2. Artificial intelligence (AI) deployed at the point of need
From 2009–2019, part-time enrollment in the U.S. only fell by 1%.4 In even better news, graduate enrollment has grown 2.1%, maintaining the 2.7% upward trend from the fall of 2020.5
As enrollment gathers natural, post-lockdown momentum, institutions must support student needs, and that’s where 5G and AI in education play a key role. With technology advancements, undergraduate and graduate educators can lend precise student support, giving colleges the ability to reach students "at the point of need."6 AI can analyze data and activity on student systems like Blackboard to pinpoint patterns and recommend adjustments. It can also suggest individual projects for students based on their schedules and interests. With their ability to handle massive amounts of data, 5G networks power AI so that institutions can improve retention and course success rates more efficiently.
3. Extended reality (XR) for immersive learning
Remote learning and the 5G expansion have supercharged tools that merge the physical and digital worlds. While XR isn't a brand-new technology in education, the pandemic accelerated adoption—rather than just a classroom enhancement, XR became the classroom for some.7 And going forward, the possibilities are only bounded by imagination.
Imagine archaeology students virtually traveling to the Shallalat Gardens and watching professionals hunt for the tomb of Alexander the Great. Or nuclear engineering students virtually entering and managing a reactor. With 5G, these experiences are possible today. Fisk University recently opened a virtual cadaver lab created in collaboration with T-Mobile, HTC Vive, and VictoryXR.8 The lab allows students to virtually explore the human body, examining the details of skeletal, muscle, and organ systems.
With ultra-low latency, 5G is uniquely positioned to enable XR in the classroom. Other mobility solutions often rely on compression to deliver high-definition streams—a result that falls short of a consistent, immersive experience. Critically, lags in data transmission from user actions to in-app displays can create motion sickness.9