The impact of the pandemic on traditional education is not exactly news. Everyone is talking about that. While the recent turn of events seems to rebound opportunities for the brick-and-mortar institutes, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) believes otherwise. They say disruption in schooling due to the pandemic will cause skill loss. According to the report, it will lead to a 1.5% drop in global economic output for the rest of the century. While this may sound alarming, education institutes, that have traditionally been considered tech laggards, are trying to fill the gap with digital transformation in education.
This digital transformation in the education industry is not limited to learning and teaching. Let us talk about all the major aspects of digitization in the education sector, upcoming trends, and strategies that’ll help enhance the overall student and teacher experience. This is what we’ll cover:
Leveraging IT to simplify business processes is digital transformation. In education, digital transformation can enhance the experience of learners, mentors, alumni and helps in institution management. It helps provide:
1. A seamless enrollment experience for students
2. An interactive and engaging learning experience
3. Better learning outcomes
4. Flexibility to continue learning and teaching from a remote location
5. Flexible course structure and allow students to learn from any device, anytime.
6. Administer student performance
7. Seamless school/college/university administration
Key areas of digital transformation in Education
Although Covid-19 forced institutions to take a digital approach, institutions now realize the benefits of the digital education system. Different education verticals are now open to using innovative technologies. The following are the key areas where digital technologies can create an impact.
1. Using Technology to Enable Classroom Coaching
Since the pandemic, schools, colleges, and traditional brick and mortar institutes have to shut classroom coaching. Almost every institution adapted to digital methods of imparting education. They are, however, still unsure of learning outcomes. Now that the Covid outbreak seems to be under control and schools and colleges are starting classroom coaching gradually, parents are skeptical about sending their wards to the institution. This has forced institutions to consider a digital transformation in education.
Here is how brick and mortar institutions can use technology to sustain the situation:
- Thermal Screening and Sanitization: Measuring the temperature of learners and teachers will be mandatory. Proper sanitization and health monitoring will also gain ground. This way, it will be easy to identify if an infected student/teacher comes in contact with someone else and take precautionary measures. There will be second-order benefits of regular health check-ups in institutions. Many times, the health of students remains unattended, and it hampers their academic performance. Timely attendance to health issues will help improve their learning capabilities.
- Contactless attendance: Restaurants are using a contactless menu. Here, people scan a QR code through their mobile phones to check the menu. Institutions can also use this technology for attendance. Students can register their attendance by scanning their id cards or through a facial recognition system. Regular biometric attendance will soon become contactless.
- Social Distance Monitoring System: Some countries used AI-based technologies to monitor public gatherings and prevent the spread of the virus. Educational institutions can also use these technologies to enforce social distancing and keep sanitary norms in check.
2. Using Technology in the Admission Process
The admission or enrollment process is very time-consuming, in general. Students have to stand in queues to apply for admission and submit documents. They also have to visit the institution frequently to check the status of their application. On the administration front, the admission team has to vet documents, check eligibility, shortlist students, and update them with their application status.
While the system worked until the pandemic, the new-age admission process has to be online to make things simple for everyone – parents, students, teachers, and administration. An end-to-end application process will help institutions in the following ways:
- Institutions can avoid the hassle of paperwork associated with the admission process.
- Technology can help select eligible candidates automatically.
- An automated response system can off-load counselors of routine inquiries.
- Institutions can get real-time updates on the courses, faculties, students, etc.
- Students need not stand in queues and waste time checking the status of their applications.
- Students can simultaneously apply at multiple institutions without visiting the campus.
Learn more about the admission management system.
3. Transforming the EdTech Models
The rise of EdTechs or Education Technology in the past few years is not unknown. Educators have started using technology to make learning more interactive and help students achieve better learning outcomes.
“The trend is going to go up and stagnate. From a business POV, the ability to solve the doubts of learners on the platform will gain momentum. EdTech is not a substitute for the primary mode of learning. Live coaching and replicating a classroom experience have always been the motto of EdTech. Even when things go back to normal, there is an inertia that has been created due to the pandemic. The student retention rate is going to increase as coaching is an important part of the day. Covid has proven the capabilities of online learning to students, parents, and educators.”Sushob Vallan, Business Operations Manager, Unacademy
In the last year, EdTechs have seen a 5X increase in their course subscription rates. The temporary suspension of classroom education (due to the pandemic) was the reason for this boost. While there was a sudden influx in inquiries for online courses, EdTech companies had to prepare themselves to handle both – student onboarding and coaching. EdTechs started using CRM (customer relationship management) software that is commonly used in most B2C businesses.
Here’s how online educators are using CRM:
- Student Inquiry capturing and distribution: In a digital world, student inquiries come in from several channels such as social media, website landing pages, offline campaigns, referrals, and more. Capturing the student inquiries and reaching out to them as soon as they arrive helps convert them faster. EdTech CRM helps route student inquiries to designated sales agents based on various attributes such as language spoken, location, subject, experience, etc.
- Student Intent Tracking: Knowing the students better helps the enrollment representatives pitch relevant courses. EdTech CRM captures many data points such as website visited, links clicked, time spent on each website, link, video, and more. It provides enough information to the representatives to strike an engaging conversation with students/parents.
- Lead Scoring and Prioritization: What if you could figure out the sales-ready leads and reach out to them first? EdTech CRM helps assign scores based on critical actions such as email opened, link clicked, website visited, webinar attended, and more. A lead with a higher score has a higher chance of a conversion, and your representatives can follow-up with such inquiries first to enroll them into courses.
