‘Blended learning works’ – Provost advocates for future-oriented education

Universities have the opportunity to “rethink higher education for the long term,” writes Professor Ian Walmsley in The New York Times.

The imperial provost argues that while some e-learning has been introduced to manage pandemic security, universities can be more ambitious.

“At Imperial College London, our experience over the past 18 months suggests an alternative future for pedagogy – a future where face-to-face teaching is focused on the highest value interactions between teachers and students. ” writes Professor Walmsley.

“The pandemic and the blockages forced us to pivot quickly. When the students could not attend the labs, we sent hundreds of “lab in a box”Kits to students around the world. Travel being limited, our geoscience students followed a virtual outing in the Pyrenees. We performed final medical examinations in line, allowing hundreds of new doctors to work on the front lines in public hospitals.

Such initiatives have had a significant impact, as shown by the Imperial Oil project exceptionally strong performance of the national student survey.

Professor Walmsley said: “Blended learning works. It costs a lot of money, but the potential impact – and greater reach – is exciting. The pandemic has been devastating the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. It hit the students hard. We owe it to them and to our communities not to spoil this crisis. Universities need to change to provide education that is suitable for the future.

The provost’s letter can be read in full in today’s New York Times.

/ Public distribution. This material is from the original organization and may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View full here.

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Zimbabwe: 600 laptops given to colleges

The first batch of 600 of the 1,200 laptops purchased by the government to support e-learning at polytechnics, teacher training colleges and industrial training centers across the country was handed over yesterday.

Speaking at the handover ceremony in Harare, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technological Development, Professor Amon Murwira, said through Education 5.0, that the ministry was ready to fulfill its mandate of keeping citizens abreast of global technological trends, especially in the wake of Covid-19.

“The government bought 1,200 laptops to help polytechnics, teacher training colleges and industrial training centers provide e-learning services, which have now become the norm due to the Covid-19 pandemic” , said Professor Murwira.

The national strategic intention enshrined in Vision 2030 and NDS 1, Prof. Murwira said, was achievable through an education system that developed capacities beyond acquired knowledge.

“Our education has therefore been reconfigured from Education 3.0, a colonial design for producing a worker, to Education 5.0, a design intended to industrialize and modernize the nation,” he said.

Education 5.0 is built around a five-pillar framework, comprising program infrastructure, promotional infrastructure, physical infrastructure and funding infrastructure, supported by an enabling legislative base.

By purchasing the laptops to support e-learning programs in colleges across the country, the government is activating the physical infrastructure pillar of Education 5.0, aimed at transforming the information and technology landscape. communication in higher and tertiary education institutions.

Polytechnics that have benefited from public procurement include: Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Gweru and Kwekwe, which each received 20 laptops.

Some colleges of teachers who got laptops were; Seke (25), Morgan Zintec (25), Madziwa (30), Belvedere (25), Marymount (30), Bondolfi (20), Morgenster (20), Hillside (25) and Nyadire (20). Msasa Industrial Training Center, Westgate Industrial Training Center, Danhiko, St Peter’s Kubatana and Mupfure College each received 10 laptops.

In addition to providing computers, the ministry is working to ensure Internet and intranet connectivity in institutions, which will facilitate the sharing of resources, such as libraries and servers.

The ministry designed an education model with five missions of teaching, research, community awareness, innovation and industrialization for the production of goods and services.

The philosophy behind Education 5.0 is that no education system works effectively if it is separated from the realities prevailing in the community it is supposed to transform, hence the need for a heritage bent.

On behalf of his counterparts, Morgan Zintec College Director Dr Tonderai Zenda thanked the government for supporting higher education institutions in their efforts to provide quality education through online learning, between other educational approaches, made necessary by Covid-19.

Dr Zenda said the government’s sweeping move, which was “one of many responses to the challenges of higher and tertiary education”, came at an opportune time as professors “were unable” to afford scholarships. personal computers for teaching and learning.

Continuous resource upgrading is a deliberate initiative of the Second Republic, driven by the vision of an upper middle income economy by 2030 through an education system that reflects industrialization and modernization. embodied in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

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Pamplin Media Group – Learning in the digital age of Estacada

Schools will continue to use much of the technology acquired during distance education

When Estacada schools transitioned from full distance learning to blended learning in early 2021, many high school classrooms had ‘zoom rooms’ or large TV screens where students who were learning at a distance to the day could log on from their personal computers and be part of the class. .

As the Estacada School District begins the 2021-22 school year with full in-person learning, technology acquired at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic will remain in classrooms to provide students with additional options to access to their academics.

