The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of life including education; from the subsequent closure of educational institutions around the world to the rapid adoption of online learning.
However, the concept of students studying and learning online started before the spread of the virus with an annual study from the Learning House, a U.S.-based Edtech company, noting that, “the proportion of students studying and learning fully online has risen from under half to fully two-thirds.”
A fast internet connection is one of the main criteria for a successful remote learning experience, therefore, 5G will likely facilitate a more seamless learning experience for students across the world.
Benefits of 5G
Remote learning based on new technologies has convinced 80 percent of teachers that this new way empowers their teaching process, according to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s fourth annual Educator Confidence Report.
So how can 5G rollout help Edtech?
Facilitating learning through new techniques
Allowing students to tap into their imaginative and explorative qualities is an essential step for better learning experiences.
Thus, 5G will broaden the scope of technologies used while teaching students new curricula and learning material; for example, it will allow institutions to open availability for virtual and augmented reality with its low latency and peak download speeds, estimated to be as high as 20 gigabits-per-second.
“Virtual and augmented reality headsets will allow students to place themselves anywhere in the world and even within a story. These digital experiences will enliven current curricula and allow students to energize their imaginative and explorative qualities, which should be central to educational experiences,” Nicol Turner-Lee, Ph.D. and a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation said.
Closing distances with easy accessibility
While 5G offers faster data speeds and enhanced connectivity for many, it may not be accessible to students living in remote or secluded areas. Such a limitation may deepen the digital divide.
However, wireless devices are easier to put in place than traditional wired or fiber-based internet, making it a more practical solution.
Remote learning with 5G is an opportunity to help schools close the homework gap by boosting mobile learning.
“The advent of 5G on mobile devices can help close that gap as students can begin to use faster, more reliable mobile-based connections to complete an assignment, rather than a terrestrial connection,” says Erin Mote, Co-Founder of the Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools and Education Technology expert.
Tech will help special needs students:
Our new educational normal will help students and children with special needs. 5G can help by enabling robots to be responsive with students, offering them good learning experiences, as well as being full-time assistants and supporting teachers by responding instantly to the needs of the student with learning exercises.
However, a big dilemma is presented here: children from high-income families are spending 30 percent more time on distance learning platforms than those from low-income families.
In parallel, 64 percent of secondary pupils in state schools from the wealthiest households are being offered online teaching from schools, compared with 47 percent from poorer families, according to a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies.