Humans are extremely adaptable. We’ve survived everything nature has thrown our way, from the Ice Age to the Dark Ages and beyond. Now humanity is facing a global COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re finding new ways to maintain life as usual with technology—such as EduTech for online teaching.
When life is disrupted, one of the main concerns is how to continue educating the next generation. But the truth is we’ve been ready for this for a long time thanks to distance learning technology.
With affordable 4K cameras and visualizers available to any organization, highly engaging and interactive learning can take place via the Internet from anywhere and at any time. Here’s how schools are using that technology to continue educating students during the COVID-19 crisis.
Setting Up for Distance Learning
In March the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) put out a list of recommendations to help schools deal with COVID-19, suggestioning options that “range through integrated digital learning platforms, video lessons, MOOCs, to broadcasting through radios and TVs.” Many schools have taken these ideas to heart.
School officials in the UAE asked parents to provide their children internet and smart devices, and to make sure they follow schools’ class schedules for online learning. Schools in the US also prepared for distance learning. One school system in Pennsylvania quickly set up an eLearning platform that has the county’s students actively engaged in online education with the assistance of teachers who use video communication platforms like FaceTime for engagement and interaction.
Colleges and universities typically have well-established distance learning capabilities, so these types of schools have had a head start over K12 schools. Still, massive open online course (MOOC) peddler Coursera stepped up to provide online substitutes for millions of on-campus classes.
What It Looks Like
Video communication technology has given teachers and students the ability to enjoy many activities they would use in a physical classroom in their new virtual surroundings. Here are some excellent examples:
- A teacher at JFK Elementary school in Vermont holds regular music classes via video conference. According to NBC 5 reporter Jackie Pascale, the music classes feature sessions in which “computer and tablet speakers blast with students happily singing along.”
- One community college drama class in North Carolina put on multiple performances of an entire play using a popular video communication platform. The actors performed from their respective homes.
- Many seniors in high school and college will miss out on attending a physical graduation. However, plans for virtual graduations are springing up everywhere. One of the most elaborate is the digital campus created by Minecraft builders at UC Berkeley that allowed seniors to virtually visit their campus for graduation.
These schools and many more are proving the massive value of using technology for education. Considering the steady advancements in smart classroom solutions, there’s no need for the world’s students to ever be sidetracked by a pandemic again. All it takes is a little bit of technological prepping.