Impact of the pandemic on education
The number of children and adults not attending schools or universities due to the COVID-19 outbreak is skyrocketing. Governments around the world have decided to close educational institutions to contain the global COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 100 countries have implemented nationwide school closings, affecting more than half of the students in all, according to UNESCO. Several other countries have implemented local school closings, and if those countries also ordered the closure of schools and universities nationwide, it would disrupt the learning process for millions of other students around the world.
It is also worth noting some other aspects of the negative impact of the pandemic on the learning process.
Needless to say, school is an important institution of socialization for children. The process of self-isolation and separation from society negatively affects not only the physical but also the psychological state and development of children.
It is also important to note that the remote learning process is not available to everyone. Children from low-income families studying at schools had not only food benefits, which positively influenced their state of life, but also access to computers and the Internet to complete their homework. During a pandemic, access to technologies became difficult and, as a result, the quality of their education deteriorated.
Don’t forget about the disadvantages of distance learning for teachers. The inability to effectively measure the learning process leads to the fact that teachers cannot fully tell whether their students have mastered the material and how effective the distance education process is.
What is EdTech and why it is important
According to Investopedia, EdTech (a combination of “education” and “technology”) refers to hardware and software designed to enhance teacher-led learning in classrooms and improve students’ education outcomes (https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/edtech.asp). EdTech is most commonly associated with online education. But in reality, this concept is much broader: it unites all ways of using technology in the educational process – from interactive blackboards to virtual reality simulators for modelling surgical operations. But studying via the Internet is the most popular EdTech direction, which has already firmly won its place in the market.
The scope of EdTech includes a large number of applications that perform various functions to improve and speed up the learning process. Here are several examples of such functions.
Creating and completing tasks
This kind of programs can be used to create interactive learning tasks. Software suppliers can also partner with schools to provide their users with lesson templates that relate to the assessment criteria that most teachers use. These types of tasks are updated online, which is very useful because when teachers assign them to students to complete, they can get updates on how each person is doing.
With the help of such applications, it becomes possible to conduct lessons online. If schools don’t use this method of teaching lessons, but only send materials by email with regular checking of homework, then video calls will become an indispensable assistant if a student needs individual lessons.
Tools for interaction
EdTech apps like Classroom.Cloud (https://classroom.cloud/) provide teachers with tools to collaborate in the classroom, monitor interactions with their students, and provide support. It also means that every student in the class still has an opportunity to express their thoughts. Moreover, this software has a “poll” feature, which means that students can vote whether they understand something or not.
Help in maintaining attention and improving behaviour
The remote learning process can be difficult for students because it is tempting to be distracted during the lesson since the teacher’s control weakens a lot. For example, they can look at something in other tabs on the computer. For such purposes, some programs are able to not only monitor but also control what is happening on the computers of their students during the lesson. Also, such tools are capable of blocking certain websites or the mouse cursor during the lesson, which undoubtedly helps teachers.
Why EdTech is responsible for schools
In a pandemic, in order not to threaten the health of either children or their families, schools are forced to operate in remote conditions. E-learning is the most successful solution in this case. That is why many EdTech service providers have greatly benefited from the situation, as the market for this kind of software has grown significantly and rapidly. That’s why it is very important for EdTech service providers to understand the importance of their contribution to education and do their best to help schools in ways that are not aimed at making a profit for themselves. By acting in such a way, they may even solve some other problems caused by the pandemic.
How EdTech service providers can help
So how can EdTech developers help the education sector? Let’s look at some options.
Help with software implementation
Initially, EdTech service providers can help schools successfully implement eLearning techniques. Without any help, it is difficult for schools to independently adapt to a new way of teaching. It is also worth noting that most older teachers are not as tech-savvy as the younger generation, so it is important to have instructions be as detailed as possible for them. Also, a big plus is the ability to conduct webinars on working with learning platforms, which will allow teachers to interact with them more effectively.
Help for students in need
As mentioned earlier, there is a category of students who cannot access the Internet or do not have computers at all. In such cases, EdTech service providers can provide technical support to students with financial problems for free or for a nominal fee.
We all understand that everything cannot be free. However, if the applications developed by EdTech service providers have a free set of features that will allow you to perform basic actions to enable remote learning, this would help to reach more schools. Of course, everyone who has the desire and ability can connect additional functions to get the benefits that are not possible with the basic service package. However, this base should be enough to study in remote conditions successfully, given the pandemic. Also, the paid perks may include additional teaching materials, with the help of which teachers can effectively organize the studying process and attract the attention of students.
No one can overestimate the meaning of education in the life of children. Especially in the world of a pandemic. At this time, it is highly important to think about the ways of improving teaching methodologies and adaptation to remote conditions. One of the ways to help the education industry is to hire educational software developers for designing a custom solution. Qualified professionals can help you to make a product that will perfectly suit your needs and advise how to do it even better. Given the situation in the world, this solution wouldn’t be excessive. Keep in mind that it may happen that your innovative solution will change the game one day.