Like every other sector, digitalization has penetrated the education industry too. It is transforming the way young, budding minds are being shaped. Digital transformation in education is, among other things, personalizing teaching and learning and streamlining administrative work.
Students could feel closer to concepts, and definitions through immersive and sensory experiences. Education providers, on the other hand, could better focus on imparting education with simplification of administrative tasks.
Furthermore, digital transformation has also made education more accessible without time and geographical constraints. However, the digital transformation in education is a journey with multiple current challenges and potential hiccups.
We are going to learn about all of it; why the education sector needs digitalization, the benefits of digital transformation in education, and the current challenges.
Table of Contents
Need for Digital Transformation in Education
With digitalization in education, learners and educators are better connected. Both online classes and classroom learning are enhanced through the use of modern as well as emerging technologies such as AR/VR, AI/ML, etc.
Digitalization could further be adopted to facilitate the following:
1. Better learning flexibility and convivence for the students
2. Better monitoring and tracking of student progress and personalized feedback by educators through the use of digital tools.
3. Automation of repetitive tasks
4. Learning without hindrance events during events such as pandemics, harsh weather conditions, etc.
Education and training are some disciplines that should be supplied without disruptions because gaps in the same or losses in educational attainment could have disastrous consequences for some students, especially those living in poor countries.
Digitalization facilitates that. In its most basic form, EdTech primarily allows learners and educators to connect and the former a fair chance to learn and grow even during times that are not suitable for physical education and training, as witnessed during COVID-19.
And in normal times, it helps learners access courses, trainings, etc., that are not possible to take otherwise due to resource and geographical constraints, using just the internet and a suitable hardware/device.
Therefore, digital transformation is required for the enhancement of global education and literacy levels.
Let’s now look at some of the benefits of digital transformation in education.
Also read: Benefits of Digital Transformation in Healthcare
Benefits of Digital Transformation in Education (EdTech)
Digital transformation in education or EdTech has been bringing a massive change in the quality of education given, empowering both students and teachers with modern learning and teaching techniques and equipment.
The following are the benefits of digital transformation in education:
1. Automation and Digitalization of the Administrative Tasks
Using artificial intelligence (AI) and other digital technologies, educational institutions could automate everyday, repetitive tasks. This would free up some time and educators could spend additional time focusing on the key teaching activities.
Furthermore, through digitalization, administrative processes such as admission management, student registration, fee payment, and scheduling, could be streamlined. This brings higher efficiency to the entire administrative system.
2. More Accessible Learning and Training
EdTech is facilitating remote learning and training. It’s making education more accessible, transcending boundaries and borders, using the internet and digital devices. The courses that were inaccessible earlier could be taken online.
Furthermore, using digital technologies, the reach of education has expanded, and it is made more inclusive. AI in education allows students with hearing or visual disabilities, or belonging to different countries or cultures, to learn through AI tools.
3. Personalized Learning
Digital transformation in the education sector helps institutes to offer personalized learning and feedback to students. Digital technologies adapt to each student’s concept absorbing capacities and capabilities. Additional resources or services are then offered based on his/her grasping speed, goals, and aptitude. This makes the entire education process more individual student-centric, detailed, and personalized.
4. Data Analytics and Effective Feedback
Digital solutions allow educators to monitor and track a student’s progress through stored data and analytics and offer detailed and effective feedback. They can access each student’s learning history, identify and highlight weaknesses, and offer courses suitable for improvement. This helps them to fill the learning gaps and help students build better conceptual understanding.
Educational institutions can leverage digital transformation in education to make learning and training more aligned with a student’s capabilities and aptitude and help them understand their strengths and weaknesses.
5. Smart Content
Smart content includes robots, lectures, digital books, videos, instructional snippets, etc., that make education and learning a more comprehensive, and accessible affair.
