Digital Transformation: Driven By Education, Supported By Tech

"Distance learning is typically an extension to a traditional in-person course, with key videos and resources made available online. However, putting lecture videos online is not enough"

Digital education is no longer an exciting future or a goal but is expected by students and essential for success. It’s time to reconsider the old syllabus, rethink the 10-year plans, and embrace the opportunity for change. But this is not about starting from scratch, cost-saving, or efficiencies, this is about meeting the expectations and the new learning needs of today’s students.

I strongly believe it is so important for a traditional education provider to lead the digital transformation of our industry. As we are education experts, the key principles of teaching and learning for successful outcomes are within us. While the focus relies on pedagogical needs, a combination of the old education world with hi-tech capabilities can be a powerful thing.

Digital education is more than online videos

One of the outcomes of Covid-19 was not only the acceleration of digitalization but simultaneously creating a possibility for new learning environments. Distance learning is typically an extension to a traditional in-person course, with key videos and resources made available online. However, putting lecture videos online is not enough as digital education requires providers to rethink their content and the way students interact with it. As educators, we know how interactivity promotes student engagement. To transport it on an online level, we can use gamification and virtual reality (VR) to motivate and engage students in a digital setting. Some organizations are already exploring immersive virtuality opportunities. Motivating and engaging students in a digital setting to interact with one another in that virtual world resulted in successful feedback from students and faculty alike.

Digital and real-world learning are complementary

This is where balance is essential. Digital education is not about replacing everything in the shift online but using digital environments to enhance and complement tried and tested learning. The ability to react to changing environments and adopt new technologies is one of the biggest barriers to digital transformation. Also, there is no denying that, at the outset, this is a costly investment, both financially and in time and effort. However, digital transformation is also essential for keeping pace with a changing world and ensuring today’s renowned education providers retain their position as leaders in education. It's not low cost and it's not a fly-by-night operation, but it's highly recommended to invest in an immersive digital environment. Here is what educators should keep in mind while overcoming the barriers and committing to true digital transformation:

  1. Our role is to educate first
    Digital education does not mean digital-first. As education providers, our greatest asset is our education experience and the key principles of it do not differ on or offline.
  2. A true digital education can’t happen overnight
    Using off-the-shelf solutions and uploading lecture videos is a quick start. But keep in mind the individuals behind the technology and data who want to have a learning experience. It is a process to define which complementary solution is the best fit for each specific education organization. As ever, education is aiming to nurture and encourage talents. Students should be challenged in their thinking and continue to spark their own ideas.
  3. We are educators, not technology companies
    Thinking that we alone can translate that knowledge and expertise seamlessly into the digital world is overestimating oneself. Even with technology experts transporting educational vision and ideas into digital formats, the potential for failure of this transformation project remains. To avoid mistakes, it is important to evaluate strong content and sufficient support within the digital learning environment. In addition, faculty members should be trained well so they can create appropriate digital lessons.

Every educational institution must define its risks and opportunities and what barriers they have to tackle in what way. Each digital transformation journey is unique but if implemented correctly, each institution will be able to simplify processes, boosting productivity as well as pave the way for long-term savings. Not only allows this to scale up the offerings to more students, but the students can benefit from highly engaging content and are practising important tech skills every day that will benefit them in future careers.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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