Ideas for the Future of Education

Ideas for the Future of Education

Author: Benjamin Borrow

On April 10th, spring was well and truly in the air at the CDTM. For one, the weather in Munich was uncharacteristically balmy; for another, the Class of Spring 2015 presented to the public for the first time as they pitched the final results of their Trend Seminar.

Over the course of the hot afternoon, five groups of students presented their business ideas concerning “The Future of Education.” Since CDTM sponsored this semester’s project, the event was open to the public, and attended by the likes of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Diepold,  Board member of CDTM and Vice President for Diversity and Talent Management at TUM, Michael Folgmann from the TUM Medienzentrum, and Karin Odry, who flew in from Hamburg to represent the Joachim Herz Stiftung.

DSC_0404xTo kick off the afternoon, the audience first heard from a team of students about their concept to revolutionize the German start-up scene: “Pop-Up Entrepreneurs.” The idea was inspired by a prevailing problem that Germany lags far behind the U.S. in educating and inspiring entrepreneurs to begin their ventures soon after finishing school. The team’s solution to the problem involved touring German cities with their pop-up “E-dome,” where high school students would be given the tools to ideate and realize potential start-up concepts.

DSC_0410xTeam “Vila” followed the “Pop-Up Entrepreneurs” with a seemingly futuristic idea: an Oculus Rift augmented reality app for language learning, which they claim would enable users to intimately engage with the local culture of foreign countries – all without having to leave one’s home.

DSC_0392xThen came “Education Island.” This mobile phone and computer application is designed for young high school-aged students and encourages users to not touch their phones at school. The longer they stay disconnected, the more currency they earn, which they can spend on their virtual education island after school hours.

DSC_0399xAfter a short break, team Lecturelytics presented their solution for poor audience engagement in university halls across the academic world. Their high-tech product, replete with machine learning and face recognition, alerts lecturers to audience attention levels and suggests lecturing approaches to improve engagement.

DSC_0418xFinally, team PadPet took to the stage. Their product, a handheld learning device for children aged between 3 and 8 years, is a novel attempt to engage young learners with quizzes. The device is home to a PadPet creature, whose survival relies upon the user answering basic educational quizzes. A parent portal complements the product, and enables parents to buy courses, see analytics of their children’s progress, and create courses for their children.

These five ideas were the final result in the three-step Trend Seminar program at CDTM. The other stages required students to delve into current trends in education, and explore four distinct future scenarios of the education landscape. The results of all these phases, including reports, videos, and posters will be published online later this semester.

April studies Neuro-Cognitive Psychology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and started CDTM in Fall 2014. She is interested in how we affect, and are affected by, technology in our increasingly digital world.