Mike Waer, director of operations for the Estacada School District, estimated that there were around 40 classrooms in middle and high school buildings with Zoom room technology – TV screens, cameras and microphones.

“When we were in hybrid (learning), our virtual students could learn alongside their peers in the classroom,” he said. “As we move into the next year, we want to continue using this technology. We will be in person, but there might be some instances where a student is virtual.”

As outlined in the Estacada School District back-to-school plan, students who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine and who come in close contact with someone diagnosed with the virus will need to be quarantined for 10 days. Zoom rooms will help them learn from a distance during this time.

Waer also noted that the district’s wireless systems were updated and bolstered with state funds during the previous school year. Additional access points have also been installed.

“With Zoom rooms and students one-on-one with a Chromebook or iPad, it was stressing our wireless infrastructure,” he said.

Although the neighborhood’s Zoom rooms are mainly located at the secondary level, starting from kindergarten, each student receives an iPad or Chromebook to help them with their learning. Wear noted that the Zoom rooms are in an “exploration phase” on the lower levels.

Snowy days are another area where this technology can have another impact.

Although closures due to snow are factored into this year’s school calendar, Waer said increased use of technology could enable virtual learning while buildings are closed during inclement weather. It will depend on other factors, such as whether or not the students have power at home.

“Can students access their learning from anywhere? – not just because of COVID, but maybe they are traveling or are at home for the day,” Waer said.

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TopCourt Unveils App, Bringing Online Tennis Learning Platform to Mobile Devices in 175 Countries

NEW YORK, 25 August 2021 / PRNewswire / – Today, TopCourt, a unique digital tennis learning platform, took another step forward in the company’s growth and unveiled an iOS and Android app. TopCourt provides tennis fans with an online learning platform with tools to learn the game from the world’s best tennis players past, present and future, as well as the sport’s most legendary coaches.

Available on Apple and Android devices, the TopCourt app is customized using machine learning algorithms for each fan’s skill level and interests, allowing them to work with their coaching team as they see fit. want, where they want, when they want. TopCourt users have requested that the app work offline, a feature that will help bring tennis instruction straight to any tennis court. In addition to TopCourt online content, the app will also feature enhanced notifications and personalized alerts within the app, allowing users to discover local tennis events, participate in tournaments and more meaningfully connect with their local tennis community.

Over the past few years, many professional sports have added e-learning capabilities to their fan experience. TopCourt became the official online learning platform for the ATP and WTA Tours in June, connecting professional tennis and its star players and coaches with the everyday tennis fan. Numerous studies on the e-learning market predict that it is worth $ 325 billion by 2025, with a survey of 2,500 organizations that found that those offering comprehensive e-learning programs have 218% higher revenue per team member and profit margins 24 % higher *.

Noted Alexander Zverev, US Open 2020 finalist and Olympic gold medalist: “TopCourt’s mission is to develop the sport of tennis by making tennis education easily accessible to everyone. As the next step in TopCourt’s global growth, the launch of the TopCourt app will create personalized video service and allow our fans to bring their “TopCourt Coaching Team” right to the tennis court. The TopCourt app will be the most important member of the user’s coaching team and help uplift and improve their overall experience. “

Check out TopCourt here.

* Source: KPMG

Media contact:
Superior court: Mary jane orman ([email protected])


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The valuations ordered increase by 23% per year

CoreLogic, Australia’s leading real estate data and analysis company, said it saw a 23% increase in ordered appraisals in the 12 months leading up to June 2021, with the sharp rise in ratings partly attributed to its products to reduce mortgage processing times and improve the customer experience.

To help banks, lenders and brokers manage the increased demand for appraisals from homeowners and homebuyers, the real estate analysis of more than 10 million homes dating from four decades is used to transforming the country’s lending and appraisal landscape.

Tim Jenner, Director of CoreLogic – Product, Data and Analytics says a series of innovations has resulted in a transformational impact on the industry.

“Appraisal is a critical catalyst in the home buying process. Using real estate data, analytical techniques, and digital workflow tools, we’ve removed several manual steps from the process and helped lenders and brokers dramatically reduce ‘yes-time’ for their clients, even in the midst of these record volumes, ”he said.

CoreLogic’s digital mortgage origination solutions are designed to dramatically reduce bottlenecks in the origination process by helping to ensure that the property is suitable for the borrower and is acceptable security for the lender, quickly. .

Mr. Jenner said, “We use a combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning analysis techniques, cloud-based SaaS platforms, and advanced real-time business intelligence to determine if a mortgage can be underwritten on a property, with an immediate decision, or if data a motorized human appraisal is required.

