In this guest post by Logitech, you’ll learn how to shift to new ways of learning in light of COVID-19. This post covers collaboration technology for education, including video. It also looks at emerging tech trends and needs.

To date in 2020, at least 4,234 higher education institutions[1] and over 124,000 schools[2] have been forced to shift to distance learning models across North America. That includes 25.8 million higher education students¹ and 55 million K-12 pupils² who have been affected. Each group has to quickly adapt to new ways of learning that may be here to stay.

Institutions may be looking to return to campus this fall, keep students learning remotely, or take a hybrid approach. To prepare for this transition, here are several key considerations for IT leaders.

[1] Entangled Solutions – https://www.entangled.solutions/coronavirus-he/

[2] Reason Foundation – https://reason.org/commentary/the-coronavirus-pandemics-impact-on-education-and-the-defenders-of-the-status-quo/

The Power of Video Collaboration Tools

Video has fast become the standard for learning and connecting at a distance. Because it’s the key to improving the learning experience, video has the power to increase a feeling of inclusiveness for all in any situation. To help institutions cope with new digital ways of teaching, video collaboration platforms such as Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom are offering free access or reduced usage limitations[1].

“The use of video in the classroom helps expand the reach of innovation by breaking down the physical barriers of education. SMEs and new experiences like Microsoft Skype a Scientist, or virtual field trips can be introduced as new ways to create advanced learning curriculums.” – Madeleine Mortimore, Education Technology Innovation, Manager

[1] Vox – https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/3/11/21173449/microsoft-google-zoom-slack-increased-demand-free-work-from-home-software

Maintain: Connectivity, Well-Being, and Personalized Learning

The future of education remains uncertain for every institution. To respond quickly to ever-changing situations and help their institutions navigate to the next stage, IT leaders and school administrators must first understand what needs to be maintained. That includes human connections and support for mental and physical well-being. It also includes the delivery of personalized learning that engages and motivates students to learn are all crucial considerations. By using video collaboration tools to equip classrooms of all sizes, IT can give faculty and students more flexibility to connect. And they lift limitations on where teaching and learning can happen.

Adapt: Classroom Set-Up, Remote Learning, and New Safety Standards

Face-to-face virtual connections combined with best practice usage policies help ensure communication is safe and secure. With only 60% of educators having received professional development training in the use of technology[1], it’s vital to support teachers and students – regardless of their tech capabilities. Parent and teacher surveys are a valuable source of insight when it comes to bridging any digital divide. Meanwhile, the use of mobile carts carrying video collaboration tools can reduce the need for devices to be shared, connecting students no matter their location.

Innovate: Remote Support, Classroom Analytics, and Student and Teacher Tech Leads

New developments are enabling institutions to keep pace with the next normal while meeting changing educator and student demand. These include interactive portals that provide teachers and staff with remote tech support. They also include remote student or teacher tech squads that offer additional IT support while giving tech super-users hands-on IT experience. For returning schools, IT can quickly identify high occupancy numbers using the latest machine learning technology.

No one can say when full-time in-person learning will return. However, one thing is for sure. Whether it’s virtual classes, interactive virtual seminars, or remote assessments, video collaboration solutions enable students and educators to communicate in a way that feels up close and human — in and beyond the classroom.

Find out more about emerging tech trends and support for various return-to-school scenarios in Logitech’s latest eBook.

[1] Varkey Foundation – https://www.varkeyfoundation.org/opinion/key-data-less-than-half-of-teachers-are-ready-to-use-tech