Various learning interfaces and platforms are making content more easily absorbable and navigable for students. Chapter or topic summaries, flashcards, etc., are offered to students. Furthermore, these platforms allow teachers to build digital curriculums, record audio or video lectures, etc.
Some of these platforms are Cram101, and Netex Learning.
6. Cooperative Learning
EdTech allows educators to build and manage large groups of learners interested in similar topics through high-quality digital platforms. Furthermore, collaborations on papers, assignments, articles, presentations, literature reviews, etc., are made easier through shared digital solutions such as Google Docs, Edmodo, etc. This inculcates the practice of collaboration in young minds.
7. 24*7 Learning Assistance
With digital solutions such as AI chatbots, students have the freedom to learn anytime and from anywhere. They can go through the concepts, make mistakes and seek additional resources and help, even after school/college hours, through chatbots that offer around-the-clock assistance.
Next and the last section would talk about the multiple challenges faced during the digital transformation in education.
Challenges of Digital Transformation in Education
Digital transformation has been improving the education sector, however, the internet and device accessibility, digital skill gaps, and some more such fundamental issues, have been hindering the growth and digital investment.
Some of the challenges of digital transformation in education are:
These numbers are enough to highlight that the world still needs to fulfill the basic requirement of digitalization to fully and equally reap its benefits. Otherwise, this gap would just create a global digital divide where some children would potentially lag in learning and growth.
2. Digital Skill Gaps
The pandemic also highlighted the digital skill gap between parents/caregivers, educators, and learners. For digitalization to work its magic, educators, and parents need to learn the skills in order to offer learning and training through digital devices. In fact, UK employers are presently struggling with a growing digital capability deficit to fill 43% of STEM vacancies (Science, Technologies, Engineering, and Mathematics).
Moreover, there is even reluctance to switch from traditional teaching methods to digital methods. Learning and unlearning could be overwhelming for some, especially for older generations who are in the education sector.
This is one of the most crucial challenges of digital transformation in the education sector because learners are secondary to this process. Educators, being the primary party, need to digitally equip themselves first to offer the same to their learners.
3. Lack of Infrastructure and System Compatibility
Next in the line are educational institutions. The lack of infrastructure to support digital devices and equipment and system incompatibility, pose a huge challenge for digitalization to reach all the learners.
The infrastructure building and upgradation/change of integration of systems are long processes that would require time and resources investment.
4. System Breakdowns
Even if an institution has adequate digital infrastructure or system compatibility, it can have to deal with system breakdowns, glitches, and failures. These can be due to hacking or technical issues, and amidst all this chaos, data can be lost or leaked.
This can welcome some problems for the educational institution and as a result, they might have to pay hefty amounts for security breaches and negligence. Thus, the lack of technical and cybersecurity knowledge and skills are key factors that affect the adoption of EdTech.
5. Lack of Strategy
The last challenge witnessed by EdTech is the lack of strategy or forethought. Since this is a transformation and not some state or national policy to be implemented, it is much larger in scale and scope.
It requires changing some methods at the grassroots and transforming the way education is imparted and received, in terms of infrastructure, systems, and fighting the mental barriers. Thus, it is a multi-faceted and level affair that is bound to face certain planning issues and sometimes lacks comprehensive strategies.
Thus, the digital transformation in education has a long way to go. The pandemic revealed some global digital inequalities, but at the same time, the crisis paved the way for greater digitalization in education as online and distance learning were the need of the hour back then.
As time would progress and more and more industries would embrace digitalization, the education sector would also realize its revolutionary nature and zillion benefits and hence, would make greater adjustments in attitudes, skills, and digital infrastructure. Not just simplification of administrative tasks, but digitalization has the potential to shape a learner’s future in a way that aligns with this technology-driven, competitive world.
There are bottlenecks in the process, some fundamental issues, and other functional issues. However, as technology and institutions evolve, these issues would be dealt with.
Digital transformation for education is a boon. Therefore, the future of digital transformation in the domain of education looks quite promising.
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