A growing number of Edtech players entering the market offer countless options for teachers and students. However, with the settlement of the pandemic, not all institutes are looking for the most advanced system but for simplified digital tools in their classroom.
Blended learning is not an invention of the pandemic, but rather a developing concept that has been driven at the speed of the crisis. Several institutes were already integrating technological solutions into their courses long before the coronavirus pandemic struck. Therefore, it is not surprising that even when the crisis stabilizes, not all courses will return 100% to classroom instruction. These are questions of percentage, how many will be online and how many in class.
The many forms of the hybrid class
The transition to online courses was sudden but not necessarily a challenge for all higher education institutions. While not all were ready to go full-time, the institutes had procedures in place, resources that could be used even at the onset of the pandemic. Today, there is a plethora of options between online classrooms, edtech companies, online learning platforms, and even overseas collaborations. Needless to say, there are many creative solutions to the distance education crisis.
ITM, Khargar has chosen to create “Teacher Learning Studios,” a place on campus where teachers can come and teach online with all the tools and resources available. Lakshmi Mohan, Principal, ITM – Kharghar, however, says that if they are prepared for a hybrid class, students do not necessarily have the same resources. She says, “You should have the best gadgets so you can connect with your teacher during distance learning, so that’s still a big question because we haven’t provided gadgets to students, it’s all been so sudden. that I don’t think of any institution as really thought about it.
Professor Rakesh Mohan Joshi, Professor and President, International Research and Collaboration, IIFT informs: “We were working on digital learning long before [the pandemic]. The only thing is that the lockdown has sped up the whole process. “Adding further that the exams are the only obstacle, for which the institute” hires a number of agencies “.
Srinath, director and dean of skills development, KL Academic Staff College, echoes that their institute has been using virtual labs for up to five years and combined multiple modes of learning before the pandemic. He explains: “With the exception of medicine, this can be done in almost any science, humanities, management and engineering schools. Adding: “Students are expected to learn how to practice and become lifelong learners because they have to implement all of these technologies and tools that they learn in this area of higher education. “
Tarun Anand, President and Founder of Universal Business School, says, “I’ve always believed that operations would be taken over by machines in the future, and that’s a good thing. It brings efficiency. Anand, however, believes that higher education is more than what is taught in the classroom. He shares his experience with students, stating that “80-90% of students said they hate distance learning. Yes, we got what we wanted. We want to be present throughout the life of the campus. 50 percent or more, sometimes, is learned outside of the classroom. Students miss it.
All educators believe the goal is to provide students with a quality education that is as transparent as possible. Tech companies have also stepped in to provide not only online teaching / learning tools, but simple, easy, and stakeholder-aware methods.
Lenovo solutions not only target distance learning students, but empower IT staff to evolve a cloud-based management system. Lenovo has transformed a product-centric organization 360 degrees into a solutions-oriented organization, not a solution-oriented one. Respond to the most critical needs with the technology-centric grip of its customers. It is intelligent technology that is constantly evolving, responding to the concerns of all stakeholders:
- Teacher: Digital learning has become the new normal and these elements are very important for tracking, managing and supervising students. Lenovo Smart Classroom uses intelligence tool to deliver high-quality digital content that reduces the burden of lesson preparation and improves collaboration among students, easily tracks, manages and monitors educational content displayed to students in an effective learning management system.
- Student: Students are always looking for fun and interactive classroom experiences. With Lenovo Smart Classrooms, learning can be an enjoyable experience. With access to great, immersive educational content right on their device, students can learn from anywhere. AI-based technology helps build student confidence by helping them practice English at home.
- IT administrators: Lenovo SmartClassroom empowers solution and IT administrators to optimize operations, ensure compliance, data security and asset accountability. In addition, the facility administration can make data-driven decisions to manage the program as a whole through an intuitive dashboard: what software can and cannot be used?
- Parents: Information on student learning progress and class performance is regularly shared with parents. Parents are also allowed to control apps on the student’s device to ensure their child’s physical and mental well-being. There has to be a tool that can actually control and display the content that kids are looking for on their devices.
Mukesh Nihalwani, Sales Head-Pvt Education, Lenovo India, says: “We are able to break the digital divide and engage the Education Institute for a larger IT ecosystem, our hybrid classrooms are an opportunity for the teaching and the online learning revolution.
What are we missing?
For every technological need, there seems to be a solution available. However, concerns remain among educators, who question the sustainability and effectiveness of hybrid classrooms. Mohan asks, “What about digital dementia? What about the videoconferencing fatigue that teachers and students face? Watching a screen, whether at home or in the classroom, cannot be healthy in the long run. Anand, highlights a more fundamental dilemma: “The biggest problem is motivating students to take on a big challenge. “
Professor Joshi points out that the scans will increase the gap between people and challenge the authority of the educator: “There is a lifecycle of knowledge, you know the student is updated and the teacher is not updated. The generation gap is accelerated by the digital divide between the understanding of people of both age groups.
The availability and accessibility of devices is also an issue that educational institutions must address in order for blended distance learning to take place seamlessly. Srinath, however, insists, “The current generation of students, wherever they are, whatever remote location they are, even though they may not have an Internet connection. Everyone has a mobile device with them. Put the onus on technology companies to deliver software that everyone can work with.
Mukesh Nihalwani says, “We have the tool, but the right tool has to be used in the right way. “
Regardless of the pandemic, the hybrid class was inevitable going forward, at least in the eyes of some higher education institutions. While there are challenges, such as device availability, student mental health, social aspects of learning, etc., most institutes and tech companies have taken the initiative to find the solutions for make education accessible to all. Even though the pandemic has made hybrid classrooms and blended learning a necessity, the education and tech industry is quickly catching up to meet demands.