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Emerging technologies in education and their challenges

March 9, 2022

The pandemic caused by COVID-19 as changed the world in which we live, meaning a society even more interconnected where technology has become a tool of the present and the future. The future of education presents itself as a learning structure where educators will become active facilitators modeling knowledge more suited to the specific abilities of everyone, forging the need for distance learning. Lifelong learning and professional development grow to be a necessity that imply new educative tools to effectively enhance the learners’ competencies. The evolution of new technologies and scientific progress is phenomenal and impact numerous fields, including education. In this perspective, the available technologies influencing the quality of learning are various. Those mentioned in this article are the metaverse, the virtual reality, the augmented reality, the blockchain and the artificial intelligence, appearing with their advantages as well as the querying they raise.

Metaverse, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

The metaverse is, without a doubt, one of the most talked about technology in 2022. It combines virtual reality and augmented reality. Augmented reality refers to an environment where physical and numerical objects coexist, whereas virtual reality completely substitutes the real world with an artificial universe. Gathering all these elements together in education enables immersive learning to perform like never before. From now on, it will  be possible to take gamification of courses to another level, to travel without changing place to discover the history and the culture of other location, learn the laws of physic and take advantage of the science. Actors in the world of education could capitalize on it with unimaginable opportunities.


The blockchain is an advantageous technology in education that improves its sustainability.  It facilitates  interactions between people without intermediates, reducing costs and ensuring its traceability. The databases, which are situated in different geographical location, store blocks of information. The impossibility of modifying or revising information once it has been registered makes it ideal for collaborative learning. In addition, this technology has the ability to allow the learner to manage personal learning paths. Indeed, learners can go and choose learning modules from a wide-ranging selection of courses, with the advice of a tutor and the support of evaluation programs, tracking records of their learning, thus facilitating the management of continuous learning.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has begun to enter the education system with the aim, among other tasks, to increase enrollment or operations efficiency. However, it is in the field of adaptive learning that it demonstrates its enormous potential. Especially amongst systems based on artificial intelligence which interact with learners according to their profile, their behavior, and their performance. The system can monitor the knowledge of a learner regarding a competency or a particular subject through different tests and, based on the results, suggest other resources such as simulations, games or videos customized on learning requirements.


Despite the obvious advantages, emerging technologies cause considerate challenges to building fair and accountable systems. One of the main ethical concerns is about autonomous decision making with algorithms and artificial intelligence. Its growth has made propaganda of malicious deepfakes possible. Additionally, the interaction between humans and machines raises security issues. Indeed, how to ensure that a humanoid robot is not used to deceive? Vigilance and security issues, mainly affecting artificial intelligence, should also be considered. The major risks associated with the use of artificial intelligence relate to the failure to respect the fundamental rights of consumers, especially those related to the protection of personal data and privacy. The metaverse is also affected by ethical concerns raised by psychologists. Prolonged use of the metaverse would lead to the deterioration of social relationships, the loss of healthy habits, addictions, and a drop in self-esteem. In addition, the blockchain raises a dispute over its environmental impact since it requires the use of large quantities of electricity which, in some countries, is produced by fossil fuels.

Possible solutions

UNESCO has addressed some of these issues. Among the solutions is the development of an international code of ethics with which the Tech Giants should comply. It becomes important to define the limits of privacy and data collection. The self-regulation of companies requires interoperability and accessibility in order to bring greater transparency, helping to avoid bias in the behavior models of artificial intelligences. The blockchain can also be a tool to take into consideration when talking about supporting artificial intelligence. However, the transfer of current data to the blockchain could lead to security breaches. Awareness and education could counter the harmful consequences of some emerging technologies. Agency must be considered so that users develop skills to exercise their critical judgment in the face of, for example, hyper realistic videos that apply artificial intelligence to represent someone saying and doing things that did not happen. An understanding of the negative effects of long-term exposure to the metaverse could, in turn, lead to a moderate use of this technological tool. Concerning the interactions with robots, bringing the concept of consciousness to artificial intelligence is a very interesting and a promising approach.


The field of education, like all other sectors, needs to adapt to the digitalization of the world and the changes that come with it. The training of new generations in this field is increasingly necessary and a new challenge arises: to combine education and the technological paradigm. It is the responsibility of all those who are attached to the education system to transform their practices and educational culture to make the most of them and take advantage of these technologies.