Jan 2030: Walking through his 5th grade classroom, teacher notes how one of his students is looking pensive, teacher pauses for a moment but moves on as the student’s expression slowly turns into a grin. The reason? The student, while using the Virtual Reality BrainLab, successfully figured out the steps needed to restart the heart of her patient. A truly nerve wracking but exhilarating experience! The teacher looks over the shoulder of another student and notices that she seems to be stuck on naming the functions of the various chambers of the heart. Should the teacher intervene? Before she can, the Artificial Intelligence driven software tutor notices the student’s hesitancy, automatically intervenes and plays a short video clip showcasing the actual concept that had stumped the student. Success!
Jan 2020: A biology teacher stands in front of the classroom delivering instruction on Anatomy while the 28 students in the class listen and take notes.. After class, students work on reading the textbook, reviewing the notes and preparing for the test.
Some will do well, some not so much as differing learning styles dictate how students learn best. Some require more hands-on instruction in order to gain better knowledge retention. Some need visual engagement such as videos in order to see the words come to life and gain better understanding, while others do well with the auditory delivery of content. A nearly impossible feat for a teacher to provide adaptive and customized learning to a classroom of 25 – 35 students. An impossible feat, without technology that is.
2020 style classrooms were already struggling to provide interactive experiences and differentiated instructions to students. Then came COVID. Amid school shutdowns and the race to get online, the natural instinct of taking the same classroom instructional techniques, get on “Zoom” and deliver instruction, failed our students and overburdened our teachers. The result? Teachers, without proper immersive tools, struggled with disengaged students. Students lost focus and struggled to stay engaged.
2030: 5th grader Xavier loves working with his homeroom teacher who is helping him understand how to put into practice the learning lessons from the previous week. Last week’s session on Human Anatomy was taught by Dr. Ritter from John Hopkins. The class was a combination of a Virtual Reality tour through the human heart followed by a virtual suturing exercise, which by the way Xavier did exceptionally well in. It then followed a Q&A session with Dr. Ritter for a deeper dive into the subject. Xavier is excited to present to the class what was learned.
Imagine this new norm. Homeroom teachers take on the role of coaches and facilitators, they focus their energy on facilitating the content learned from experts around the world. They teach the soft skills that are so missing from our education today. Using technology tools allows a unique opportunity to have the experts directly come into the classroom thus freeing the classroom teacher to help facilitate and guide the students through the learning process. It removes the pressures from teachers to become subject matter experts in multiple subjects and places the experts directly in the hands of the students. It allows accelerated students to push the envelope of learning in their subject matter of interest while students needing extra coaching and guidance are provided the opportunity to get help from AI interventions and coaching to maximize their education.
This my friends is the future of learning!
I admire the hard work of the teachers and my goal is to provide the help and tools they need in order to build the explorers of the future, and the imagineers of our tomorrow. My goal is to provide them with amazing technologically advanced tools to make their job easier.
About the Author
Ghazal Qureshi is a (now) native Houstonian who came to Houston with her family from Pakistan in 12th grade. She is a Computer Scientist and has worked for over 20 years in the technology space. When she saw a lack of adaptive educational programs focused on developing critical thinking skills, she formed her first educational company in 2011, offering STEM afterschool programs. She grew from 1 location in Houston to over multiple countries. In early 2020, she was dissatisfied with the lack of innovation in education. For this reason she exited her first company and formed UpBrainery which is an Innovative and Immersive educational technology platform coupled with neuroscience research based programs in order to provide adaptive learning and individualized pathways for students at home or in the classroom. UpBrainery takes advantage of the technological advances in AI, Machine Learning and game based education in order to provide an immersive and engaging educational experience. Since inception, UpBrainery has won major accolades through Google for Startups, Forbes Next 1000, Houston Business Journal and others. UpBrainery is also the exclusive K12 educational pathway provider for the US Congressional App Challenge. www.UpBrainery.com