Investing in a Distance Learning Solution: The Future of Educational Technology
By Nadav Avni, Chief Marketing Officer at Radix Technologies
With vaccination programmes in place and Coronavirus infections rates dropping, economies are reopening, people are going back to work, and students are back to school. Educational technology adopted during the height of the pandemic, helped schools make the transition from in-person schooling to remote learning, but what happens to these investments once the pandemic ends? And how can classroom technology remain flexible no matter the educational setting?
An Educational Technology Overhaul Is Due
Given its importance, many educators believe that remote learning will enjoy the biggest growth in the next three years. Many school systems will focus on addressing the divide between students with access to those without while being inundated with requests and recommendations for equal access to the internet when students are at home.
Educational technology is a means to achieving the goal of providing equal access to education. Given the possibility that COVID-19 will linger a while longer, it makes sense to adopt systems that do not have a singular method. Post-coronavirus, schools should feature learning systems that can accommodate in-person training, remote learning, or a hybrid of both.
After the Pandemic, Hybrid Learning Will Follow Remote Learning
Because of the stay-at-home orders called for by the pandemic, schools undertook large-scale efforts to utilise education technology in support of remote learning. It enabled teachers and students to remain connected regardless of distance.
Now, schools are open and welcoming back students, pandemic or not, remote learning isn’t going away soon. Therefore, having a choice of educational technology modalities is important. Ideally, these systems work pre and post-coronavirus.
Post-COVID, hybrid learning offers the best way to combine in-person classes with online learning. A special set of tools for teachers is required. This includes an intuitive classroom management solution that allows access to learning materials for both in-person and online students. This helps teachers stay in control of their hybrid classes. At the same time, students, whether in-person or online, receive the same degree of attention and access. As such, they won’t feel that the method of learning seems to favour the other group.
Managing the Post-Pandemic Classroom
Unless the pandemic disappears tomorrow, learning methods will be subject to change depending on the COVID-19 situation. In times like these, it’s best to have both the school system and the educational technology capable of switching between in-person, remote, or hybrid learning modes in an instant.
The new normal brings new expectations as coronavirus transformed the teaching profession. With the right equipment, teachers can continue with the “over the shoulder” teaching experience even in online and hybrid situations. Sharing learning materials shouldn’t also pose a problem with modern classroom management solutions, as it incorporates popular mobile technology such as screen sharing, file sharing, and whiteboard collaboration. Integrating the communication functions instead of depending on a separate application can also provide additional convenience. Instead of requiring teachers and students to switch between applications, a single all-in-one solution can cover the functions of classroom management, learning management, and video conferencing. Finally, both students and teachers shouldn’t worry about potential breaches of private data. The optimal system should provide robust security measures that secure school and student information and keep them private and confidential.
Heightened Expectations for Education Technology
Hybrid learning offers an advantage of the flexibility needed sorely in a post-COVID scenario. It allows schools and students to continually adjust to any situation without the need to automatically suspend classes. Individual students also benefit from the flexibility of hybrid learning as they can still join classes from home when circumstances prevent them from leaving the house.
At the same time, teachers are expected to leverage modern educational technology to successfully manage different kinds of classes. Securing modern and effective classroom management solutions to help them do so should be a priority programme for educational institutions.
After all, investing in education technology isn’t a cut-and-dried operation. Instead, it should be seen as a continuous process for improvement that benefits the school and improves the students’ learning experience. Treating it as a one-time expense can potentially cause schools to fall behind over time as they deal with outdated software, hardware, and processes. Instead of choosing a singular system, it makes more sense to invest in an option that provides the flexibility and functionality needed for effective classroom management.