Intel has rolled out a new high-tech laboratory that will tour the country showcasing the latest in cutting-edge educational technology. What is the Tech Learning Lab? It’s a custom-built mobile container truck outfitted with virtual reality demo stations, powerful PCs, augmented reality, and IoT (Internet of Things) smart whiteboards. A multi-city tour is providing hands-on technology workshops so that students, educators, and administrators can experience the possibilities for tomorrow’s classrooms.
Intel hopes that by offering the most innovative teaching methods to educators, the Tech Learning Lab will equip the leaders of the future with the right tools. “Students live in a digital world,” explains Education Segment Manager Raysana Hurtado. “Jobs and other things are changing rapidly, and we want to be a part of that change.” The Tech Learning Lab’s immersive, interactive approach can build fundamental career skills such as communication, collaboration, self-awareness, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Hands-on virtual lessons in the arts and sciences will reveal the power of new technologies. Instead of simply keeping up with education’s tech needs, the Learning Lab aims to create the next wave that will carry schools into a new age of education.
Some of the demo sessions on the tour include coding, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and design thinking and life skills. For example, participants can take a virtual field trip to the Smithsonian Institution, or they can create realistic virtual robots.
Many of the sessions involve the use of virtual reality headsets. The space lesson is part of a science curriculum unit that allows students to virtually pilot a spaceship and travel the universe to explore the Milky Way galaxy, a black hole, a comet, and more. Another session lets participants engage in virtual frog dissections, providing “a safer, cost-effective, and more humane anatomy lesson,” according to Intel. The concepts of anatomy and other life sciences can thus be gleaned with no loss of actual learning.
Teachers with no knowledge of virtual reality coding can easily build and adapt lesson plans. Students receive personalized attention through one-on-one 3D learning experiences directly from the experts.
“As a student who had learning issues,” says Hurtado, “I know that technology changed my life, and it was something that I brought into the classes that I taught, enabling people to be empowered by it and reduce any barriers that were up for them. As part of this tour we’re offering some really amazing curriculum. For instance, the Tech Learning Lab shows how to use artificial intelligence to code and program a drone and fly it up in the air. It’s all about using technology to enable students to follow their interests and stay engaged. Intel is not just building the most powerful PCs for education, we’re also thinking about how teachers can be empowered by these devices.”
At the first stop on the tour, the Bronx Academy of Letters, principal Erin Garry observed, “What it means for our students is that they’re engaging in 21st-century experiences that don’t live within the four walls of our schools. And the most powerful part of it is that the students were working together collaboratively through a process. They were trying different approaches, troubleshooting, coming up with creative solutions.”
Through innovation, technology, and the power of data, Intel technology is shaping education and preparing students for careers in the modern workforce.
Intel believes that its Tech Learning Lab has the ability to transform education by becoming an integral part of curricula around the country. Instead of an add-on to existing instructional methods, the new technology could become an essential feature of 21st-century classrooms.
Says Hurtado, “Intel is addressing the needs of educators through advanced technology that enables effective and dynamic classroom experiences and drives students’ skills development to prepare them for the demands of the future workforce.”
The future of education is virtually here, and it is filled with exciting possibilities.