AR, robots and streamed lessons, it’s the class of 2050

Streamed lessons, augmented reality and robots expected to be daily teaching tools in the classroom of the future

New research revealed by Virgin’s thought leadership series, Disruptors, reveals a mixed bag of feelings from parents regarding the use of cutting edge technology in classrooms, with over a third (41%) concerned that robotic teachers will limit a child’s education and eventually replace human teachers in schools.

Of the 1,050 parents of children 18 and under quizzed by Disruptors almost one in five (17%) expect robots to be a daily fixture in the classroom of 2050, alongside augmented and virtual reality (30% and 37% respectively). 

However almost a third of parents have serious concerns with almost a third (29%) worried about hacking of robots putting their children at harm and almost half (48%) worry that it will negatively impact interpersonal skills and social development in young children. 

‘As technology evolves, we need to embrace the benefits and challenge the concerns, so it’s not surprising that parents have mixed feelings towards advanced technology in the classroom.’ Sir Richard Branson

Parents also express concerns around current teaching practices, with a paltry 6% rating the current teaching of STEM subjects in schools as ‘very good’.

Perhaps the reason why 60% believe technology and robotics could have a positive impact on their child’s education, with just under a quarter (22%) admitting that technology will promote collaborative learning with teachers. 

Virgin Group founder, Sir Richard Branson, said: ‘As technology evolves, we need to embrace the benefits and challenge the concerns, so it’s not surprising that parents have mixed feelings towards advanced technology in the classroom. Innovation creates many opportunities and inspires young people which in turn will inspire our future. This is why the education model needs keep up with innovation and technology in the 21st Century to maintain relevance our children, who will be entrepreneurs of the future. The upcoming Disruptors event will tackle the future of education head-on during a day of innovation, exploration and debate.”