By: Cesilia Faustina
Around the month of February, schools around the world started to shut down since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Most countries were in unison about the decision to stop gathering kids in a communal space, however, many were not sure about the impacts towards the education system.
As soon as the COVID-19 took place, it was obvious that closing schools was the right action, however, shutting education institutions is not something any country could afford to do on a prolonged basis. Courses eventually continued to be given through online conference calls and many education institutions are depending on the use of education software.
With no idea of when the education sector will start to open up again, could we be facing a new standard of education?
The answer here could essentially be, yes.
Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, education organizations were already starting to shift towards a digital transformation with e-learning market worldwide to be forecasted to surpass 243 billion USD by 2020. Over the years digital education has always been forecasted to improve, and so it has. With the rise of the coronavirus these numbers are probably looking at even more increase. Technavio’s report even predicted a year-to-year growth rate of 8.35% for 2020.
Most recent market reports on digital education has shown similar stats of the increase of growth and usage, and we are expecting the 2020 analysis is greatly affected by not only the opportunity to go digital but the need to go digital.
The digital market
Since the coronavirus, even the EU and UNESCO has provided a lists of education platforms and software that can be used by schools. Teachers and education administrators are encouraging students to learn via digital means, which apparently is not too hard to accomplish these days.
Head of education at the OECD Andreas Schleicher has even stated these times of uncertainty may be the ideal time for innovation in education. “All the red tape that keeps things away is gone and people are looking for solutions that in the past they did not want to see,” he said.
Most schools require students to at least have Internet and a mobile phone, with these means, they should be able to continue the learning process without even being in class. With most institutions already in the process of digital transformation anyways, they are now taking these platforms to its fullest, conducting a full work cycle through digital applications.
Most of these education management systems provide various modules for communicating, grading, library resources, admissions and more, so what else could you need?
The Cloud Market
On top of that, the utilization of the Cloud is becoming more prominent amongst the education industry. Most institutions utilize this software with the availability of the Cloud, which means that these tools will be accessible online and stored in the Cloud. That way, it creates greater accessibility to students, teachers, and employees.
Most universities utilize this as a great tool to help them access resources and submit or receive assignments. Many universities now work on an online platform to handle their grades, assignments and even lectures. With COVID-19, they are now moving to a full university cycle online, with multiple web conferences and workshops.
Schools who are adopting such management software are also starting to adopt a Cloud platform because at this point, most schools are starting to adopt the same process as online universities and any activity regarding digitalization would probably need the Cloud on their side.
Aside from providing more flexible access and online convenience, in times of a pandemic, it is important to have all data backed-up. These data from schools and universities can be easily saved and accessed through the Cloud which makes teachers’ and students’ lives much easier.
Education continuity planning
As more government bodies and international associations prepare for digital education planning and outlines, it is safe to say that the world is somehow shifting to a new way of life. The uncertainty of the current situation is making it difficult to know for certain when the education system will go back to the way things were, which is why the world is preparing for an upgrade to the system.
Continuity planning published by various institutions showcase preparations for a digital evolution. One plan suggested by IB (International Baccalaureate) presented various sources for online learning, methods and different strategies in how to get started.
With more and more resources like these online, it is becoming easier to implement these changes in the current state, and though not all students might have mobile phones or Internet access, many countries are still trying to figure out ways of how this can benefit everybody. In fact, these changes happened at such an accelerated rate, we will surely greater improvements in the next few months.
There has been too many changes happening all at once and one of the prominent one is education. It does not mean that this is a bad thing though; we may need to adapt full digital transformation for the education realm, but it is providing us with new and creative ways to teach and learn, and it’s just about time our traditional education systems be replaced with a more relevant one. So, with digital education being the new normal, we are discovering new methods, systems and techniques everyday to help improve the education industry, something that was bound to happen with or without the coronavirus anyways. I guess it is time to start adapting and make the most a challenging situation, as we always do.