The Future of Education: What Will Learning Look Like in an Immersive Learning Environment?
This month, Schoolio will launch its Winter Wonderland immersive learning world, which has been much anticipated after the debut of Dino World in the summer. We’re so excited to share it with our customer base of parents and kids so you can learn about the future of education: An immersive learning environment.
The future of education: What is immersive learning?
If you’re a parent who is not really into the tech-innovation scene, you may wonder- what is an “immersive learning experience”? An immersive learning experience takes users into a 3D virtual world- well beyond the 2D video experience of platforms like YouTube that use passive observance. In an immersive 3D world, the user has an avatar representing them and moving around in the environment. If you have kids who like to play video games, you’re probably familiar with this type of environment- Minecraft, Roblox, and Fortnite are all 3D immersive environments. Picture an immersive, active, social, 3D environment like Roblox, only the places your kid visits are curated, safe, and educational. Are you getting excited?
Children are bored with the classroom.
As a parent to two gamer children and a teacher in the K-8 grades, I can immediately see and appreciate the massive potential of immersive learning environments for kids and education- and I’m sure you can too! It’s no secret that kids are chronically bored in classrooms; it’s a fact. We know this when we have to force our children out the door each morning or when our children fake stomach aches to avoid the classroom. Also, when we find movies and tv shows with characters who lie, cheat, and sneak around to “escape,” the dredge of the school day is relatable. And when our kids get home at the end of the day, where do they want to go? Straight to their video games!
The benefits of an immersive learning environment are numerous, and the potential is infinite.
Imagine the variety of topics, classes, and experiences that can be brought to life for our kids- allowing them to explore their interests and passions in a safe and fun space. Teachers and experts can be drawn from anywhere in the world to bring the best of the best content to students. Learning options will no longer be limited by geography or socioeconomic status. Imagine walking your avatar through a 3D rendition of the Louvre or the Museum of Natural History- you could take a virtual field trip to literally anywhere!
The future of education: Immersive learning style.
In addition to the multitude of options for course topics, field trips, and worldwide access to experts, the actual learning style in an immersive learning environment opens yet more doors to our children. Suddenly, children are not sitting and observing, like in a classroom, virtual school, or even learning through a platform like YouTube. Now they are a part of the experience. They are there. Their avatars can move around, touch, and build within the space. Tactile, hands-on experiences can be replicated, and children can learn and play with new tools. Not only is it safe (6-year-olds want to fiddle with a power saw? Let them have a go in a virtual, 3D environment where all their fingers will stay intact!), but it’s a better way to learn.
Project-based learning, where students learn through completing a project that shows the relevance and real-world application of knowledge, is preferred by teachers but challenging to implement within the constraints of a 1:30 classroom with limited resources. With an immersive learning environment, the options for creating these project-based learning experiences are limited only by the imagination. “Tell me, and I forget, teach me, and I may remember, involve me, and I learn.” is a famous Benjamin Franklin quote about the value of participatory learning. With a 3D immersive environment, every student can be a full participant in their own learning experiences- even if they are one of 30 in a typical American classroom, or they are in a remote Northern community, or they are in an impoverished part of Africa. The doors are open to every student.
The future of education: Immersive learning meets each student’s needs.
It doesn’t stop at customizing the learning style in an immersive environment- each student’s needs can be met exactly where they are by allowing each child to work at the exact level they need. In an immersive learning environment, a student “behind” their grade level can work at the level they need, with complete privacy from their peers around them. Challenges, projects, and independent work can all be tailored to each child to experience in the best way for them alone.
Another winning aspect of the immersive learning environment model of education is the social experience- often a criticized point of online or at-home learning. In a vast 3D virtual world, kids can choose who they interact with and how often. Voice and video chat allows kids to meet new friends, unrestricted by geographical boundaries. Students can make friends based on like interests rather than the year of birth- and the collaboration options and experiences are endless. Have you ever overheard your child coordinating with teammates in a video game? Imagine coordinating to solve a critical thinking puzzle, design a robot, or build a virtual bridge. Children can also choose the level of socializing they want to participate in, so your introverted kid who values their quiet time isn’t inundated and overwhelmed by a noisy classroom all day, and your energetic extrovert can choose to interact with new people every single day.
The future of education: is it safe?
Now I know a lot of parents worry about the safety of these open-chat worlds, and that is a valid concern when the game itself doesn’t have many checks or securities in place (I’m looking at you, Roblox) but rest assured that the technology exists to protect our children in an immersive learning environment, we need to choose to implement it.
The Schoolio immersive learning environment gives parents and teachers options to restrict who their children interact with. Known friends only? Their age range? Language censoring? It’s up to you! In addition, let me introduce you to S.A.I., the Schoolio Artificial Intelligence technology that will act as each child’s assistant, protector, tutor, and friend. S.A.I. monitors chat interactions, can spot cyberbullying and inappropriate language, and even detect a change in mood in your child, alerting you to any potential problems your kids may be having.
Schoolio Artificial Intelligence Technology will learn with your student.
Not only will S.A.I monitor social interactions in the immersive learning environment, but S.A.I. will learn with your child. While your child learns fractions, adverbs, and pond life, S.A.I. will learn about how they learn: What activity types create the best retention for them? What time of day is best for math or science? When are they tired and lagging; when are they energized and curious? What are your child’s passions, interests, and natural competencies and skills?
What are their areas of strength and weakness? All this data S.A.I. collects helps the immersive learning environment be tailored closer to your child’s uniqueness. Plus, with the Schoolio immersive learning environment, we care about more than grades and academics. We want to know how your child feels while they learn.
Essential knowledge to educate children effectively.
Emotional and mental wellness, as well as noting potential learning disabilities and neurodivergence, are essential knowledge to educate children effectively. Are they always anxious before math? Let’s recommend mindfulness and grounding activity before we begin. Are they feeling inspired by their current science project? Let’s see what other projects and courses are available for them to explore in that same topic area. Are they frustrated and wanting to quit during their building project? Let’s pause with a relaxation moment and a motivational quote and refocus before getting back at it. S.A.I. will also report to parents and teachers about how your child is doing overall, as a complete human, not just as an empty vessel filled with academic knowledge.
Speaking of parents and teachers, do you wish you could collaborate more easily with all the educators and experts in your child’s ecosystem? Especially with our unique needs, kiddos, there can be many people throwing exercises, schedules, and tips at us that we need to coordinate into our child’s lives. With the Schoolio immersive learning environment, all the adults in a child’s life can collaborate and coordinate as a team. The teacher can add homework, the tutor can add practice work, the speech pathologist can add exercises, the sports coach can add drills to run at home, and the scout leader can add badge criteria notes- all with scheduling and calendaring options to keep it all organized in one place, and with S.A.I. by your child’s side to help them with time management and organization, so they are never overwhelmed.
Immersive learning experiences aren’t coming; they’re here!
An immersive learning experience is the natural progression of technology into the realm of education. It is not “on the horizon”; it is here! The current education model hasn’t been updated since its inception during the Industrial Revolution; frankly, it’s time. Our kids are already playing (and learning!) in the immersive environment. It’s time to take it to the next level and use our technological innovations in our kid’s best interests to guide, educate, and assess in a modern way that prepares them for the real, tech-filled future that is bearing down on them. Imagine a universe as infinite as human imagination and your child’s ability to learn, play, and socialize wherever their dreams and passions may take them. That is what learning in the immersive, digital world will look like.