Category: Edtech

Online schooling: nurturing a new generation of internationally aware learners

“There is a rising trend in families travelling the world, educating their kids themselves while on the move”

Online schools are fostering children and young people’s international awareness by providing greater opportunities to connect and develop alongside peers from all over the world. 

Online and distance learning is already well-established in the context of post-secondary education. However, online education for school-age children is becoming increasingly popular as more families are seeking out alternative options to mainstream school.

Faster broadband speeds and ever-greater access to the internet, along with huge advances in technology over the past decade, have made online schools possible. Platforms such as My Online Schooling provide a full-time, curriculum-led education to serve as a complete alternative to a traditional school for those who need it.

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How different will a UK Boarding school be in 10 years time?

“Classrooms will certainly look different with mobile chatbots offering support to individual students and more personalised learning plans”

With the technological advances in the last 10 years, it is a challenge to predict future changes in another 10 years.  However, there is so much scope for existing tech to be developed further, it is a fair guess that many of the ideas outlined below will make a tangible impact on the UK Boarding school sector.

Chatbots are already an established part of academic and admissions support teams at some UK and U.S. Universities. At Georgia Tech one online support worker ‘Jill Watson’ helped students on Professor Ashok Goel’s Knowledge-Based Artificial intelligence class, for a whole year, without students knowing she was a chatbot.

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How video communications are leading the way at universities around the world

“Video-based communications can prepare students for a future built on collaboration, and flexibility, no matter what they are studying”

Educational institutions play a major role in generating a new skilled workforce that has the potential to open the doors to the innovations that will change the world.

To achieve this, school administrators and educators must be able to communicate with each other and their students in real-time. Helping to realise that ambition is video collaboration, which has many benefits.

It allows for face-to-face meetings with professors and lecturers across the world in different times zones; it provides access to online courses and meetings with faculties from different universities. Plus, students are using these tools to connect with other students and experts across continents, to collaborate and work on projects together.

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Upskilling and technology tools to help educators

“Upskilling isn’t just about staying relevant, studies show that it can also boost motivation and self-confidence”

A report by the World Economic Forum on “The Future Of Jobs” says that by 2020, more than a third of the desired skillsets for most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to the job today.

As technology continues to evolve, so do many sectors of the global economy. And with this reality, comes a growing trend for the need to “upskill” in the workforce.

Simply put, upskilling is defined as the process of learning or teaching new skills, and in today’s digitalised world, it is becoming a necessity to stay relevant. Whether its a vocational worker employed by a manufacturing facility or a financial analyst who relies on software to run numbers for their clients, every job will require some form of new learning in the future.

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What Teachers Can Do About the Dangers of Social Media in Students’ Lives

“Teachers should encourage students to practice critical thinking… no matter how righteous it may seem”

Social media is all around us; meeting someone who doesn’t engage in any of the available platforms is rare. As social media has continued to develop and further integrate into society’s basic functions, there are dangers that teachers can help students better understand before it’s too late.

From hurting journalism to promoting outrage culture, social media should be treated with caution. Here’s what teachers can do to help.

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Nurturing a digitally resilient generation

“Schools worldwide need to start thinking differently about how to equip children with independent learning skills”

In this week’s blog, director of The British School, New Delhi, India Vanita Uppal OBE, takes an award-winning approach to educating students and the wider community, on the benefits of becoming digitally resilient.

The constantly changing world of technology can throw up unprecedented issues for our children.  All over the world cyberbullying exists, but India experiences particularly high rates of this issue and a growing number of young and impressionable mobile device users attend our schools.
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How international students can benefit from online learning

“Sometimes learning can be a long and a tedious journey…online learning makes that journey interesting and fun”

CEO of internship & training platform Internshala Sarvesh Agrawal discusses the benefits of online learning over traditional classroom-based learning.

Many students across the globe looking for internship and job opportunities end up getting rejected, and the reason behind the rejection is often of a lack of relevant skills. Employers actively seek to hire students who have skills and knowledge that could be put to the test and be an asset to the company. One possible so to the problem is online learning.
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Getting the Most from Educational Marketing

“We’ve seen a significant rise in ad spend for social media and the like, yet direct mail is still proving successful”

First impressions count when it comes to educational marketing. In this week’s PIE Blog Jason Sullock, marketing manager at UK mailing house Washington Direct Mail discusses the potential for direct mail and how you can get the most from your strategy.

Educational marketing is critical to boosting the profile of your school and encouraging those prospects to visit.

