The world had to suddenly move to digital solutions, driven by the raging COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The education sector wasn’t spared either, with school closures leaving students without access to learning or friends. Against this backdrop, educational institutions and teachers rose to the challenge and did a commendable job of moving education online.
However, the sudden shift to virtual learning and remote classrooms gave little time to prepare for the challenges that lay ahead. Some of the key challenges that educational institutions faced included:
- Finding a robust digital learning platform that could be deployed across all classes, loaded with the right tools to facilitate easy access to learning content.
- Quickly finding digital resources that could take the place of physical learning materials.
- Training the faculty in using EdTech tools to ease education delivery
- Modifying teaching methods and styles to suit the virtual environment.
On the other hand, students faced their own challenges, such as:
- Not always having access to a laptop or Internet WIFI
- Distractions with family members being stuck at home
- Staying motivated in a remote setup.
- Social isolation, without means for collaborative study or assignments.
To support the education sector through such times, and with the foresight that this would be a huge evolution that would take education into the future, educational resource companies, like hand2mind, decided to begin a partnership to bring the best of technology to overcome all these challenges.
Here's how to:
The first step, for hand2mind, was to join hands with a robust digital learning platform that would ease the process of converting print and other physical learning materials into interactive and engaging digital content. In addition, the platform should be easily accessible across multiple devices, including laptops, smartphones and tablets, and OSes, such as iOS, Android and Windows.
When learning is available through both web and mobile apps, with an intuitive interface, even the youngest students and the most technology-challenged teachers can use all resources effortlessly. Now, if this platform easily integrates with the existing LMS of a school or school district or with their rostering tools, life becomes much easier.
Offline Access to Learning
What the remote learning experiment highlighted was that students from lower income households didn’t have reliable access to WIFI. To ensure inclusivity of education, a digital platform armed with an online/offline eReader came as a great solution. This way, students can download lessons or eBooks whenever they have internet access and then review the material or study in the offline mode, whenever they wish to.
With the help of robust assessments and learning analytics, teachers can plan personalized learning paths for each student, based on their strengths and weaknesses. This way, no one need ever be left behind or feel restricted by the pace of the other students. In addition, students can access personalized learning through anywhere, anytime access to the learning material of their choice.
One of the key challenges that both parents and teachers voiced was the impact of social isolation on students. However, when teachers have the rights tools for collaborative learning, they can deploy group assignments, assessments and learning. This way, remote classrooms don’t create an isolated atmosphere for students. In addition, with the integration of gaming elements, such as leaderboards, along with message boards and forums, a sense of competition and team spirit can both be fostered.
Supporting educational institutions and educators directly translates into benefits for students. With the right minds creating learning content, which is delivered on an award-winning platform, we believe that the entire education sector stands to gain.