In early 2020, businesses shuttered their offices and sent employees home to work as a pandemic safety measure. Schools did likewise, morphing into remote learning centres.
For educational institutions this shift was initially seen as temporary; however, in the ensuing months they have moved from quick-response mode to continuous support and improvement. While many schools have brought back some of their in-class learning, remote learning remains, and IT groups are now tackling the challenge of delivering top-flight educational experiences through immersive digital technologies.
“Lockdowns affected billions,” said Vincent Blouin, National Sales Manager, Canada Public Sector, Jabra. “While vaccinations and other therapies have beaten back the virus to the point where some students are coming back to in-class learning, the rise of new variants of the virus has many parents still anxious about sending their children to school. A great way to assuage this anxiety is to ensure both teachers and students have access to technologies that make hybrid and virtual learning no big deal.”
Rapidly Growing Market
Ross’ words align with what’s happening in the market. Even before the pandemic, the value of the online educational market was on a steep rise – projected to rocket globally to $350 billion by 2025 from $18.66 billion in 2019.
“Whether you’re talking about virtual tutoring or videoconferencing tools or learning software and apps, the online educational space has been expanding for some time now,” said Blouin. “Having said that, COVID-19 and the lockdowns have certainly acted as a kind of accelerant. For schools and specialty learning centres in particular, there is the realization that virtual learning is not just a fad or trend but a generational shift. So the focus must now go from merely making it possible to making it as good as it can possibly be.”
A solid starting place to offering top-flight educational experiences is in knowing the components of such experiences – what students today want and/or expect.
“In a world where so many things are possible technologically, the conversation has in many cases moved from what students would like to have to what they expect to have,” said Blouin. “The pandemic has revealed many things to us, not the least of which is the fact that virtual learning is not simply a matter of slapping up a facade and hanging a sign above it saying you’re open for business. What remains critically important – now more than ever before – is the fact that learning is a social experience.”
“Goal” Learning Experiences
Among the key areas of focus in building the “goal” learning experience of tomorrow:
- Interest and attention – In a world of virtual learning where students might join a group session, break off into small groups or engage with pre-recorded instruction – often on the same day – education becomes less about the educator and more about the people being educated. That places never-greater thrust and importance on generating interest and holding people’s attention.
Jabra PanaCast gives remote learners a front-row seat to their virtual class. Outstanding wall-to-wall video makes for a “real feel” while Jabra’s all-new Biz 1100 EDU headset is designed to help students keep their minds focused on the lesson, wherever they’re all learning from.
Jabra Biz 1100 EDU is a durable lightweight headset, created specifically for students to help them find their focus, with noise cancellation, hearing protection and easy connectivity, to boost concentration and block out any unnecessary distractions.
- A more virtual world – Just plunking students down in front of a flat screen and expecting them to learn as they did in the pre-virus world of rooms and people and natural engagement is not realistic. Teachers also are pressed – the “new world” for them is one where many or even all their students are faces on a screen. In both cases, success comes down largely to the technologies being used.
If you choose a wireless option, battery life is important for both students and teachers. Jabra’s Evolve2 65 offers 37 hours of battery life, and charges fully in 90 minutes. Find out more
Video is equally important to both teachers and students at home. Jabra’s PanaCast and PanaCast 50 offer a 180-degree view, giving instructors space to move (as they would normally, in class) and giving students more of a feeling of “being there.”
With the right technology employed, online learning can be just as effective as classroom learning. One study claims students retain 25 to 60 per cent more when learning online.
Said Blouin: “The headset and camera are integral to the deployment of any technology that will enable hybrid or virtual leaning. Feeling part of the room will be crucial for students over the short and possibly long term. We offer teachers and students the technology to overcome the very real challenge of feeling connected at an isolating time.”