In the digital age, we’ve seen a significant rise in ad spend for social media and the like, yet direct mail is still proving successful. We live in a world where 269 billion emails are sent per day, with the number expected to rise to a staggering 333 billion.

The increasing chance of losing consumers due to email marketing getting lost in the sea of junk mail is growing, and the change is occurring.

“In 2018, the likes of Facebook and even Google opted to incorporate direct mail into their marketing”

Multi-Channel Integration

Nevertheless, we certainly cannot undermine the success rate for online advertising. However, place the two communication methods together and you have a force that is, quite literally, unstoppable. The sheer number of people you can target is astonishing, and multi-channel integration has also proven its success rate, lifting response rates by an impressive 118%.
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How will English language exams change in the next five years?

“As specific IELTS and Trinity exams are linked to visa applications it is unlikely a fully online provision will be deemed secure enough in the next five years. However, this doesn’t mean that for other purposes, English Language provision and exams will change significantly.”

With online English language courses gaining in popularity, Pat Moores, director and co-founder of UK Education Guide, looks at whether English tests will increasingly be offered online. Specific exams are linked to visa applications, but does that mean provisions cannot change significantly for other purposes?

The appetite for learning English shows no signs of slowing up. According to latest figures from the British Council there are over 1 billion people currently learning English worldwide.

There is also deepening interest in online delivery of English language courses. For example in May 2015, FutureLearn launched its free course ‘Understanding IELTS: Techniques for English Language tests’.

Over 2 million learners have now signed up for the IELTS course across multiple runs.

But what is the broader picture?

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Five tips for agents looking to expand into the UK

“Make sure that you deliver on your promise. Reputation can be your best asset, or your Achilles heel”

The British Council recognises the usefulness of education agents and consultants, and as well as compiling a database of trustworthy agents for students’ use, it trains agents on best practice and how to operate in the UK. A new tool is now running online to guide professionals through the UK education landscape. 

The Study UK: a Guide for Education Agents, Advisors and Counsellors MOOC, currently open for registration, is free and designed for people interested in starting out in the sector or consolidating their current skills.

Helen Obaje has worked with the British Council for ten years and specialises in the training of agents in the international education sector. She is the designer of a new online course for agents, advisors and counsellors launched by the British Council.

Here are Helen’s top five tips for agents thinking of expanding their business in the UK: 

1.         Keep up to date

Education is not static, nor is it consistent across the UK with different education systems in the country’s different nations. The best agents are those who are consistently in touch with the changes within the areas they operate.

There are a variety of resources from different bodies that can help you keep on top of new regulations and new products: the UK Council for International Student Affairs, StudyUK:Discover You and visa and immigration information from UKVI are among them.

Be sure to stay on top of changes within the institutions that you represent, don’t just assume that because they are your client that you know them inside out. Take advantage of all the support and training that UK institutions provide and keep an eye out for fam trips. These are a great opportunity to get information on the ground so take advantage whenever possible.

2.         Relationships

So much of this job relies on relationships: the ones you have with students, their families and institutions. You need to think long term about what is it that you can do to help build and develop your relationship with the institution you are working with. 

Think about how regularly you keep in touch with people and by what means. There is no replacing quality face to face time, but equally you cannot be everywhere at once, so a balance needs to be struck.

3.         Do you fit?

We are all clear on the importance of matching the student to the right institution and course, but this also applies to agencies. Why should an institution work with you and what do you bring to the table? You need to be able to help the institution meet its goals and ensure that students are happy and successful. A large part of this involves making sure that you and what you offer are properly suited to the organisations with which you are working. Losing track of this is of no benefit to you or your clients. 

4.         Reputation

Make sure that you deliver on what you promise. Your reputation can be your best asset or your Achilles heel. Word gets around the industry swiftly and it is far easier and quicker to lose a good reputation than to rebuild one. Make sure you stay realistic in what you can achieve and never feel pressured into making plans or promising figures that may seem impressive but will never be reached.

5.         Believe in the UK

It is the home of the English language with a reputation for academic excellence and cultural diversity, but don’t just take our word for it. Students are the proof of the quality of a UK education. UUK International reports that satisfaction rates in their 2015/2016 cohort were 91 per cent for undergrads and 90 per cent for postgrads. This is higher than the satisfaction ratings for the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as major European countries.

And on top of the quality of education there are plenty of other factors drawing people to study here such as the culture, society history and infrastructure.