Technology has long been filtering into educational institutions, but the current pandemic has escalated digital transformation beyond previously imagined bounds.
The education sector has gradually been integrating technology into the curriculum for over two decades now. However, with the current pandemic, we have seen a blanket reform of the way kids are learning.
Digital transformation has become more than just a consideration – it has become a necessity.
For instance, schools have been forced to digitally transfom by adopting online learning systems to teach their students remotely. Google has been a popular tool in this respect because it enables teachers to assign homework, upload presentations and provide feedback.
Another avenue of technology that has mushroomed due to social distancing rules, is video conferencing. This has seen huge uptake during 2020, especially in higher education tiers. It is now commonplace for college and university students to attend Zoom meetings instead of traditional lectures.
While the two abovementioned software-based education tools have gone a vast distance in digitally transforming education, there is a constant flow of innovation coming to the fore.
Extending digital transformation in education
And technology is set to play a pivotal role in so many more aspects of schooling going forward.
Most of us, at some stage of our school life, were assessed as to how we learn best. Today, learners are still categorised into one or more of the leaning sets, including kinaesthetic, auditory and visual.
However, in the past, the ways in which schools could tailor their teaching styles to suit students’ style of learning was limited. For instance, certain subjects and courses lacked video technology. This left visual learners at a disadvantage.
Fortunately, with the rapid progression of technology, most subjects now offer a variety of ways to learn. These include online interactive games, podcasts and video. This is where technology and innovation has been so meaningful, with diverse learning styles being accommodated.
Improving the accessibility to technology
For many, technology has almost seamlessly been embedded into home and school lives, with the notion that everyone has access in some or other way – be it via laptop of mobile phone – being a prevalent one.
However, this is not always the case. Many learners from less fortunate backgrounds have never had the opportunity of using computers in either home or school environments. This has left them at a disadvantage.
That said, many schools have taken this into consideration and schemes have been put in place to empower students technologically at home and at school.
In the UK, Chromebooks are a favoured device in schools, mainly due to how easy they are to use and how well the sector is supported by Google itself.
What can we expect going forward?
While it is difficult to predict what advancements are going to befall the educational sector following the pandemic, it is laudable how quickly the sector has been able to adapt to new ways of learning. The education has shown it can embrace adversity.
In light of this, we can confidently expect online learning to become the preferred way of learning for learners and schools. While this is unlikely to completely replace face-to-face learning, it will allow for easier access to learning materials.
At the end of the day, opening up the learning gates to the burgeoning world of online communications can only be beneficial in today’s fast-paced digital world.