5G networks could also indirectly relieve another structural problem of assistive technology in special education, which is limited processor and storage capacity. Applications like real-time translation and assistive robotics require high-speed microprocessors and large amounts of storage. It's a challenge to pack all that power into the small form factors that are required for portability.
With 5G, data that now must be stored locally can be moved into the network. Many applications will no longer need to be downloaded but can be served up as a network stream. Not only do students get the benefit of the latest software but their devices will be able to handle more applications without bogging down.
That means robotics for students with physical disabilities could be more responsive, transcriptions for students with hearing disabilities could be faster and more accurate, and students with physical impairments could be able to enter virtual worlds with their classmates. That could contribute to a more inclusive learning experience for everyone.
For students whose disabilities prevent them from being physically in the classroom, 5G can improve the quality of remote video learning by reducing lag that can be common over Wi-Fi connections. Teachers will be able to focus on learners rather than making technology work. Immersive virtual reality over 5G could also become more practical, enabling students with disabilities to experience the feeling of being in the classroom.
Many special needs students struggle to process language or to communicate effectively. Near-real-time transcription over 5G networks could enable them to keep up with their classmates by reading what's being said in the classroom and "speaking" through voice synthesis. The wireless technology could also usher in the "tactile Internet," according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. When combined with virtual reality, this could enable students who can't accompany their classmates on field trips to see, hear and touch objects that would otherwise not be available to them.
Learn more about how 5G technology in special education could be important to engaging and effectively teaching students.