5G and education: prepping the minds of tomorrow

5G and education

As the 5G reality begins to take shape, all industries across the board are on their way to upgrade their business models, approaches and day-to-day operations accordingly.

There is no doubt that 5G will be transformative, however, the bedrock of this technological revolution relies on the minds of people who are able to keep up with technology’s ever-changing tide.

A little over a decade ago, laptops, tablets, and Internet access finally made their way within the school systems and classrooms. This Internet penetration was magnified even more in the Covid-19 era, with educational institutions leaning on distance learning to fill the gap brought about by the pandemic.

Students now in the K-12 system, members of so-called Generation Z, are tech natives; screens, social media and surfing the net are as natural to them as breathing, and this has forced teachers and administrators to upend traditional instructional models. 

Covid-19’s indirect acceleration of EdTech has started numerous conversations regarding how the classrooms of tomorrow can leverage 5G.  

But it is the incoming crop of students, dubbed Generation Alpha, who will force the true revolution of education. Born beginning of 2010 – the same year Apple debuted the iPad – these kids will be fully tech-integrated, having never known anything other than the modern digital age.

There needs to be a strategy set forth by the education sector to adapt to the technologies of today and tomorrow to meet the expectations set forth, with efforts to modernize curriculums across the board.

A plethora of companies have recognized this need to shake up the education system and have already begun developing the latest technologies to fill this gap. So far, adoption of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are being used to experiment with the quality of education they can deliver.

5G will not only unlock rapid advancements and development within both VR and AR, but also impact the quality of course material being given out to students. We have already seen examples of this surface with companies that use AR goggles to create more immersive learning techniques for students.

These companies enable students to bring life to the material they are leaning about, breaking the traditional barrier of having words on paper or a screen. Currently, students from K–12 can participate in virtual field trips, exploring far-flung destinations like the Great Pyramids, even navigate through the human body, all without leaving their classroom.

Let us take a closer look at what the classrooms of tomorrow may look like and feature.

Internet of Things (IoT) in schools

IoT has a lot to offer on the educational front; from an organizational perspective, IoT can save educators a lot of time with their students by automating manual administrative tasks and allowing students to deliver feedback digitally.

Not only will higher bandwidth levels increase signal strength for online classrooms but will also pave the way for instructors to move away from the boring PDF-powered educational tools to present much more captivating and engaging course material.

With this, more audio-visual study material will surface, tapping into students who have a learning preference toward more engaging studying methods.

5G and distance learning

It is a common fact that people have cuddled up and enjoyed the idea of learning new material from video content; and this is being seen through a myriad of companies that deliver their message via video.

This will not only offer a boost to online lectures and live streaming experiments in real time but will offer a level of know-how that traditional and academic teaching has been lacking for generations.

Let us take the example of film students in universities.

“5G has the ability to unlock a whole new level of learning for film students, since it allows instructors to use the Internet to jump from one set to another to give students the advice and feedback necessary in real time,” Alan Mehanna, an adjunct film professor at the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut, told Inside Telecom.

According to Mehanna, this feature alone can help both faculty and students save time, money, and resources in a massive way, since it allows for instant guidance and feedback to be given.

“Not only that, but 5G can easily upgrade our curriculums to current technological standards; an example of this is unlocking access to 4K streaming, downloads, and shooting to the masses, which would allow us to equip the student body with the latest industry practices,” Mehanna added.

Broadening the learning spectrum

Due to the lightning speed of 5G, education can be taken to the next level by offering students more tailored and personalized learning exercises that will increase their mental grip of the material, while elevating their learning material beyond the classroom.

The power of immediate access with the help of 5G will change the dynamics of the education system forever, making education simpler than ever.

5G in classrooms

When it comes to 5G, there are plenty of ideas, products, solutions, and services that have benefitted many industries; education, however, is still scratching the surface of what’s possible within the classroom.

1. AR/VR immersion

Use of these kinds of technology will require lightening speeds to make the experience as seamless and immersive as possible, this is where 5G comes in.

4G struggles to maintain the traffic required for AR and VR experiences. But with 5G, students may tour the human body or visit other planets using VR. With AR, they can explore concepts through touch, pinching and zooming through the Earth’s layers as fast as they think it.

2. Video downloads in seconds

It is a known fact that younger generation flock to YouTube whenever they want to learn anything new; from how to tie a tie, to repair videos and the like. The injection of 5G into the mix will only speed up and increase the level of information students are receiving from videos, online lectures and assignments.

3. A spotlight on special needs

Children with special needs may require more frequent or full-time assistance from teachers. There are robot applications to help with problem-solving, but they are not as responsive as the children they’re designed to help. 5G will enable robots to be full-time assistants and support teachers by responding immediately to help with learning exercises.

4. Educational flexibility

Every student’s learning style and ability is different.

5G will greatly boost students’ education outside the classroom, delivering the same data speeds and responsiveness in the classroom to their phone or laptop.

Regardless of distance or location, 5G empowers students to access the same information and exercises as their peers, in the manner they feel most comfortable tackling.

Thus, tech and telecom giants have a golden opportunity to use educational institutions as the vanguard for the development of their 5G-powered solutions and technologies.

The 5G revolution can only be sparked by striking out early and fostering innovation – and educational institutions are the perfect place to start.