that builds on the third industrial revolution, also known as the digital revolution. In this stage, the lines between the biological, digital, and physical aspects of life are blurred.
This is an era characterized by automation of all kinds of tasks, artificial intelligence in all spheres of living, robots, and endless possibilities that technology opens up for us. What does it mean for the educational system? Is there a phenomenon that we could call education 4.0?
Yes; the educational industry is already being influenced by cognitive and cloud computing, IoT, and other trends imposed by the industry 4.0.
These are only few of the changes that this industrial revolution directly impacts:
- Students Have Technology-Driven Expectations
Do you know what influences the expectations of students? – The expectations of future job markets. Clearly, future workers will be expected to be not only knowledgeable in their industries, but trained in emerging technologies as well.
This may be the right time for professors to stop assigning textual projects and focus on practical assignments instead. When it comes to textual assignments, students don’t benefit from them too much. Most of them can easily buy essays. Essays and research papers remain an important aspect of education. Still, the educational system must be reinvented in another direction. Students need to develop practical skills in terms of using the technology they will encounter at their future jobs.
Let’s take doctors as an example. Medical robots are not just a sci-fi dream; they are becoming reality in that industry. They will collect and classify patient data, and they will present it to the doctor in a format that’s ready to use. A student at medical school has to keep pace with all new inventions. The school should equip them with knowledge about big data and its impact on their profession.
- Education Is Getting Personal
It’s only time for universities to embrace big data. It’s their opportunity to understand strengths and weaknesses of an individual’s performance. We’ve been talking about personalized education for ages. That’s why online courses gained so much traction; anyone can study what they want, at their own pace. We need to go further.
When the professor measures the student’s performance and behavior, they can finally offer a personalized learning experience for them. If an individual student is facing learning disabilities, they can find a different approach in their teaching methods. If they realize that this student is intimidated by testing, they can offer them to write blog posts at home instead of essays at school. It takes a lot of training for teachers to be able to understand and use big data, but we’re making steady steps towards such a future.
- IoT Is Taking Over
The Internet of Things is all about our convenience. It’s about keeping our homes safe and more effective while we’re away. What does this mean for the classroom? The applications of IoT technology are not extreme at the current point. Still, many modern schools are equipped with wireless door locks, attendance tracking systems, room temperature sensors, security cameras, 3D printers, and other smart devices.
This technology is on a rapid track of development. We should expect to see more innovative applications in close future. Of course; students go to school to learn. But convenience is an important part of the process. If smart devices can keep the classroom environment more comfortable, it will be easier for the students to stay focused.
We’ll Face Challenges, But They Are Part of the Process
Greater collaboration, greater security, and technology-driven education – that’s how the future of education looks like. We still have to work on many challenges, including the inequality issue. Everyone deserves high-quality education, but not everyone has equal access to it. Can the fourth industrial revolution affect that issue in some way?