Tokyo’s Koto Ward was the venue for the IT provider Edmonton Expo, which kicked off a few days ago, the idea was to display cutting edge technology, from robotics to virtual reality technologies, to 3-D printers. This is the seventh rendition of the first of such expos dedicated to showing how best to include technology into the learning process of the world, starting in japanese classrooms. This time, it had a special section to showcase the Learning of Future for the first time. Many Japanese companies were sure to use this opportunity to demonstrate what they believed the future of education would look like and came forward with the latest information technologies to that end.
The main topic of the event is programing education. Now the education ministry is working to include computing programing into the schedules and objectives of all public elementary schools by the time we reach the year 2020.
Currently school children can assemble their own designs of robots using small Lego blocks and relatively small motors to move their joints. Lego is one such creative education oriented companies based on Japan that has been playing a big role in education for more than a decade, that was part of the pack presenting their ideas at the passed expo.
While programming causes a lot of fear for complex language and strict syntax on mention, the kids will be exposed to simple graphic ordering blocks that direct their creations the way they orient each set of blocks together.
Ask Corp, along with virtual reality gear created by the mobile maker HTC, also presented some innovative learning tools that include a software that takes the art education of students to the third dimension. They also put forward workforce applicability of the technology, merging the virtual simulations to be useful in training employees to new and risky tasks.
SmartDiys came forward with a manufacturing teaching module that allows students to plan their designs and eventually put together a real life and functioning laser cutter. They believe that taking learning from the conceptual to the tangible phase will create a new age of well informed and confident learners, who given time and passed through the formative years that education presents, will be well in positions to create more innovative solutions to the toughest challenges the world faces today.
Together, the companies that met in a Tokyo Fashion Town hosted 3 day event shared the notion of taking the textbook environment further through actual showing of all concepts that students often fail to imagine until later in their lives, and bringing them to the classroom early using virtual reality and other mainstream software to let their creativity trigger knowledge assimilation.
The oculus virtual reality headsets and other makes, could soon be seen in classrooms all over the world should the implementation of the ideas believed by many industry leaders in Japan and those still to make their positions known be successful. Education has not changed for some time, perhaps this is the leap we need to move to a new age.