DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN EDUCATION INDUSTRY
The COVID-19 pandemic that has affected economies worldwide has also beaten up the education industry in both developed and developing countries. Approximately 1.5 billion students that include 90% of all primary, tertiary and secondary level learners in the world are unable to go to school physically. The impact has been transformative as education providers are looking forward to implementing technology solutions to enable remote teaching and learning. However, digital transformation in education industry is not restricted to online teaching and learning post-COVID19.
Though some educational institutes have been using tech solutions for the last many years, most of the schools and universities have now realized the significance of digital transformation in education world amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Governments across different countries are making efforts to mitigate the immediate impact of school closures and facilitate the education continuity for all.
Many educational institutes are providing remote learning to students while some of the institutes are preparing to get back to the new normal and with the help of new tech solutions.
In this article, we shall discuss the following topics:
- What is Digital Transformation in Education?
- What are the 3 main areas of Digital Transformation in Education?
- What needs to be considered when thinking about Digital Transformation in Education Sector?
1. What is Digital Transformation in Education?
Digital Transformation means enhancing an organization’s core business operations to meet customer requirements efficiently by leveraging data and technology. In the education industry, the target customer can be student, faculty, staff and alumni and digitizing the education sector can benefit both students and faculty.
Digital Transformation aimed at enhancing the student experience might include:
- allowing students to register for admission via mobile app or web app
- providing a wide array of online learning options
- using technology to track student progress and run intervention protocols
- allowing faculties to organize online classes.
2. What are the 3 main areas of Digital Transformation in Education?
Digital Transformation in Education does not only mean improving students’ experience; it also focuses on enhancing campus environment, teaching and learning methods. Therefore, we have classified the digital transformation in education sector into three categories:
- Transformation in Campus environment
- Transformation in Learning Methods
- Transformation in Teaching Methods
Digital Transformation in Campus Environment
Though Denmark eased its lockdown on April 14th and reopened schools and daycare centers, parents have a concern that they might become grounds for a second wave of COVID-19 cases due to which they are not sending their children to schools. Parents can overcome the fear of not sending children to schools if there are some strategies in place that ensure educational institutes are safe for children and do not have a risk of infection.
We believe that technology can help determine whether students should start going to school or university.
Following are some of the technologies and applications that can help transform the environment at school/university premises:
- Thermal Screening at Entry
Authorities at schools can use thermal imaging equipment to detect if a student’s or teacher’s body temperature is normal or above the normal range.In case, the body temperature is found to be high; authorities should not allow that student or teacher to enter the school and suggest them to visit a doctor for the treatment.The essential data of students and teachers captured by thermal equipment can be sent to the cloud using which educational institutes can identify if that person came in contact with anyone at the campus and trace all contacts to contain the spread of the virus.
- Contactless Attendance
Schools/Universities need to replace the biometric attendance systems with contactless attendance to avoid the risk of the spread of the virus.In the biometric attendance system, many people successively touch the attendance system that poses a risk. Therefore, it is essential for schools, universities and all other educational institutes to avoid punching attendance in biometric systems.We have introduced a better replacement to biometric systems, which is a contactless attendance system. As the name suggests, contactless attendance does not involve anyone to come in contact.Using a contactless attendance system does not require setting up new hardware equipment. Instead, you can use your existing IP or CCTV cameras that will capture a person’s face and mark their attendance by identifying them with facial recognition.
IP cameras can be installed at the entrance of the institute and classes that will capture the faces of teachers and students and add their face data along with time log to the attendance record in real-time. It will reduce the risk of infection exposure.
- Social Distancing Alert System
Many educational institutes are open now; however, there is a need that both teachers and students should adhere to guidelines provided to contain the risk of COVID-19.Students and teachers both need to follow social distancing and should maintain a specific distance so that infection does not spread from one person to another. However, it seems impossible to keep an eye on everyone manually, whether they are maintaining social distancing or not.But, there is a solution to monitor people by using a social distancing alert system. Our team of technology experts has built a social distancing alert system that uses AI and Computer Vision to detect the distance between two or more people and send a notification to them or concerned authorities to take action against them. With existing IP or CCTV cameras, it can become possible to track people and monitor if they have a specific distance between them or not.
In case someone is not found to be maintaining distancing at an educational institute, strict action can be taken against them. It will help you ensure that the institute is safe for teachers and students.
