May 22, 2020 – School time may have been a long time ago for many of us, but like other gatherings, the traditional model of physically attending class is currently disrupted. Until the social isolation lockdown is lifted, kids are stuck at home trying to make sense of how to fill their days—while those of us adjusting to working remotely just hope they use Netflix and Youtube a little less, so our video and audio streams stay clear for meetings! If work can transform to an online format for many, why can’t education also quickly pivot? Obviously depending on the ages of the children involved, it may or may not be appropriate—finger painting and nap time might be tricky to deliver! For a large number of kids though, what better way to demonstrate that society is meeting the challenge of this pandemic than by having the comfort, or at least daily routine that school offers? So are online learning courses rapidly ramping up, and is it the future?
Similar to service delivery issues businesses may be currently facing, widespread adoption likely comes down to a few key elements. First, education administrators like to plan; and this epidemic event must have thrown the conventional curriculums out the window. Instead of having the benefit of carefully prepared course content checked and vetted over time, in order to finish this current school year, classroom lessons are being hastily converted for online presentation. Educators are getting familiar with the new tools; but then an additional challenge: how do you deliver that content equitably?
School districts have scrambled to provide laptops and tablets to students not equipped at home to participate; and of course not everyone has high-speed internet bandwidth either. Technology can mitigate some of the connectivity hurdles though; for example QoS (quality of service) statistics just like those Avotus can provide offer insight into understanding and mitigating bandwidth issues. Unified communications platforms can deliver live lesson presentations, which can be recorded and reviewed offline. While interactive question and answer sessions with real-time audio and video are closer to classroom experience, Q&A can also be submitted via messaging. For measuring progress and generating grades—again, like the reporting and analytics Avotus provides, aspects of attendance, participation, engagement can all be reviewed, via usage dashboards and reports, just like any assignment forwarded can be marked.
It’s possible this could all be a transformative event for education into the future. Although, maybe not completely… learning to be social in person and to interact with peers in positive ways is an element of education we don’t want to lose. Maybe the silver lining after the restrictions safely relax will be kids opting for more face to face time, and less device time!
Tagged: Reporting, analytics, QoS, online learning, unified communications