This article was published on February 18, 2016

How technology is advancing education

How technology is advancing education
Lauren Gilmore
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Lauren Gilmore

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Technology currently being used in the classroom has surpassed that of The Oregon Trail.

There’s been much debate whether or not online learning systems give students the same benefits as on-site classes, when the majority of online courses are often subject to no discussion or debate. However, beyond the pure convenience online courses allow, advances in technology are permitting teachers and students to advance in ways never dreamt before.

When Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014, Mark Zuckerberg noted his many aspirations for virtual reality and all it had to offer.

Imagine…  studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world.

Technology is bringing an ever connected world to students everywhere – from popular gaming program Minecraft being readily available to primary school children, to The New School’s innovative courses branching out beyond merely asynchronous communication, these are examples of some of the best ways tech and teaching are being brought together.

World of Comenius

In October 2014, Mendel Grammar School in Opava City, Czech Republic attached an Oculus Rift to seven of its computers. The outcome? World of Comenius.

With a lofty goal of enriching the learning experience and demonstrating powerful educational interaction through virtual reality, this info-verse immediately changes the way students learn and communicate.

Using Leap Motion skeletal hand tracking technology, students participated in virtual biology and anatomy lessons. Skeletal models, complete with interactive components, allowed students to manipulate parts of the body, rotating objects to get a better look.

Though you may think of virtual reality as merely amusement, it’s greatest impact towards society will come in the form of non-entertainment based fields.


Online sensation Minecraft, where players can construct everything from simple houses to complex mechanical computers, has no intrinsic aim. Its only goal is to spark a child’s imagination.

But it’s much more than just a game. With the recent addition of MinecraftEdu, it’s also an engaging tool for the classroom – teaching everything from languages to science and chemistry to mathematics.

Students are allowed to create and explore places that are completely inaccessible by other means. Within the Lego-like world, they can roam around historical sites, explore chambers of a heart and much more.

The New School

Gone are the days when taking an online course means little to no interaction with others, be it students or teachers. With its innovative learning modules, The New School brings students all over the world an array of opportunities to study with its highly-esteemed faculty. A pioneer of online learning, The New School continues to provide maximum flexibility without sacrificing classroom connections.

With online courses complementing its many in-person offerings, The New School is able to merge these two methods together in a seamless yet highly beneficial way, ensuring each student the optimum experience and learning environment.

Many classes are structured to replicate real-world industry scenarios, providing hands-on experience and helping students develop their capacity to inspire and lead creative teams. One of the greatest examples is through coursework incorporating cutting-edge analyses of the digital information-based economy, such as programs like the Global Executive Master of Science in Strategic Design and Management, at The New School’s Paris campus, Parsons Paris.

This program prepares students to confidently create, manage, and lead design process–driven organizations by providing an accessible, rigorous pathway for working professionals. Currently accepting applications, this particular program is perfect for early- to mid-career professionals and students gain access to Parsons’ faculty of experienced practitioners from New York City and around the world through both flexible online learning as well as on-site intensive studies in NYC, Paris and Shanghai.

Technology has the power to transform how people learn. In a world where students now have unimaginable opportunities, it’s clear that the use of technology is now key to education.

Read next: Google, micro-learning & the future of education

Image credit: Giphy

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