Before COVID-19, having a solid digital strategy was not the most pressing tool that schools around the world worked hard to create. Now however, that story is completely different. As schools across the world have been forced to shut down, their lack of online consideration is being thrown in their face.
Students, teachers, and professors alike have been sent home and forced to adopt the virtual education model. If before they were hesitant on how efficient online learning could be, they are quickly seeing that it is possible. They are proving to themselves that it can be done and most importantly if this is an option they want to stick to, it is a total possibility.
In fact, readtogether.hk, an educational forum in Hong Kong that came out of COVID-19, proved to be so successful that their intention is to keep it going after this is all over. The platform consists of over 60 educational organizations, publishers, media, and entertainment industry professionals, providing more than 900 educational assets, including videos, book chapters, assessment tools, and counseling services for free. In Lebanon, one school even brought physical education online by asking students to send over their own videos of athletic training and sports to their teachers as "homework.” Not only are these students able to continue their education but they are learning new digital skills in the process. We’ve also seen an enormous uptick in live streaming - spend no more than a few minutes online and you are sure to find an expert from any industry teaching valuable knowledge.
Other platforms supporting the rise of digital learning are Kaltura and Coursera. These platforms which have seen spikes from users and investors, provide assistance in course creation and video hosting. Coursera’s CEO, Jeff Maggioncalda, who was reaching out to universities before COVID-19, says that the shift to online higher education is an obvious shift that “has to happen.” Another education platform we’ve seen is by Aaron Rasmussen, the same creator who gave us Masterclass. His next digital education company, Outlier, currently started with two courses that are accredited through the University of Pittsburgh.
In addition to the rise in education platforms, we are seeing fast-evolving technology. With 5G gaining more momentum, for many, distance learning will have few to no obstacles. 5G will also support the rise of virtual reality which has the ability to become a powerful tool in hands-on learning. Additionally, when it comes to online learning for Gen Z, the next generation predominantly taking over higher education, 60% say YouTube is their preferred learning platform. With the ability to learn anywhere, at any time, digital education platforms will only continue to gain popularity.
With the advancement of technology, the rise in educational platforms and the current necessity to learn from home, we predict that in the near future the ability to be a full-time digital student will be an offering by most school systems around the globe.
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