- Data-driven Analytics: Having an overview of metrics such as daily calls made, leads from various sources, campaigns, email open and click rates, lead conversion ratio, and more helps make data-driven decisions. EdTech CRM such as LeadSquared provides over a hundred reports that make lead, enrollment, learner, and faculty tracking easy.
4. Transformation in Teaching & Learning Methodologies
The pandemic has forced educational institutions to adopt a hybrid model of imparting education if not entirely online. The recent acquisition of Aakash by BYJU’S validates that EdTech leader sees a promising future in the hybrid-learning model.
In a conversation with TOI, “The digital transformation in education journey has been like a fast-paced time-lapse, providing a closer peek at the schools of the future. And this is not just in context to classrooms going virtual but a complete transition in the mindset, outlook, and approach to learning. With digital learning, educators are more tech-savvy to maximize engagement.” He, however, believes, “technology needs to be a teacher’s aide for learning effectiveness and not a substitute for physical schools.”Prajodh Rajan, CoFounder and Group CEO, EuroKids International
Technology can help transform learning in the following ways:
Video integration for online learning:
Initially, educational institutions took to video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Google Meet to conduct classes. Institutions found themselves in a soup managing student attendance online and driving exams. However, with overnight advancements in technology, organizations can now integrate their website with such tools and recreate a seamless classroom experience digitally.
Augmented and Virtual reality is extensively gaining ground in education. Augmented reality is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the real-world objects are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information. On the other hand, virtual reality is a simulation of a 3D environment that people can interact using VR glasses or headgears. These technologies make subjects like History, Geography, Biology come to life. For example, Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University trains human anatomy and surgery through AR-based 3D human models.
Games are fun. Through a gamified learning approach, educators can help students retain the subjects eidetically. Widely prevalent in K12 education, gamified learning is slowly becoming popular in professional courses and test-prep segments.
When you log in to your Netflix or Amazon Prime account to watch a movie or series, you see recommendations based on your likings. Organizations are leveraging similar AI technology to help recommend related topics to students. It makes classes interesting because now students can delve deeper into the courses of their interests. There have been many advancements in EduTech for years, and the pandemic has just kindled innovation.
Interactive Video and Media:
The concept of smart class isn’t new. Unlike blackboard learning, interactive content helps students learn by watching videos/media content. The only challenge is, how can mentors keep learners gripped amidst the distractions of digital media?
The solution lies in incorporating student engagement techniques. For instance, Google Digital, an initiative by Google in collaboration with the Indian School of Business and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, promotes digital awareness. Along with the interactive videos, it asks for timely responses and actions during the learning process. It helps in retaining their focus throughout the course session.
Smart Exam Portals:
Assessment tests and grading are also a challenge for institutions. Students sometimes try unfair means to pass the exams. To prevent this, institutions can integrate webcams on their online examination portals. It will help them track any suspicious activities such as tab opens, chatbox in the background, image exchange, and more while taking the exam.
Learning Experience Platform:
Think of an LXP as a mindmap of a student. Unlike a Learning Management System (LMS), which provides a one-track roadmap for learning, LXP provides autonomy. For example, an LMS offers courses in the order named 1,2,3, and so on. An LXP, on the other hand, offers curated content according to the learners’ pace and preference. An LXP provides flexibility in choosing the curriculum flow rather than following a predefined course curriculum.
In a conversation with TOI, “Online teaching has taken on a new meaning with classes becoming borderless, flexible and self-paced. Additionally, traditional classroom has undergone a massive transformation with content becoming a huge differentiator in online education- videos, quizzes, infographics, presentations, analytics, games, interactive formats have become invaluable in the curriculum. Technology in education and online learning tools have become the new chalk and board in the background of the NEP 2020. Thus, Indian institutions must make effective use of innovation to improve their teaching, revisit their pedagogy, and enhance learning for their students. As we advance, blended format will be an acceptable form of imparting education. Still, we will have to ensure that rebalance, remote and in-classroom learning to give students the best experience of learning and interacting.”Dishan Kamdar, Vice-Chancellor, Flame University
The bottom line
It has been a challenging journey for the traditional learning system. Brick and mortar training institutes, schools, and colleges have been forced to implement digital learning modules. Digitization in education has helped the learners as well as teachers to a great extent. However, the challenges remain in online learning and teaching. For instance, educators have not been able to measure the learning outcomes from online education accurately. Moreover, learners who do not have access to the internet, lack smartphones/laptops are still deprived of education. Thus, a hybrid mix of digital and traditional learning is a way forward until digital education becomes accessible to all.
“Although penetrating the global market is important, there is a priority on a more serious issue. It is important to build a proactive solution, especially to support the students who cannot afford laptops and mobile phones. There are many challenges which Cuemath, a pioneer in offline turned online education, is planning to curb. Collaborating with schools, colleges and adopting a hybrid model is very much a possibility. Once the tech-to-all issue is solved, the adoption will increase, and, this will lead to an enhanced student experience.”Saurabh Acharya, Group product manager, Cuemath
LeadSquared helps educational institutions, training centers, and EdTechs transform their admission process. With a strong clientele of over 600+ organizations, including top online and offline education providers such as BYJU’S, Vedantu, Cuemath, Unacademy, Amity University, Manipal University, and more, we can assist you in your digital transformation journey. Book your personalized demo Now!