Digital Transformation in Education: Trends & Strategies for 2022

Nov 03, 2021

Perspectives in higher education

The COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted the world's economies has also caused a halt to the education industry. About 1.5 million students, or 90 percent of the world's elementary, tertiary and secondary students cannot physically go to schools. This has had a profound effect as educators expect technologies to facilitate remote learning and education. Digital transformation in the education sector is not limited to the post-COVID-19 period of online learning and education. 

While some schools have employed technology solutions in these past few years, the significance of digitalization in the educational environment has been recognized by universities and schools during the COVID-19 epidemic. The governments of various countries are working to reduce the immediate consequences of closures and ensure the continuous education of all students.  Many schools offer students remote learning. However, some plan to move back to the modern standard along with the latest technology. 

This digital transformation in the field of education is not just limited to teaching and learning. Let us talk about the main aspects of digitization in the education sector, the upcoming trends and strategies to enhance the overall teacher and student experience. 

How can digital technology transform Education?  

Utilizing technology to streamline business processes is digital transformation. In the field of education, digital transformation can enrich students' learning experience and improve the overall experience for alumni, mentors and faculty. It also assists in the process of institution management. It can help provide: 

  • An effortless student enrollment process 

  • Engaging and interactive learning experience 

  • Better learning outcomes 

  • Ability to continue to study and teach from remote locations 

  • Flexible course structure that allows students to learn on any device, at any time. 

  • Student performance monitoring 

  • Seamless school/college/university administration 

The most important areas of digital transformation in education 

While Covid-19 forced institutions to adopt the digital route, schools now realize the advantages of a digitized education system. The various verticals of the education sector are willing to use new innovative technologies. These are the top areas where digital technology can make a difference.

1. Using Technology to Enable Classroom Coaching 

In the wake of the pandemic, all colleges, schools, and brick and mortar institutes are forced to stop classroom teaching. Most institutions have switched to digital methods of teaching. However, they are not sure of the learning outcomes. With the Covid outbreak being under control and colleges and schools gradually introducing classroom coaches, parents are cautious about letting their children attend the school. This has forced schools to think about digital transformation in education. 

Here is how brick and mortar establishments can utilize technology to sustain the current situation: 

  • Thermal Sanitization and Screening: Monitoring the temperature of students and teachers will be required. A proper sanitization process and health monitoring will also be required. In this way, it is easy to determine when a teacher or student is infected, & has contact with anyone, and take precautionary steps accordingly. There will be a second-order benefit from regular health screenings in educational institutions. Many times, the health of students is neglected, and this hinders learning performance. Being attentive to health issues on time can help them enhance their ability to learn. 

  • Zero-Contact Attendance: Restaurants are using the contactless menu. This is where people scan QR codes using their phones to view the menu. Institutions can also utilize this method to monitor attendance. Students can log the time they attend by scanning their identification cards or using software for facial recognition. Regular attendance using biometrics will soon be replaced by contactless. 

  • Social Distance Monitoring System Certain countries utilize AI-based technologies to monitor social gatherings and stop transmission of the virus. Educational institutions may also use these tools to enforce social distancing and maintain sanitary standards. 

Using Technology in the Admission Process 

The process of enrollment or admission is extremely time-consuming generally. Students are required to wait in line to fill out an application and provide documents. They are also required to regularly visit the institution to check the status of their applications. On the administration side, the admissions team needs to vet the documents, confirm the eligibility of applicants, shortlist students and inform them of their status on their application. 

Although the system functioned until the pandemic, the admission process for students of today must be made available on the internet to make it easier for everyone - students, parents, teachers, and administrators. A complete application process can assist institutions in these ways: 

1. Institutions can cut out the burden of paperwork that comes with admissions procedures. 

2. Technology allows you to select qualified candidates automatically. 

3. A response system that is automated can relieve counsellors with routine questions. 

4. Institutions can receive real-time updates regarding the faculty, classes and students. 

5. Students do not have to stand in lines and spend time looking up the status of their applications. 

6. Students can apply simultaneously at several institutions without having to visit the campus. 

3) Transforming the EdTech Models 

The growth of EdTechs or Education Technology in the past few years is not unnoticed. Education companies have been making learning more interactive and helping students to achieve higher levels of learning. 

In the last year, EdTech companies have seen a five-fold increase in their subscription rates. In the interim, the suspension of education in classrooms (partly due to the pandemic) is the main reason behind this increase. There was an influx of requests for online classes, EdTech companies had to prepare themselves for the two aspects: the onboarding of students and coaching. EdTechs have begun using CRM (customer relationship management) software, which is used extensively in B2C firms. 

