Category: Edtech

Work, rest and learn – delivering flexible higher education in Estonia

“Universities across the world have an opportunity to look at how they can use technology to help students balance work and study commitments”

More and more students today are juggling work and family responsibilities alongside their university studies, writes learning development specialist at the Estonian Business School, Marko Puusaar.

Add to this the growing number of students who are looking globally to find the right course or university and you can quickly see why the traits of a typical higher education student are becoming increasingly difficult to define. Expectations are changing too, with demand growing for institutions to provide greater flexibility so that students can study how, when and where they want to.

Higher education is evolving. Universities that make good use of technology can adapt teaching methods much more effectively to attract students from across the world, support them through their studies and respond quickly in the event that their circumstances change.

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Is COVID-19 a moment for online education to take the lead?

“Beyond helping the students and the industry, edtech can also help with the impact of the coronavirus more generally”

As the international education sector grapples with the impact COVID-19 is having on student mobility, Chief Content & Partnership Officer at FutureLearn, Justin Cooke, argues that the technology is available for the education sector to lead the way in combating the coronavirus, both the spread of the virus itself and its impact on learning and economies.

In the US, Chinese students make up over one third of all international students. In the UK, one-third of all non-EU students at British campuses are now from China. And in Australia, Chinese students make up 10 per cent of all students. It is clear that Chinese students represent a significant percentage of international cohorts so it’s no surprise that the education sector, as well as those students, are being impacted by the coronavirus. But the question is what are we going to do about it?

With the coronavirus and the related travel bans, many Chinese students can’t enter the countries they are supposed to be studying in. This impacts their studies, of course, but also the economies of those countries.

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Post-Brexit, UK should not overlook the role of ‘technology’ in providing global education

“Everyone for the foreseeable future is going to be developing work and social relationships, based on virtual networking”

On January 8th, the U.K. parliament voted against an amendment that went unnoticed beyond the few students, educators, and policy advocates who took to Twitter in angst.
The amendment insisted that the government maintain full membership in Erasmus, EU’s student exchange programme, and negotiate terms before the transition period ends in December 2020.

What did the vote mean? What indication it gives as to the faith of the UK’s participation in Erasmus+ post Brexit? From the launch of the program in 2014 to 2018, UK projects received €680 million in Erasmus+ funding, and 167,000 participants from the UK benefited from Erasmus+.

Brexit may mean the country rejects globalisation as an economic model but that doesn’t automatically translate into the rejection of global education. After all, the skills and attitudes gained from intercultural and international learning, as well the values it represents such as freedom and tolerance, are as British as they are European.

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The three commandments of international education partnerships

“Finding the right partners isn’t easy, and it’s important to be particular in your search for the right network and connections”

Mark Fletcher is co-founder and CEO of edtech company Cohort Go. In this blog, he explores the importance of creating strong partnerships to keep the international education industry growing and moving forward.

 Partnerships are critical to international education. Whether it’s an international student seeking advice from an education agent, or a university working with a payments provider to facilitate student tuition payments – the international education community is built on a solid foundation of partnerships.

Collaborating with the right partners is vital if you are going to deliver overall success – not just in your business, but to the sector as a whole. Here are three things I’ve learned to help form successful partnerships in international education.

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Future scientists are not prepared for Smart Labs

“It appears that many countries’ education systems have failed to adapt to the new demands the technological world brings”

Phoebe Chubb is a 3rd-year student at the University of Exeter, with a keen interest in the development of Internet of Things technology and the importance of its implementation in higher education. In this blog, she explores why electronic lab notebooks need to be integrated into university courses.

There has recently been an increasing emphasis on connectivity as typified in the discussions of smart homes and cities. Now the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions are being implemented into the laboratory environment, creating smart laboratories.

The move to go digital has captured the interest of scientists in both academia and industry, and researchers globally have begun to use an electronic laboratory notebook (ELN): a central online platform, to store their research data.

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Could AI uncover the secrets of a student’s success or failure?

“If this practice was rolled out more widely, the information would alert universities to who is at risk”

AI could soon be helping universities spot students who are struggling early so they can better support them and prevent them from dropping out, says Fred Singer, CEO of platform Echo360.

Imagine you’re a lecturer in the early days of teaching a large group of first and second-year students. You’re still getting to know your audience, but there aren’t many questions coming from the room, making it hard to confirm students’ understanding of the topics being covered.

You’re confident about the quality of your lecture, but questions linger.

Are some students struggling silently due to a limited grasp of English? Does the lack of questions indicate confusion rather than comprehension? Are students opting out of group discussions because they’re shy or because they don’t understand the concepts being debated?

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The way we work: Lifelong learning in the talent economy

“Being able to easily evidence learning with skills-based credentials is crucial”

Over the last few years, technological innovation has driven change at an unprecedented rate, resulting in the emergence of a talent economy:  ‘A collaborative, transparent, technology-enabled, rapid-cycle way of doing business […] where employers and employees seek each other out on a playing field that is broader and more level than ever before.’, according to Deloitte.

One of the biggest changes in this new world is the role of new technologies is making it easier for people to learn and work from anywhere in the world – challenging all our assumptions about what the workplace, and the education space, should look like.

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Why Australia can’t afford to neglect international students

“We must continue viewing students as an asset, not just to our economy, but to the prosperity of our nation”

 Have you ever stopped to think about what Australia would be like without international education? Australia’s education industry supports 240,000 jobs. If all those people suddenly became unemployed, our unemployment rate would jump from 5.2% to 7.1%. With a $37.7 billion hole in Australia’s economy, either taxes would go up, or spending on services would go down.

In the past, Australia’s prosperity was driven via wool, wheat and energy exports. Today, international education is one of the country’s strongest revenue generators, with recent federal department of education statistics revealing that over 700,000 international students have lived, worked and studied in Australia this year to date.

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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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