Nothing will ever be the same in terms of education. The coronavirus epidemic wreaked havoc on our lives, and one of the most serious consequences was the way we learn. Online education, which had previously been the domain of a privileged few, became the global standard overnight.

The hybrid models of education that are emerging as the pandemic waxes and wanes are a testimony to the ingenuity of educators and the innovative solutions that educational institutions are coming up with to make learning smoother, faster, inclusive and intuitive. Educational technology, better known as edtech, has proven to be the biggest enabler in allowing educational institutions—from the primary school to the higher education institution—to adopt models that can cater to changing student needs and aid the development of newer skills sets among learners, irrespective of geographies.

At rank 46 in the Global Innovation Index 2021, India stands at the cusp of immense growth in the coming years. Large-scale education reforms can be coupled with digital technology to impart learning and developing skills. How is edtech helping educational institutions transition to better forms of teaching and learning in a fast-evolving world? Here’s how.

Functional hybrid models and multi \-modal forms of learning

After rapidly transitioning from only physical classes to virtual classrooms due to the pandemic, educational institutions have learnt to combine the best of both worlds by coming up with innovative hybrid models. Edtech helps them devise curricula, implement audio-visual techniques and offer experiential kits along with textbook learning to help deliver global standard learning solutions through multi-modal forms of learning.

As hybrid learning integrates technology and digital media with the traditional teacher-led classroom activities, it provides more flexibility for students to customise their learning experience. Studies have proved that hybrid learning helps enhance learning, reduce failure rates and boost engagements. The in-person and online elements of the teaching complement each other to create a richer learning experience for teachers and students alike.

Asynchronous learning beyond geographies  

With the help of edtech software, teachers can run pre-recorded or live classes, enabling students to access these resources digitally from anywhere. Students can participate in the learning process when they have the time and attention to do so, thus ending the boundaries imposed by traditional classes. In a world that is still thawing from the effects of the pandemic, this also helps to remove geographical restrictions for learning. So long as students are connected and devices enabled, there are no geographical restrictions for learning. Edtech tools also help educators to monitor student engagement and attention through remote learning. Leveraging edtech solutions like discussion forums, videos and group projects can also help schools and colleges keep the student community interactively and creatively engaged. Choosing an appropriate edtech solutions partner like D2L that can help transform learning with innovative tools is a critical step that institutions should take before finalising their strategy for the next academic year.

Human-centred learning

The new world is increasingly asking for human skills like creativity, critical thinking and entrepreneurship. Edtech enables educators to design holistic curriculums with vocations at the heart of the learning processes and prepare learners for a tech-oriented future. Edtech also facilitates increased adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) by teachers and gives them more time to connect with students, engage those who need it and move from learning loss to learning acceleration. Digital technologies like AI have the capacity to analyse and evaluate people’s learning skills, allowing educators to develop more effective academic programs.

Faster learning, personalised learning

Edtech tools accelerate the speed of learning and help to bridge learning gaps between students. One of the most important aspects of education technology is that they allow institutions to offer competency-based education which provides individualised learning at scale. Instead of offering a “cookie cutter” learning journey where a cohort moves at the same pace, competency-based programs adapt to different learners, allowing them to go at their own pace.

While there are several edtech solutions options available for educational institutions, choosing solutions such as D2l’s customisable learning platform and high-impact content experiences can make the difference between learning that’s ordinary and learning that’s impactful.

Change is being ushered in at a faster pace than we ever thought possible. Change in the education sector will mean managing this growth and supporting transformation enabled by ed tech. The future of education is already here. It’s time for us to adapt.

(This is a slightly modified version of an article originally published in The Hindu. The original article can be found at https://www.thehindu.com/brandhub/how-can-edtech-help-educational-institutions-transition-post-pandemic/article65334828.ece)