- Face Mask Detection System
To ensure the safety of students and staff, face mask detection systems can be used at schools and universities. Wearing a face mask can save lives and help contain the spread of the virus.Educational institutes should make it mandatory for everyone to wear face masks all the time. Therefore, the institute administration needs to monitor if everyone is wearing face masks or not.You won’t require a new hardware setup to use the face mask detection technology in your school or university. Instead, you can use your existing IP or CCTV cameras to enable the face mask detection solution and find people without masks. The system uses computer vision and AI to track if everyone is wearing face masks or not. If anyone is seen without a mask, the system sends a notification to the recognized person or concerned authorities.
Using face mask detection can help you create a safe environment for students and staff when schools/universities will reopen.
Digital Transformation in Learning Environment
Educational institutes have started to realize the significance of digital transformation in education industry with the increased use of online classes and video conferencing solutions. It is the right time to implement and build technology solutions that will transform the way learning is offered to students.
Let’s understand how technology can help bring efficiency to the new learning methods.
- Video Conferencing Solutions for Overseas Studies
The crisis currently impacts international education, and students are unable to go abroad and pursue their higher studies. Delaying courses or studies is not an option. Online assessments can be done and universities can facilitate virtual onboarding and admission of students.Schools/universities can integrate video conferencing solutions into their app or website to allow students in different countries to continue their studies. They can attend online classes and webinars and attend physical classes once international traveling is permitted.
- AR/VR for the better learning experience
The education sector needs to embrace new technologies to stay up-to-date in the ever-evolving world. Augmented and virtual reality is the next level of evolution in the learning system.With Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, you can create an interactive and virtual environment for your students. These technologies can make the process of explaining complex concepts easier by implementing an interactive visual-audio factor.
Using VR, you can take your students on the virtual tour to different places and children will feel like they have actually reached there. Also, it can help you deliver a practical explanation of educational concepts and students can understand it effectively.
For example, one of the AR apps, Elements 4D allows students to combine various elements to study chemistry in action. Elements 4D is a set of beautifully designed wooden blocks that can come to life using DAQRI’s 4D app. Each face of the block represents a different chemical symbol, depicting elements of the periodic table. Beaming the app’s viewfinder onto the blocks would instantly convert them into 4D representations of that element. It will help learners gain a better understanding of chemistry concepts.
Implementing VR/AR would also reduce the need to touch the physical object that you are using for experimentation. As touching the same objects successively can increase the risk of spread of the virus, VR can enable touchless learning experience for students, minimizing the risk post-COVID-19.
- Adaptive Learning
Using Adaptive Learning Technologies, educational institutes can personalize content and educational experiences in innovative ways.Adaptive Learning involves using specific teaching devices to handle interaction with learners. It is used to deliver custom solutions to meet the learning needs of particular individuals.
Adaptive Learning is also defined as an educational system based on data analysis that facilitates faculties to monitor students’ performance and adjust programs to every learner’s needs.
For example, Quizalize is a learning platform that helps teachers convert boring tests into interactive and fun games. The platform differentiates learning automatically depending on the student’s performance.
Implementing AI in educational software can help bring adaptive learning to the students.
- Learning Apps/Platforms
COVID-19 has resulted in schools shutdown of schools all across the world. As a result, the education sector has transformed drastically with the rise of online learning, where students are joining digital platforms for learning.Many educational institutes are turning into edtech startups and launching learning apps for students using which students can access notes, their curriculum and give mock tests for exam preparation. It helps them continue their studies without any interruption.
As an education provider, you can build an interactive learning platform for your students that allows them to access the best study content in the form of text, PDFs, images, audios and videos.
- AI and Chatbots
Many institutions are looking to adopt the use of chatbots to meet student expectations while maximizing faculty time. AI-enabled chatbots can be used to analyze students’ responses and provide them the learning content based on their choices.Chatbots using AI can also be used to teach students by converting a lecture into a series of messages to make it look like a conversation. The bot can evaluate the level of understanding of the student and deliver the next part of the lecture accordingly.
For example, Botsify is a chatbot that works in the same way. It provides a specific topic to students in the form of images, videos, text or a combination of both. Once the students learn any topic, students have to take quizzes and submit their answers to the teacher. In this way, faculties can track the performances of students as well.