Here is how online teachers use the CRM: 

  • Student Inquiry capture and distribution:  In the digital age, students' inquiries are received through various sources, including social media, landing pages and offline campaigns, referrals, and much more. In the process of recording students' inquiries and communicating with them when they first arrive can help them convert faster. EdTech CRM assists in routing inquiries from students to the appropriate sales agents by analyzing various aspects such as the language they speak and location, subject matter knowledge & experience. 

  • Student intent tracking: Knowing about the student's interests assists the enrollment reps to pitch relevant courses. EdTech CRMs and digital tools track a wide range of data, including the website visits, clicks on links, and the amount of time spent per web page or link, the video, and many more. It offers enough data for the representative to engage in an engaging dialogue with parents/students. 

  • Lead Prioritization and Scoring: What do you think if you could figure out which leads are sales-ready and contact them first? EdTech CRM assists in assigning scores based upon critical actions such as emails, opened clicks on a link and visited sites, webinars attended, and so on. A lead who has an upper score is more likely to be an eventual conversion. Your agents can follow up with inquiries to sign them up in courses. 

  • Data-driven Analytics: Being able to see a summary of data such as daily calls and leads from different sources, campaigns, open and click rates, lead conversion rates and much more helps you make informed decisions. EdTech CRMs and digital tools offer more than a hundred reports that allow lead enrollment, student and faculty tracking simple. 

4) Transformation in Teaching & Learning Methodologies 

The pandemic has forced schools to develop a hybrid approach to teaching, even if it is not completely online. There is a surge in the number of online EdTech's working with brick and mortar institutions.

HOW CAN TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORM LEARNING? 

Initially, higher education institutions turned on video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Google Meet to conduct classes. The institutions were caught in a bind when it came to managing student attendance online and driving tests. However, thanks to rapid technological advances, institutions can now connect their website with these tools and create an immersive classroom experience digitally. 

AR/VR-based Learning: 

Augmented as well as Virtual reality is rapidly becoming more popular in the field of education. Augmented reality provides an interactive experience that simulates an actual environment where actual items are enhanced with computer-generated perceptual data. However, VR is the virtual representation of a 3-dimensional environment that allows users to interact with VR headphones or glasses. The technology makes subjects such as History; Geography, Biology easier to learn as things appear as if they are real. For instance, Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University teaches anatomy and surgery using AR-based 3D human anatomy models. 

Gamification: 

Games can be entertaining. By using gamified learning methods, educators can aid students to retain their subjects in mind. In K12 Education, this practice is widely prevalent. The concept of gamified learning is becoming more popular in professional classes and test prep segments. 

AI/Predictive Learning: 

When you sign in to your Netflix or Amazon Prime account to watch the latest series or movie, you will see suggestions according to your tastes. The companies are using the same AI technology to suggest relevant subjects to students. It is exciting because students are now able to dive deeper into courses that match their passions. There have been numerous advances within EdTech over the years, and the pandemic brought about the process of innovation. 

Interactive Video and Media: 

This concept, known as the smart classroom, is not new. In contrast to blackboard-based learning interactive content, students learn through watching videos or other content. The biggest challenge is how do mentors ensure that students remain focused amidst all the digital media's distractions? 

Engagement! 

Alongside the interactive videos, the program asks for prompt responses and actions throughout your learning. This helps students keep their attention throughout the session. 

Smart Exam Portals: 

Grading and assessment tests are equally a problem for institutions. Students may use unfair methods to pass their exams. To stop this from happening, institutions can use online proctoring solutions for their exams. They can track any suspicious activity like tabs opening and chat boxes on the screen, images exchange and many more while taking the test.

Learning Experience Platform: 

Imagine LXP as a map of the student's mind. Unlike a Learning Management System (LMS), which offers a single roadmap for learning, LXP provides autonomy. As an example, an LMS provides courses in the order of 1,2,3, etc. An LXP, On the contrary, has tailored content based on students' preferences and pace. The LXP allows flexibility when choosing the course flow instead of following a predefined course program. 

THE BOTTOM LINE 

It has been a difficult process for the traditional learning system. Brick and mortar-based training institutions and schools and colleges are being forced to introduce the use of digital education courses. The digital revolution in education has assisted students and teachers in a significant way. However, there are challenges with the field of online education or teaching. Teachers are not able to evaluate the outcomes of learning from online education in a precise manner. Furthermore, students who are not connected to the internet, or lack smartphones or laptops, are still left without education. Therefore, a mix of traditional and digital learning can be a viable option until digital education is accessible to everyone.