Inspiring and Empowering: The Future of Learning

October 27, 2021

By Karina Joyner

As data and technology has become more prominent within individuals’ day-to-day lives and students begin to outnumber the teachers available, remote learning is a fast-growing trend. Educational institutions are now updating their classroom settings and the way they deliver information to students. Lenovo, one of the world’s most prominent personal technology companies, joined EisnerAmper for a webinar  this month focused on the topic, discussing trends and challenges of implementing technology into educational institutions.

Panelists included:

  • Rahul Mahna, Managing Director of Managed Security Services, EisnerAmper Digital
  • Richard Henderson, Director of Global Education Solutions, Lenovo

2021 K-12 Global Education Challenges

Currently, there is a national shortage of both permanent and substitute teachers. Within the next ten years, there will be an estimated 20-million-teacher shortage on a global level. This international shortage, combined with a need to provide teaching to remote areas, is a driver of the effort to better deliver information to students. The master teacher concept allows teachers to be available and broadcast their lessons out to remote areas where assistants and tutors will be available to help students. With worldwide teachers and students are using personal devices in a classroom setting, it is important to secure and protect devices and provide student safeguarding, filtering and device controls. There is a tremendous change in higher education involving a de-emphasis on standardized testing and more concentration on skills-based credentials. COVID-19 has accelerated distance learning and the hybrid remote trend but also caused the challenge of students having the ability to build emotional and social connections.

How COVID-19 Has Accelerated Distance Learning

Pre-COVID-19, classrooms had students sitting together in tightly packed rows with, relative to now, little to no technology. Due to COVID-19, distance learning has accelerated by five years and changed the education model completely. Classroom concepts now are inviting students to join remotely and, in some cases, involve hybrid learning. Classrooms will be updated to have an abundance of projectors, flat screens, interactive whiteboards and digital displays that allow the environment to be more immersive and engaging.

Immersive Instruction

When introducing an immersive environment in schools, it creates curiosity within the students. Utilizing immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) with students creates the ability to imagine and grows curiosity about the world outside of their lives. Advancements in this technology are being used by companies to aid real-world trainings and VR hardware is only the first step to beneficial immersive instruction. These technologies also need:

  1. Additional curriculum content – Allowing the teacher to showcase their goals and details of their lesson plan.
  2. Ability to create content and share with others – Allowing students and teachers to collaborate on a more efficient level in real time.
  3. Administrator controls, management, and content distribution – Enabling the administrator to control and manage what the student is seeing and experiencing.
  4. Teacher visibility of headset content and sharing from teacher device – Giving the teacher the ability to see what the students are seeing through their devices and control and guide the students’ attention.

Every two to three years there will be big leaps in technology. This will help improve the students’ learning experience and the teachers’ ability to provide an even better education plan and exposure.

Advanced Computing

The computer lab environment is seen as an important factor for advanced computing because it helps build a skills-based ecosystem and trains students to be ready for the workforce. As data grows to be an important influence on how the workforce environment conducts business, learning how to manipulate and analyze data is a necessity. Within the next decade, we will see AI, machine learning, algorithms, and learning how to speak coding language becoming a more common framework in the classroom. Introducing students to advanced computing will guide them into different career paths.

Collaborative Digital Classroom

The hybrid teaching environment will continue to take over higher education as time passes. As technology gradually gets implemented into daily lives, it is important that the teaching habits follow that trend. To improve the teaching model the administrator will need screen monitoring to allow administrators to know what the student is looking at, especially having remote students within the class. Limiting web access would only allow specific domains between the teacher and student. Chat would benefit the student and teacher by providing an ease of communication.

Creating an inspiring and empowering environment for students can only efficiently work with these core themes, immersive learning, advanced computing labs, and digital classrooms.

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