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No other sector perhaps has been as comprehensively and completely transformed as the education sector in this pandemic-hit world.
While e-content, whether in the form of eBooks or e-learning, has been around for decades, this format has only been supplementary to contact learning and more prevalent and popular in organizations vis-à-vis schools, colleges, and universities.
The COVID-19 Catalyst
COVID-19 catalyzed the e in the education industry, where electronic (digital) content delivered on electronic devices via the internet became the norm for all forms of education, irrespective of age, gender, ability, or any social marker. From blackboard and in-person learning to whiteboard and virtual learning, education has encountered a tectonic shift.
All over the world, children, teenagers, and adults are logged into classrooms on platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Classroom, for online classes.
Bridging the Gap
The internet and the vast array of digital communication platforms have literally been the bridge connecting the teacher with the student and the ecosystem for learning to happen.
Has it all been seamless and hunky-dory? Of course not. Hardware and software issues cropped up both at the educators’ end and at the students’ end. The presentation of the study material had to be revamped to adapt to online teaching. Both teachers and students have had to reorient to only online teaching/learning. Teachers have it harder, as online coaching requires higher levels of engagement to ensure longer attention spans. Innovation has been the key to improving the learning experience.
This is where edtech—education technology, which is the fusion of education and technological practices to deliver learning—enters the landscape. The integration of advanced edtech tools, such as animated content, augmented reality textbooks, games, educational videos, simulations, has visibly resulted in greater engagement, effectiveness, and inclusivity of the learning experience. The immediacy and interactivity of these tools continue to heighten the learning experience. This is the present and future of education.
Edtech has democratized education, especially for people with disabilities (PwD). “For many children with disabilities, they’re capable of far more than their schools give them credit for,” says special education lawyer Kitty Cone.
This is where, in an era of exponential and accelerated digital evolution, technology arrives as a savior to attend to the complex problems of learner diversity. Customized and personalized learning with specific parameters of assessments for PwD are all possible with edtech, leading to a more independent learning for children with disabilities from the comfort of their homes (especially during these pandemic times) and also to more engaged learners.
This shift toward virtual learning is making the education sector rethink its model. Can some education be commoditized using technology, like learning physics and math theorems? So, while students may take such courses online, they can use face-to-face interactions for problem-solving, group assignments, career guidance, field-based projects, faculty interaction, and other such qualitative activities. Such a hybrid model may also reduce the cost of education.
Many global publishers have come forward with a plethora of resources to make it easier for educators to move online in light of the current pandemic crisis.
Amnet is a trusted partner for educational publishers across the world. Do reach out to us at educational publishing to know more about how we can be of assistance to you with our expertise.Sources
1. https://hbr.org/2020/03/what-the-shift-to-virtual-learning-could-mean-for-the-future-of-higher-ed .