30 years of STEM: where to now?

Tuesday, 23 June, 2020

30 years of STEM: where to now?

The convergence of EdTech and STEM pedagogy is on the cusp of delivering on long-held educational ideals, according to a recent Forbes article.

The rapid rate of technological advancement experienced over the last three decades has created a dynamic common to many industry sectors, whereby we seek to identify a suitable application for technology rather than develop it to serve a specific need or solve a problem. This is true for education as much as any other field.

The Forbes article suggests that the overriding vision of putting "student learning and the development of scientific thought processes front and centre" to achieve "results in proven and quantifiable educational outcomes" is increasingly influencing the way we assess and use technology to derive better teaching and learning results.  

When it comes to technology, acronyms and phrases can creep into everyday parlance without necessarily signalling the benefit they can deliver. We usually hear terms like artificial intelligence, big data and augmented reality long before we identify practical application in our own world.

Taking artificial intelligence (AI), for instance, Forbes says it is evolving in ways that will revolutionise learning — something the article's author suggests is "less flashy but more dynamic". The potential is in using AI to evaluate student knowledge and tailor learning programs at an individual level, with some subjects more aligned to this approach than others. By utilising technology to monitor and test students, educators are effectively freed up to focus on other aspects of learning, including student engagement.

We are at a time when extended reality — the combination of real and virtual worlds — has infinite practical application in education, facilitating equitable learning delivery regardless of location, provided that students have access to the necessary infrastructure. So too are robotics increasingly used in teaching environments. The tech is here and can be applied in ways that foster better learning outcomes. 

According to Forbes, the partnerships developing between educators and tech companies are driving the success, creating a flexible, interdisciplinary approach that allows students to reap the benefits. Read the full article here.  

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/tentacula

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