Technology- the game changer in online education/learning

Publish: 5:37 PM, November 10, 2021 | Update: 5:37:PM, November 10, 2021

The outbreak of Coronavirus early last year dramatically pushed the human race adapt to a ‘New Normal’ way of looking at challenges. There is hardly anything we could think of that had not been impacted- global trade and commerce, tourism and hospitality, healthcare, entertainment, education and the list simply goes on.

As the global economy is recovering from the early setback, living with Covid19 is a reality now. The wonders of technology have already made its mark in our daily life at a pace many of us were not ready to cope up with. Businesses are opening up; students are back to school again and life is trying to find its good old rhythm.

Online learning appeared as one of the most successful initiatives in its move from physical to a virtual classroom. However, the biggest barriers to success in online learning have not been a lack of access to technology, but low use of available solutions and social challenges deriving from extended periods of remote learning. The role of technology has become a much-needed lifeline in enabling teaching and learning between students and educators today.

Technology propelled virtual learning during the past year and will prevail as a determining factor. A study conducted in May 2021 across Asia Pacific revealed that, more than 80% of students and 95% of educators increased their use of technology during the past year compared to the year before. It is projected that this trend will continue in the coming year too, even though students and educators expressed varied opinions on the impact of online classes on educational performance.

So, what made online learning a success during these challenging times? Among students, accessibility (63%) and flexibility (50%) appeared as major advantages of online learning, including the ability to access a broad variety of content and materials from all over the world. Additionally, 62% of students and 67% of educators praised the convenience of eliminating the need to commute. For both the students and their parents, it was ‘extremely important’ that their technology also provides with security (50%), privacy (52%), flexible performance (26%), and continuous value (29%). Educators were also interested in education-specific security (75%) and data privacy (79%), to be successful in online learning,

Although out of a sample size of 1,935 students aged 16 to 25 above, 72% used a laptop such as a Lenovo Yoga and 29% used a tablet such as a Lenovo IdeaPad to access online learning. Also, roughly, 38% of students used video conference apps such as Microsoft Teams. Almost 95% of educators representing a sample size of 783, used a laptop such as a Lenovo ThinkPad for their daily teaching. While 76% had used video conference apps, only 56% used cloud-based document sharing, and just 36% used remote access files.

Despite the convenience and reliability generally associated with online classes, it is not above limitations. Students and educators found the most profound barriers to online learning in the social sphere. More than 60% of students and educators indicated that they experienced weakened social relationships during the period of online learning. The top four factors listed as challenges by students and their parents were distractions at home (54%), less motivation to attend online classes at home (48%), lack of immediate feedback and interaction with teachers/classmates (46%) and social isolation or difficulty in meeting people (41%).

While video conferencing applications provide many avenues for real-time interaction, attending all their classes through a screen proved to be challenging for students. 75% of educators listed “students get distracted or lose concentration during live sessions” as one of the major barriers to e-learning.

However, it is undeniable that smarter collaboration and devices will enable us to unlock further potential of online learning. Lenovo’s hosts of innovative and cutting-edge products and solutions like Lenovo Managed Services, Lenovo Device as a Service (DaaS), Lenovo Hybrid Classroom solutions will make online learning experience a rewarding one both for the students and educators alike.

Advanced technologies are making it possible for students to experience immersive learning, wherever they may be. Real-world applications empower educators to help students continue learning through new and different methods. As we move forward, education is entering a new age of teaching and learning.