Main Areas & Trends for Digital Transformation in Education
The education sector, just like many others, is facing a turning point in the road. As leaders, educators must strive to stay relevant in a rapidly adapting technological world that threatens to leave the entrenched and underprivileged behind.
The digital transformation in education is well underway, and the trends are looking good for those who are getting in early. Advancements in several fields promise exciting developments in the application of education as well as its accessibility. We’re going to look at some of these trends, but first, let’s go over what a digital transformation in the education sector really means.
Digital Transformation in Education: What does it Mean?
Education, like any other sector, is under increasing pressure to keep up with the changing nature of society. However, as an institution, the education sector is obligated not just to follow, but to innovate and lead the trends toward a better future. Further, students of these institutions need to be reassured that their education will be relevant to the world they’ll be entering at the end of it.
This increasing pace of technological change comes with many issues; not least that the information taught and learned in places of education is now depreciating in significance faster than ever before, and this necessitates a change to the way the education sector approaches its practices.
The acceleration of technological development is creating unprecedented demand to skill up across all fronts, and as technology becomes the predominant facilitator of work and life, education must stay in alignment with this.
Digital transformation in education, therefore, means many things, but it’s fundamentally a drive to stay relevant and keep the skills it teaches skills up to date amid a rapidly shifting environment; an environment driven by relatively sudden changes in demand.
Consumption patterns for many sectors have moved to a more real-time, interactive, and faster-paced system that is predominantly online, and education as a commodity needs to fit into these systems to meet the change in consumer demands. Working environments are also changing, and thus, education also needs to provide new venues and new modes of access to a more diverse set of learner preferences.
This shift to adjust to new rules brings us to the competitive need for educational institutions to transform into a more digitized platform. This transformation is necessary to meet the next generation of students with the next generation of expectations.
Digital transformation in education is both a radical and incremental process that offers exciting opportunities and comes with a unique set of challenges. As with any change, there stands to be an opportunity cost of switching from traditional means to a more technological approach to learning and teaching, and many of the early adopters of this transformation are already exploring these risks.
The Implications of a Digital Transformation in the Education Sector
The benefits and challenges faced by digital transformation in education are numerous. Here, we look at what the digital transformation process involves, the bright prospects it promises, and the roadblocks it brings up.
In a transformation of learning, institutions must work with academics and educators to create a working environment that is more inclusive of the digital world. Brainstorming sessions are a good place to start for this stage of transformation, allowing educators to suggest new tools or media, such as virtual or augmented reality to engage with students.
Virtual reality provides an incredible opportunity for visualizing different concepts such as healthscience or geography and can be incredibly stimulating as a learning tool. It also holds enormous potential for creative pursuits such as art and architecture.
Educators are also considering the use of AI and intelligent tutoring systems to identify student strengths and gaps in their knowledge. Intelligent feedback systems can also be used to monitor how a person learns and even offer career guidance.
All of these implications and more create an encouraging and optimistic view of the future as a result of the digital transformation in education, however, the implementation of such systems is inherently complex and challenging.
One major setback to an online education system is the reduced need for classrooms. The balancing act between providing education whenever and wherever students want it and creating the classroom environment is a tricky one to pull off.
The traditional methods of education still hold merit, and when it comes to the social side of learning, and that which is attained from the company students keep, switching to more digitizedmeans risks losing some value.
The solution to this might be in hybrid work environments. What has become popular in the corporate world may be equally effective, and as such, relevant, to the learning world. Being able to keep the best of both worlds could allow educators to cover more bases in terms of learning.
In the same manner, teamwork needs to be facilitated, student/teacher engagement needs to be personalized, and communication skills need to be a primary focus. Achieving all of these while still succeeding in a digital transformation in education is the major challenge faced by institutions now.
Another issue is with cost and accessibility. Public schools are seeing budgets slashed in many areas, and many are floundering in response to the pandemic restrictions. The ability of many institutions to recover to the point of transformation is beyond reach.
It’s therefore down to those who can afford to take the chance to begin the process of innovation. Early adopters are working with these challenges, and they are paving the way for others to join.
The Trends of Digital Transformation in Education
Those institutions who achieved the most during pandemic lockdowns were those who adopted a more digitized environment the soonest. Unfortunately, those were typically a minority of the wealthiest demographics, with more access to technology.
Globally, we see the technology gap growing larger between the developed and developing worlds, and this gap can only increase as the digital transformation in education moves into full swing in the countries that can afford it.
The rolling out of 5G systems promises more accessible and faster internet, as well as the distant potential of satellite internet with Starlink. Mobile platforms like Curacubby are also gaining in popularity as a way to make admin and communication more accessible, streamlined and automated.
The dangers of a widening gap in education must not be underestimated. With the push to a more technological future comes the pressing issue of a more equal society, where these advancements are accessible to the majority, not simply the lucky few to be born into wealth.
Finally, augmented reality, such as the technology mentioned here, stands to improve in quality and affordability, and programs designed for education are now being tailored to these platforms. The digital transformation in education, therefore, offers both an encouraging and concerning vision into the future.
Countless positive trends are forming from the move to transform into a more digital learning environment. Those institutions that can keep up and innovate will be the ones from which students gather the most relevant education to set them up in a rapidly changing future of technological advancement.
Those who don’t, sadly, will likely see the gap in education and relevant skills widen. Schools must move to work alongside the inevitable digital transformation in the education sector and push for more access to the relevant technologies available.
However, institutions also must not lose sight of the benefits of traditional education systems. In welcoming a more technological approach, it’s possible to combine the elements of education that have always worked and will always work - communication, sociality, and shared experience – with the stimulating advancement to learning methodologies that digitalization provides.