The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world to its core. Every sector, ranging from IT, hospitality, healthcare, logistics, finance as well as education has had to revamp its traditional working environment to adapt to the need of the house – functioning remotely.
The education sector has seen a drastic shift in learning, with schools and universities shut down globally, millions of students have adapted to different learning environments.
With the schools shut globally, over 1.2 billion students in 186 countries have no access to classroom learning anymore. Education has changed drastically and resulted in the rise of e-learning where teaching is undertaken using digital platforms, remotely.
How remote learning transformed education
In-person teaching made social distancing difficult, therefore, to promote continuous learning, schools began to rely on e-learning forces from March 2021. Almost all schools started functioning remote, in terms of taking classes, conducting exams, holding discussions, etc.
Technology rapidly transformed education and traditional classroom learning took a drastic change. There were times when parents grounded children for using their mobile phones, but with the rise of e-learning and mobile LMS apps, distant learning was made possible, thanks to mobile devices.
In response to such high demand, popular e-learning platforms started offering free access to their services so that students can continue learning, which resulted in the largest online movement in the history of education.
Challenges faced in 2021 with education technology
Technology and education seem inseparable now, given the way they both have changed the way students have started learning.
The massive shift toward e-learning is not inherently bad. In fact, learning at home offers a range of benefits. The biggest advantage of home learning is that it increases accessibility for a wider range of students whether it’s getting free educational resources like StuDocu or distraction-free access to resources using tools like Scalefusion.
But on the other hand, online learning is dull and offers an unrewarding experience. The biggest problem schools and institutions have had with remote learning is setting up a remote device management policy to ensure complete e-learning.
The majority of schools have begun extending mobile devices to both educators and students. Both can access the device to impart knowledge and learning lessons. Despite remote teaching being effective to continue with the educational curriculum, IT departments are still required handily to help with technical issues.
IT challenges in higher education
With remote learning, IT challenges can come in all shapes and sizes and at times, even administrators may be unprepared to handle them without due diligence.
Schools and colleges have computer labs for students to use. Except for some high-end labs, most computer labs only have desktops. In times of learning from home, students can’t bring desktops at home, therefore, they will need a device provided by schools to carry home and study from.
This can be very costly for some educational institutes. Now even if they page to hand out devices to students, who is to tell that students will not use devices recklessly and for entertainment purposes.
If students misuse school-provided devices, they can malfunction and provide bad exposure to students. For this, IT departments will need to find ways to monitor student activity on school-owned devices.
Remote learning makes it difficult for teachers to constantly monitor student activity, which may lead to misuse of devices. In such a case, it is imperative to employ remote device management and restrict what educational technology can access.
For example, students may be cheating on an online test by simply searching for test answers online. If teachers are using online test banks to form questions, obviously, the answers to those questions are also available somewhere on the internet. Without any accountability, students get a clean chit to cheat without dealing with any consequences.
Additionally, distracted students can also impede learning. Given how technology has changed the education sector, this distraction-free learning seems like a far-fetched dream now, which is an issue even for disciplined students.
To enhance network security institutes require time, money, and resources. Additionally, if the institution’s network was ever breached in the past, it is important to resolve these issues before implementing new network improvements because even the smallest breaches can be dangerous.
As per research, the average cost of a data breach in the education sector can be as high as $200 per record. In case of a breach the following personal information is at stake:
- Student information
- Social security numbers
- Bank account data
To steer clear of security threats, it is important to adopt a robust MDM for education and use it to ensure the IT environment of the school or college is completely secure and protected.
Student success support
The IT team will need to support both students and staff for successfully implementing remote learning. The actionable goals supported by IT initiatives can enhance the student experience:
- Support easy enrollment
- Solve IT issues faster
- Enable education goals
- Reduce IT tickets rates
To implement student support, administrators must divulge into integrations that support multiple success initiatives. It is also important to understand how technology defines a student or staff member’s on-campus experience.
By implementing such strategies, improvements can be seen in student outcomes, the public profile of the university, and the academic success metrics. Universities need to find holistic solutions which are feasible for their budgets and learn to integrate them seamlessly into the IT environment.
Adapting to change
Change is the only thing constant, which is why the IT team should consistently work toward the enterprise-wide adoption of change when it comes to higher education.
The following trends offer a solid foundation for educators to promote a change-oriented mindset in their schools or colleges:
- Create policies that support learning analytics
- Offer training for new technology practices
- Uniform standards for data services providers
- Leverage learning analytics and count it within curriculum design
The above-mentioned pointers offer a long-term goal. It can’t ever really be “done”, but institutes can continually work to make digital transformation a core part of the school’s operating model.
To overcome learning issues with the IT team, it is important to deploy an effective MDM for education. With the right device management solution, you can remotely track all student devices and ensure they are only used for learning; provide enhanced security to data, perform remote troubleshooting, and restrict access to blocked websites and applications.