It no longer comes across as ridiculous to say that we are heading toward a world that could result in humanity giving way to androids and that the next step of human evolution is the humanoid.
Taking into consideration that the android robot Sophia was granted citizenship, the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) 3, the engrossing Neuralink chips and of course SpaceX, it is important we take notice that teaching has exponentially developed since the days of the old classical military order of wanting to control people in school classrooms in order to dictate information.
Why is there a need for a teacher in an environment where PDFs, books, magazines and resources are all readily accessible online and thousands of educators deliver training videos on many platforms such as YouTube?
In the social sciences departments, the transfer of knowledge can be done without the need for an intermediary thanks to technology.
Perhaps more practical subjects require the guidance of someone, a teacher who has already walked the path, to form the master-apprentice relationship needed in the learning process.
In his book "Deschooling Society," Austrian author Ivan Illich emphasized that the concept of school was outdated.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced billions of people to lock themselves away, stopping life all over the world, and one of its biggest effects was on education.
With the closing of schools and educational institutions, the whole world has embraced the urgent solution that is online distanced education but it has also raised questions of efficiency.
In the online system student participation in the lesson cannot be controlled, student-teacher interaction is limited and the student is unable to enjoy the social benefits of school, bringing into question the classical education and training methodology.
If it is possible to educate students through distance education, then what is the difference between online education sites that provide online education in many internet environments such as YouTube? Is school still necessary? Are teachers still needed? Is the teaching profession ending or perhaps changing form?
A virus has reminded us of the importance of maintaining a social distance and isolation at a time when the human population is increasing rapidly and animal-human interactions rise.
Considering that the world will never be rid of viruses, bacteria and related diseases, even if the perfect coronavirus vaccine is developed and the pandemic ends, a lesson must be learned and man must rebuild in a way that protects humanity from new contaminations and pandemics stemming from newly mutated new microorganisms.
Does that not mean that an update is required for the pre-COVID-19 educational model in which millions, potentially billions, of children and young people sit side by side every day at close proximity?
The distance, remote and online models of education have become part of our "new normal" and have come with their challenges.
However, if the pandemic ends, many predict that the distance education model will continue, having become an indispensable educational apparatus.
This means a change to the established triangle of school (building), teacher (dictating) and student (memorizing). Furthermore, the system is completely evolving from a culture of teaching to a culture of learning.
Considering that students use computers, iPads or mobile phones to connect to their distance learning platform, which can be done from wherever they have an internet connection, it is clear that this new mode of education that is independent of time and place is our new reality with all of its advantages and disadvantages.
Nevertheless, a recurring point made by teachers and parents is that students feel isolated, finding it difficult to identify with school and as a result are unable to engage and develop.
“Are the lessons repulsive, the teachers repulsive, the methods repulsive or all of them?” It should be considered.
However, it is clear that Generation Z is not interested in monotonous teachers who teach the same curriculum every year when they can access the very same information on PDFs at any time.
Children are becoming addicted to the internet and online gaming, but they do not like attending classes.
Why? The biggest reason for this is that children struggle to concentrate and engage in the online school environment.
About 2,500 years ago, in the beautiful "Poetics," Aristotle explained the elements required to capture an audience in a dramatic play.
Aristotle said that the audience must be able to identify with the play's hero, which helps the viewer become immersed in the story and thus able to experience a catharsis of emotions through the character. This means that it requires empathy for the audience to identify with the character enough to be captivated by what they are watching.
If we are going to venture further online in the future of education, then we must develop lessons and lectures as games that will capture Generation Z.
Considering that there are now over 2.5 billion active players worldwide (a billion more than just five years ago), you can imagine the attraction of playing games all over the world.
We should remember what Marshal McLuhan, one of the leading philosophers of communication science, said: "The medium is the message.”
The medium of remote/distance/online is technological equipment. Although the equipment used today are mostly mobile phones, PCs and iPads, in the very near future 3D technologies, haptic simulators, virtual reality (VR) technologies and augmented reality technologies will replace them.
Augmented reality and haptic technology seem like the future of practical training in many fields of education. In this respect, the field of dentistry would benefit more than any other in adapting how it is taught to the "new normal," since almost all dental practical courses can now be taken online thanks to the technology mentioned above.
Gaming has already been announced as an effective teaching tool that increases motivation and interest. PISA tests show that children who are more interested in digital gaming achieve better reading, math, and physics problem-solving results.
In my proposal, all teachers are content producers and their courses are digital content, with the students being the audience. The student should experience a catharsis over the learning process in the most efficient way by ensuring that they can identify in the class and engage.
I am not suggesting we implement more games into education, I am proposing we create digital lessons that are games within themselves.
Each of the proposed digital lessons will be an individual game with its own educational content that the gamer/audience (not student) can engage in within a 3D environment through VR, independent of time and space.
Each discipline will design all its lessons as individual games. The education platform can be provided as an application that can be downloaded from platforms like the Appstore and Google Store.
This means that the new education team needs professionals from a range of fields, including, educators (teachers, professors), drama and visual arts professionals, digital game designers, communication experts and pedagogues.
In the new normal, in the very near future, in an environment where educational platforms will be 3D augmented VR platforms and the new teacher will be a visual content designer, the new student will be a gamer, player, audience and actor maybe.
Social changes over time have never erased the concept of "school" from society, but today technology does. We are faced with a very new form of learning based on experience more than listening to dictations.
Maybe as the final examples of the traditional type of students and teachers, we will witness the changing of the times and see the days when knowledge is uploaded into our brains through chips and schools and teachers are no longer needed.
*Associate professor at the Department of Orthodontics, Bahçeşehir University
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