How Can Digital Solutions Transform Education?
Digital technology has become an essential part of the learning environment. With schools and universities shifting from in-person learning to a remote model, technology has never been more important.
Approximately 320 million students are impacted in India itself. The latest figures released by UNESCO note some 1.3 billion learners around the world were not able to attend school or university as of March 23, 2020.1
The pandemic has presented a whole new challenge for educational institutes. Even though some have been using tech solutions for the past few years, many were not poised to realize the benefits of a complete digital transformation. Before we cover how to leverage digital solutions to prepare for the new normal, let’s understand why digital transformation is crucial in the education industry.
Top reasons to leverage Digital Transformation in the Education Industry
Every university, school, and learning institute has a different area to prioritize but some goals of digital transformation remain common for the higher as well as the lower classes.
Better Student Experience
Digital technologies are improving admission and enrollment processes at every school and institute. These administrative functions are key elements to overall student experience, which when failed to address could turn into a competitive shortcoming.
For higher education, digital experience improves student metrics such as retention and graduation rates, course success rates, employment rates, etc. The interaction barrier is removed and a multitude of related issues across the institution could be solved just by integrating the right digital technology.
Competitiveness is certainly a factor in the education sector and the only way to stand out is by using digital solutions. As per the US Department of Education, the number of colleges and universities has increased dramatically over the past 20 years.2 The Economist determined that, more recently, this competition was spearheaded by for-profit institutions and a few new kinds of competitors that hope to reimagine higher education.3
Many educational institutes are under ever-increasing pressure to cut administration costs, electricity usage costs, justify tuition prices, and bolster student’s academic performance. By incorporating digital technology, education platforms will be able to provide transparency regarding the above issues to parents and students. Digital solutions will not only help schools and universities to increase profits but support them to delivery more dynamic teaching models.
Main Areas For Digital Transformation in the Education Sector
The outbreak of covid-19 has given momentum to the advancement of digital transformation in the education sector. The three main areas where digital solutions can be used are on the campus environment, in the teaching, and learning methods.
Tech Solutions for the Campus Environment
Thermal Screening at Entry
The use of thermal screening equipment will be the new normal at every school and university campus. Body temperature of students, teachers, and other staff members, measured by the thermal equipment can be collected and sent to the cloud.
This will help authorities to keep a check on their daily temperatures and assist with contact tracing in the event of an infection.
The biometric attendance system will be soon replaced by contactless attendance to avoid touching and reducing the spread of the virus. For contactless attendance, IP cameras can be installed at the entrance of the classes to identify the teachers, students, and other staff with facial recognition and add this data to record attendance in real-time.
Social Distancing and Face Mask Alert System
Social distancing guidelines will be very important to follow on the campus along with wearing a face mask. Hence it requires strict monitoring to ensure the institute remains healthy and safe from the virus.
Social distancing and face mask alert systems use AI and Computer Vision to determine if social distancing is being followed and identify people without masks. A notification could be sent to the authorities or the people present on the campus every time the guidelines are disobeyed.
Tech solutions for Learning Method
Use of AR and VR
Using Augmented and Virtual reality is the next level of evolution in the learning system. Education is expected to be the 4th largest sector that will invest in VR investment. Many studies including this one done by Statista are predicting that by 2025, VR in education is to be a $700 million industry.4
AR/VR creates an interactive and virtual environment for the students, explaining complex concepts by using the visual-audio factor. It delivers a practical explanation for students to understand different subjects effectively. Schools can use this to take students on a virtual tour to different places and help them learn better.
AR and VR are also beneficial for the students with disabilities as it helps to design courses as per their requirements, enabling students to simply regulate their devices and blend into classes just like other students.
Implementing AI in educational software can help bring adaptive learning to the students. It includes using special teaching devices to handle the learning needs of the students. Adaptive learning helps educational institutes to personalize content and learning experience in innovative ways, adjusting courses as per the performance of the students. This provides focused attention on students, improving their way of learning, and bringing positive results.
Adaptive learning uses AI to collect and process a huge amount of data from students’ learning activities such as the amount of time spent on completing assessments and response latency. This helps identifies individual student needs and builds programs accordingly.
Artificial intelligent chatbots help teach students, through a series of messages, just like a regular chat conversation but from the content of a lecture. The chatbot will repeat the cycle of assessing each student’s level of understanding individually and then provide them with the following parts of the lecture as per their progress.
Using AI-based chatbots in the learning system enables automated intelligent tutoring providing a dedicated learning environment to the students. It not only enhances the learning process but increases engagement in the individual subjects as well. Another benefit is that students can provide immediate feedback that will allow teachers to figure out areas where they can improve their teaching abilities. One such platform is Botsify, which has a dedicated chatbot for education. 5
Tech solutions for Teaching Method
AI-Driven Online Assessment
AI-driven and ML-based assessment tools help universities and schools administer online examinations in a hassle-free manner. The educational institutes can flexibly conduct different types of examinations such as multiple-choice questions, paragraph type questions, typing and coding simulators, or video and audio input.
The system is trained to process and analyze facial and voice recognition of the examinee provided with the candidate information and flag discrepancies to prevent impersonation and suspicious behavior. The system can lock down the assessment application, limiting students’ navigation away from the assessment, and restricting them from taking external help.
AI-Based Analysis of Students
AI and big data analytics can help universities and schools to create a personalized learning experience for students and resolve challenges such as ineffective learning, disengaged students, and even reduce dropout rates. It helps professors and teachers to understand the learning capability of each student and enhance their productivity in the classes.
AI-based analysis allows teachers to evaluate the performance of students to check the feasibility of improvement, understand where the student is lacking, and teach them more effectively.
Looking for a technology partner to start your journey?
Transforming the educational process using digital solutions is rather a need than an option. Hence it’s important to know where to start.
iLink has been working in the technology industry since 2002, providing digital transformation services and helping businesses to achieve digital goals. To get started, check out our education solution page for more information. Our experts will assist you right from ideation to execution.