“As we continue to focus our data strategy on specific use cases, in this case digitizing the mortgage process, we have seen significant improvement in lender and broker outcomes by automating the flow of critical data points. necessary to make an informed loan decision. in real time. Plus, homebuyers have superior experience with initial certainty or transparent next steps in their mortgage application process, ”Jenner said.

Figures from CoreLogic show that digital assessments using its Automated Assessment Model (AVM) and desktop assessments are used in almost half of all assessment requests by banks and lenders, and in some cases up to 80% by the main digital savvy financial institutions.

Mr Jenner said, “The percentage of these digital alternatives to the overall assessment makeup is growing at a rapid rate, thanks to better profiling of up-front property risks, improvements in data coverage and reporting capabilities. machine learning analysis, as well as improved data and technology now available to the Evaluator Fleet.

AVMs are processed instantly while desktop assessments can take a few hours. Both processes are significantly faster compared to on-site assessments, which can take three to four days on average.

These integrated digital valuation products are designed to simplify operational efficiency by reducing mortgage processing times from days to hours, and in some cases even minutes.

Large financial institutions such as the National Australia Bank, newer lenders such as 86,400 as well as non-bank lenders such as Athena have integrated CoreLogic’s valuation solutions and real estate data into their operations, helping more than one million Australian buyers and homeowners in the past year alone.

Andy Kerr, Director of NAB, Property Owner said, “We know that the confidence that comes with making quick decisions is key to reducing stress and helping our clients get their dream home in the competitive housing market. We strive to make 60 minute unconditional approvals the norm. “

Milena Malev, Managing Director of Financial Services and Insurance Solutions, CoreLogic Asia-Pacific, says that by effectively leveraging real estate information and data, financial institutions have been able to better support their clients’ journey to homeownership, from purchase and beyond.

She says consumers crave speed and efficiency and increasingly expect a level of digitization in the mortgage process to reflect everyday online experiences.

“Across the market as a whole, we are currently seeing a significant increase in refinancing volumes, for example,” Ms. Malev said.

“Coping with this volume is a fundamental challenge for large lenders, as their legacy systems can limit their ability to easily consume the necessary data. Additionally, 60% or more of mortgage volume tends to come from brokers, so lenders juggle broker expectations while adjusting to changing consumer needs. ”

Melissa Christy, Loan Manager at 86,400, said the 86,400 goal was to speed up the approval process and achieved this by integrating CoreLogic’s digital solution into their home loan process.

“By integrating the CoreLogic solution, we were able to significantly streamline the approval processes through their functionality, including allowing brokers to order reviews in advance, integrating with our original system. and our decision rules, and by managing our evaluation panel.

Ms. Malev explains that access to CoreLogic’s comprehensive property data is designed to provide a 360-degree view of individual properties and help personalize each customer’s experience.

“One of the most frustrating aspects of applying for a loan can be the amount of paperwork that takes time,” she says.

“But by using digitized forms pre-filled with key information about the client’s financial situation and enriched with data on the chosen property that the client can simply validate, this administrative burden can be significantly reduced. “

Ms. Christy accepted. “CoreLogic’s rental AVM solution has been essential in enabling us to remove supporting documents from our home loan application process. This allows us to digitally verify that the rental data provided by the client or broker is correct without the need for a rental agreement or letter from a real estate agent, ”she said.

This combination of innovative technologies and rich data helps lenders provide clients with instant appraisal decisions on their mortgage applications, allowing buyers to speed up their real estate transactions.

But Malev says CoreLogic’s offering goes beyond facilitating new mortgage, reloading or refinancing applications faster.

“It’s also about maintaining contact with the customer,” says Malev.

“We can help lenders and brokers build and maintain client relationships by understanding whether they are listing property for sale or renting, and help lenders expand the relationship or help clients secure financing for their next one.” purchase or determine the equity held in their home. “

To learn more about CoreLogic’s digital mortgage solutions, visit www.corelogic.com.au/industries/banking-and-lending.

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Quality of distance education in POD centers

The ministry’s initiatives have contributed to the success of the distance training plan for the people in the determination centers.

Jamil Khan, Senior reporter

The Ministry of Community Development has completed the process of evaluating the quality of distance education in the centers of persons determined on the basis of the “distance education quality scale” which has been prepared by the Department of Determined Persons Welfare and Rehabilitation targeting UAE government and private centers in UAE.

Nasser Ismail, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Social Protection at the Ministry of Community Development, said: “The results of the educational process for the 2020/2021 school year are characterized by many achievements despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic . The Department of Community Development has benefited from the results of the virtual education experience as well as the challenges that determined people and their parents face during the pandemic to develop the virtual education system for them ”.

