Category: Edtech

The importance of social engagement in the online class

“I can’t tell who is more frustrated, the teacher or the student”

How do you show friendliness in an online classroom? Now that we’re past the survival stage of virtual learning, we can think about what’s missing in how we teach and what we can do to achieve better quality communication.

I remember those moments, before the pandemic, when a student would walk into my classroom and I’d say, “hey, how’s it going today?” And that student could feel the impact of personal attention, that a teacher is actually “seeing” them. Those kinds of socially intuitive interactions are lost in the online teaching we are doing today.

What’s also missing are the little things that indicate friendliness, like someone getting closer to you when you’re saying something. In fact, students indicate that they miss the tactile aspects of face-to-face classes, like the feeling of having a physical classmate sitting close to them in class.

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The future of online learning is on-demand

“There is a visible need for more relevant digital learning experiences”

The global education sector has experienced more disruption and rapid change over the course of 2020 than it has over the past few decades, writes Susannah Belcher, Chief Operations Officer at FutureLearn. As schools close, universities pivot harder to digital, and professionals need to adapt and reskill, the demand for online learning is set to pick up rather than slow down.

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Why language schools should offer flexible online schedules

“Not everyone has a rigid nine-to-five schedule anymore”

Language schools around the world, normally heavily or even fully reliant on inbound students from all four corners of the globe, have had their income cut at the source, writes  Max Hobbs, LTL Mandarin School’s marketing director. Last year proved to be a sink or swim moment for those institutes.

Whilst many schools have sadly had to shut up shop, there have been a few success stories.

We aren’t talking about the ones who were already teaching online pre-2020, we are talking about the ones who have had to completely re-invent themselves like never before.

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Covid-19 is a chance to make education inclusive

Disabled students face significant disadvantage, but we can deliver learning that’s truly accessible

 

As universities adapt around Covid-19, Kellie Mote – accessibility specialist at the education and technology not-for-profit, Jisc – highlights the opportunity to deliver more inclusive experiences for all.

To say this is a busy and unsettled time for universities is an understatement. The pressures applied by Covid-19 continue to demand agility and vision from sector leaders, with institutions moving in and out of lockdown, and the move to online or hybrid teaching presenting multiple challenges – particularly when staff are unsure whose responsibility it is to test and update aspects of a large digital estate.

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Remote externships can save the high school ‘Class of Covid’

“The great part about remote externships is that they’re location agnostic. This means they really do encourage the best candidates to apply.”

Internships. The age-old rite of passage for college students looking to join the workforce. For generations, students have spent their summers during university shadowing executives and making themselves as indispensable to an organisation as possible, so they can lock down a full time job offer when they graduate. But students have also long been restricted by geographical and economic constraints when it comes to securing solid internship opportunities.

The fact is, running large internship programs are an incredible strain on resources for companies themselves.

Enter remote externships – an affordable, convenient, flexible way for teens to gain real corporate work experience – including internationally – irrespective of where they study or live as early as high school. 

Here’s why the “Class of Covid” should have at least one remote externship on their resume before applying to college.

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Why virtual exchange is more important than ever

“Virtual exchange, when done correctly, can be an extremely enriching, engaging and rewarding experience”

Suddenly we find ourselves at a crossroads in higher education, writes Matthew Hightower, CEO and founder of Class2Class. Many educators worldwide don’t know which way to turn. We cannot exactly go back in the direction from which we came, but taking the path less traveled into the unknown can be equally as daunting.

As educators we have to ask ourselves: Isn’t one of our primary goals to foster the development of 21st century skill sets within our students? If our answer to that question is an emphatic “yes”, then shouldn’t we be encouraging open-mindedness and risk-taking from ourselves as well as from our students as we reimagine what higher education could and should look like?

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Predicting remote learning trends after Covid-19

“At least half of students will want to return to our campuses and physically be amongst people.”

In this week’s blog, CEO and founder of Wild Code School Anna Stepanoff discusses what remote learning trends will become the norm following the pandemic, where the classroom will still be important, and how supporting women into tech remains a key goal for the organisation.

Following this pandemic, remote learning will undoubtedly become more important. However, I strongly feel that remote learning will not replace traditional face-to-face learning in the long term.

There are three forms of learning: fully-autonomous online learning, where a student essentially teaches themselves using online information and resources and requires no interaction or support; remote learning, where students do not attend a physical classroom, but instead learn in a virtual environment with the support of fellow students and educators; and traditional class-based learning.

The pandemic has meant that Wild Code School’s 20 plus European campuses have necessarily adapted from a mixture of remote and traditional learning to being fully remote.

When educational establishments are able to re-open their campuses (in our case October), at least half of students will want to return to our campuses and physically be amongst people.

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Translation is the key to success when it comes to international students

“Streamlined digital e-learning programs available in the native language of the user are proven to be significantly more effective in increasing engagement”

Pre-pandemic, there were reports that the global online education market would reach a value of $350bn by 2025, writes The Translation People‘s Alan White.

With 1.38bn students affected by the forced closure of schools, colleges and universities around the world, some online learning providers are reporting a 200% increase in usage in their platforms since March.

Earlier this month, Uganda’s First Lady and education minister Janet Museveni instructed the country’s universities to start online teaching if they hadn’t already done so.

“No continuing learner should be left behind or excluded” because of their Covid-19 response, she said.

For the 16,000 international students who come to Uganda each year, this move provided a level of accessibility to education that risked being compromised the longer lockdown continued.

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The “new normal” for universities: how Covid-19 could reshape higher education

“In many ways we’re seeing an acceleration of the nascent changes that already existed”

 

Covid-19 has forced sudden and great change across the entire education sector. We have seen rapid investment in edtech to safeguard students’ courses and ensure some form of continuity, writes Stewart Watts, vice president EMEA at D2L.

The UK government’s backing of the Oak National Academy online learning platform, the supply of laptops and 4G routers to students to ensure they can connect remotely – the coronavirus has forced the first stage of the edtech revolution.

Yet what does this mean for when the current crisis has abated? It’s unlikely that we’ll go back to exactly how we were before, and there are several ways in which the higher education sector could change even after the viral risk has disappeared.

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