Edtech, Digital Learning and COVID-19

Edtech, Digital Learning and COVID-19 

Digital learning has taken new significance for global students, faculty members and families during COVID-19 lockdown orders.  Once considered an alternative option, education technology or edtech has rapidly become an integral part of education systems worldwide. 

Prior this year, education technology was an addition to onsite learning at schools and universities. In fact, just over one year ago, American University’s School of Education released an infographic titled, “The Future of Education Technology.” The focus was on five trends in technology set to create and improve education. They included: learning management systems, gamification, augmented reality and artificial intelligence, coding and robotics, and smart classroom.  

Now, just one year later, governments in 114 countries have announced nationwide closures impacting more than 900 million students and youth. For the foreseeable future, digital is the only method to maintain continuity of learning. Edtech has become the natural choice for educators and parents to help keep students engaged. 
And as restrictions eventually ease, edtech must continue to rapidly evolve to meet market demand for interactive learning and management tools for remote learning and engagement.

As public health officials took necessary steps to close onsite learning facilities, the rapid assessment of edtech solutions provided a possible infrastructure to keep students engaged. 

Education. Transformed. 

In the meantime, many schools initially moved to video conferencing platforms as an immediate pivot, but soon realized a lack of security and video-only tools were not enough to keep students engaged.    

Edtech applications and software were made for this. In fact, edtech applications were created to: 

  • Assist in the move from onsite to online
  • Provide secure applications with unique login credentials
  • Create virtual classroom environments
  • Offer enhanced ways to improve virtual group learning experiences and capture them while helping students and teachers maintain a constant communications link
  • Include learning management systems with ways to manage assignments, tests, and evaluations
  • Empower teachers with simplified operations that allow for collaborative and interactive processes 

But will edtech continue to be relevant after the lockdowns are over? Until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, many educators consider a balanced approach between in-person and remote as the safest and robust way to maintain continuity of learning.

The Future of Edtech

The actual art of teaching is how the teacher adapts the material based on how the information is being received by students. 

As teachers and parents settle in to the evolving landscape that is now education, developers will be hard at work creating next generation functionality for students and teachers.

Some of which might include: 

  • Improve the pace of learning for each child using artificial intelligence (AI) 
  • Establish partnerships between offline universities and edtech firms to deliver online content
  • Provide more interactivity through 3D modeling, etc.
  • Increase the ability to measure student engagement and understanding to inform teaching tools and approaches

This rapid transition to edtech may have taken a decade or more under non-pandemic circumstances. Now, education technology is an essential part of global education networks. 

Does your organization need to pivot to digital learning? Our teams have robust experience accelerating digital solutions for education including Agesic, an organization that was the first to implement a One Laptop Per Child program in Uruguay through the Ceibal Plan.  
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