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Crisis and opportunity: Path to digital transformation during COVID-19

How can educators globally turn to digital transformation to operate effectively, without leaving a learner behind?

The outbreak of COVID-19, which began in Wuhan, Hubei, in December 2019, has disrupted the global economy and continues to spread across the globe. In just under five months, the impact of the virus has led to profound changes in our social interaction and how organizations operate.

The education sector is impacted by the near-total closures of schools, universities, and colleges, and approximately 1.23 billion learners have been affected by this worldwide. In response to the closures, educators have had to quickly transition to online learning, survey learning management systems, and adopt best practices to ensure student inclusion, and minimizing educational disruption. 

Now, more than ever, technology will need to take the lead in ensuring that the students’ education continues and that learners from all backgrounds will continue to have access to education. Technology can bring together the resources, tools, and digital transformation that teachers and educators need to create effective e-learning.

While online teaching may not be new to many educators and teachers, it is the first time that a transition of this scale is being forced upon the whole teaching and learning community. Online teaching, which was previously an option, has become a necessity. Even as we debate the positive and negative impact of this transformation, and being aware of the lack of access and digital divide, we are seeing learners embrace technology they barely used before.

Digitalization is opening new doors and possibilities for online education and along with it is the growth opportunities it presents. We need a proactive strategy, to think outside the box, and to not just adapt but succeed in making online education work for us. When it comes to e-learning, educational institutions and businesses need to deliver quality content on an effective platform, and now is the ideal time to do so.

Students cannot be left behind in the digital divide. Photo by Yannis H

We see an increase in awareness of technologies that were previously less receptive to the community. An example would be virtual reality. VR provides an immersive and engaging learning experience and offers an opportunity to translate text to application. Today’s crisis may present an opportunity to bring forward the adoption of some of these groundbreaking technologies for the education industry.

Online learning is a complex endeavor and the implementation of live-streaming conferences, on-demand videos, remote collaborations, may result in a steep learning curve. Digital transformation may have shaken the educational landscape but online learning has not diminished the importance of the traditional model of in-person learning. It can serve as an effective supplement to in-person learning.

Post-COVID-19, we will see the emergence of more hybrid models of learning by combining both in-person with online learning. An important takeaway from this crisis is that we must be prepared to protect the rights to an education for the next-generation under all circumstances and this pandemic is a catalyst in this direction.

Join LEARNTech Asia’s virtual conference as we cover important topics and up-to-date insights to support the learning sector. By attending the conference, you will be able to review the megatrends in learning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, identify adequate new teaching strategies, progressive policies, and innovative business models and to share best practices and review current and future solutions.

LEARNTech Asia
LEARNTech Asia
LEARNTech Asia showcases innovation in learning in Asia. We feature stories and resources in online learning, workplace learning, adult education, EdTech, and creative solutions by teachers and trainers in learning institutions, non-profits, and enterprises that enhance human capacity and inspire communities of lifelong learners.