Digital Transformation in Teaching Methods
Educational institutes are looking at technology as an opportunity to build teaching methods and connect with students efficiently. Everyone nowadays owns smart devices, including smartphones, computers, laptops and tablets. Learning to transform teaching methods by using technology is a significant way to bring better learning experiences for students.
Let’s discuss some of the methods that can introduce digital transformation in education world.
- Smart Class
Whether it is an online classroom or physical classroom, the digital whiteboard can help you engage students effectively with interactive learning methods. While teaching via digital whiteboard, teachers are not restricted to only use one or two colors. Instead, they can use different colors shapes like circle, rectangle or star to explain complicated concepts more quickly and interactively.
- AI-driven Online Assessments
The evolution from the pen-and-paper approach to an online and automated platform acts as a cornerstone in the education sector. As colleges and schools are shut down, educational institutes have shifted to online teaching methods. However, the challenge for education providers is how to administer tests and assessments and determine learning outcomes.Artificial Intelligence has made it possible for educational institutes to conduct online examinations with the help of the internet and computer network. AI uses neural networks and deep learning algorithms to make machines learn from experiences to perform human-like activities.AI/ML-based assessment system is trained to process and analyze images of the examinee captured during the test with provided candidate information and flag discrepancies to prevent impersonation.
AI-based online assessment system can also lock down the app where assessment is being taken, thereby restricting the navigation of students away from the assessment.
It is possible to conduct different types of examinations, whether it is multiple choice questions, paragraph type questions, typing and coding simulators or video and audio input.
With online assessment tools, you can roll out examination online in a hassle-free manner.
- AI-based analysis of students
Universities and schools nowadays have to face a lot of challenges, including high dropout rates, the ineffectiveness of a traditional “one-size-fits-all” approach and disengaged students. However, AI and big data analytics can help create personalized learning experiences and resolve these challenges.A personalized learning experience allows students to enjoy a unique educational approach that is completely tailored to individuals’ needs and abilities.It can enhance student’s productivity and reduce their chances of dropping out. With data analysis of students’ behavior using AI, professors can get a better understanding of each student’s learning ability that could allow them to teach more efficiently.
- AI-enabled remote proctoring
Remote proctoring is a technology that allows educational institutes to conduct online examination that prevents students from involving in any unfair means.You can enable online proctoring with a combination of integrated web camera and AI-powered facial recognition algorithm. It offers massive opportunities for online evaluations. It does not require manual invigilators to keep an eye on students during the examination.With AI-enabled online proctoring, you can record every single examination from beginning to end, not just via video; it can also capture the desktop screen, images and chat logs. It can also monitor the complete examination session, including non-standard occurrences, for example, a student leaning away from their webcam or leaving the room.
AI-assisted facial recognition and tracking system allows a student to be tracked remotely and the contents of their computer.
Therefore, online examination or assessment is no more a concern for educational institutes if they have an AI-enabled assessment system.
3. What needs to be considered while thinking about digital transformation in education sector?
1. Identify the Areas of the Institution to Go Digital
When you plan to go digital, you first need to identify where you need to implement technology into the educational workflow. Considering what should be transformed can help you proceed in the right direction in terms of digital transformation. For example, personalized learning experience, branding, online learning and classroom enhancement.
Based on what you require to transform your educational institute, it is crucial to determine areas of the institution to go digital with stakeholders.
2. Connect everything to support tomorrow’s digital world
Set up potential strategic partnerships and develop an ecosystem that connects your processes, people and things to build an interaction network that is smart and secure.
3. Deploy analytics to automate, understand and save money
Before you decide to go digital, it is also essential to use real-time and real-life data to plan strategic initiatives to roll out upgrades, enhance performance and make infrastructure decisions.
4. Roll out new business models
Digital transformation means rolling out new business models that can drive growth, revenue and improve branding. Ensure to identify new business models in the educational workflow that can bring transformation and enhance the overall experience for both students and education providers.
5. Move towards a single, simple platform
Digital transformation is about easing and enhancing your existing models, not complicating them. Therefore, it is always to move towards a single, simple and custom platform instead of relying on multiple software and tools to perform some action.
With the digitization of the learning experience, both students and teachers can enhance their skills to create an engaging educational process. From online learning to the smart classroom, analysis of students’ performance, personalized learning experience and online examination, you can transform your educational institute in many ways.
If you are looking for a technology partner who can help you transform your educational process, contact us and we will assist you from ideation to visual design, development, deployment and maintenance of the edtech solution.