He talked about the development of deliverables of the educational process in people of the determination centers and the successful reality methods and techniques used, the launch of some digital programs such as “Khetta”, “my family with me” intelligent applications, in in addition to the necessary technical support provided to parents, a set of guidelines and training programs for staff such as specialized training workshops on virtual education for specific persons; a virtual dating guide for these categories and other mentoring initiatives that have contributed to the success of the distance education plan in people determination centers.

In addition, Wafa Hamad Bin Sulaiman, director of the Department of Welfare and Rehabilitation for Determined Persons, explained that in the coming phase, the quality and standards of distance education will be applied in non-governmental centers for specific persons, in order to guarantee the efficiency and quality of the education provided for these categories.

Wafa explained that according to the distance education development initiatives during the current school year, the results of the assessment centers of determination on the distance education quality scale are high and meet all required expectations. The evaluation scores obtained by the centers ranged from (87.1% to 95.6%) allowing them to achieve both excellence and leadership ranks in achieving the objectives of the educational process as a whole, thus responding at the same time to individual capacities and needs.

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A glimmer of joy at the start of the school year

Even in this unusually busy back-to-school season, with an increase in transmissions and hospitalizations of COVID-19, there is reason to celebrate – so cautiously – the return of students to classrooms.

The dangerous Delta variant has rekindled fears of in-person instruction, but education and health officials have worked diligently to make returning to the classroom as safe as possible. The governor’s new mask and vaccination warrants were just the latest decision.

The State Department of Health updated safety instructions for schools earlier this month, reflecting the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. School districts like Bellevue, where administrators and teacher unions clashed over plans to reopen last year, have made deals or are almost there.

Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Education Association negotiators last Thursday reached an interim COVID health and safety deal for final approval by union members and the school board, the district said.

Most parents and students have had at least some practice in newer routines like masking, distancing and hand washing, even though their districts only offered blended learning for a few weeks last spring. This fall, every Washington student will have access to valuable in-person education.

While the usual exhilaration is tempered by caution, back to school is, as Washington Association of School Administrators executive director Joel Aune said, “a very exciting and upbeat time of year.”

“Our administrators and teachers are always very excited to get the children back,” Aune said.

We can’t afford to be complacent – the fall semester may still hold some surprises – but we have to be confident knowing that all the elements are in place.

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E-Learning Authoring Tools Market Size, Analysis, and Major Vendors – Articulate, iSpring Suite, Lessonly, Brainshark, SAP, Adobe Captivate, Elucidat, Gomo, Lectora Inspire

New Jersey, United States, – The Online Learning Authoring Tools Market Size and forecast to 2028, this report provides an analysis of the impact of the COVID19 epidemic on the key points influencing the growth of the market. In addition, the e-learning authoring tools market segments (by major players, types, applications and major regions) outlook, business valuation, competitive scenario, trends and forecasts for the coming years. The study of the Elearning Authoring Tools report is carried out on the basis of a substantial research methodology, which enables analytical inspection of the global market by means of different segments in which the industry is also alienated in summary, an increase in the size of the market due to the different possibilities of prospects. The report also gives a 360-degree view of the competitive landscape industries. SWOT analysis has been used to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of businesses. This will help businesses understand the threats and challenges they face. The Elearning Authoring Tools market is showing steady growth and the CAGR is expected to improve during the forecast period.

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The report provides a detailed analysis of the major market players along with an overview of their business, expansion plans, and strategies. The main players examined in the report are:

  • Articulate
  • ISpring Suite
  • Only
  • Brainshark
  • SAP
  • Adobe Captivate
  • Elucidate
  • Gomo
  • Lectora Inspire
  • Adapt
  • domKnowledge

This report provides in-depth analysis of eLearning authoring tools, current trends as well as comprehensive analysis based on type, application, and players. The report includes detailed analysis of competitors, SWOT analysis, industry structure and production process view. The report explains that the Elearning Authoring Tools market is fueled by several factors. This study underlines how important it is to carry out in-depth analyzes and how much this has a strong impact on the quality of the information made available to readers. Further, the report examines the impact on the Elearning Authoring Tools market of the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a clear assessment of the market trends for the forecast period.

The report further studies the market segmentation on the basis of the types of products offered in the market and their end uses.

While segmenting the market by types of e-learning authoring tools, the report includes:

While segmenting the market by e-learning authoring tools applications, the report covers the following application areas:

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Scope of the E-Learning Authoring Tools Market Report

Report attribute Details
Market size available for years 2021 – 2028
Reference year considered 2021
Historical data 2015 – 2019
Forecast period 2021 – 2028
Quantitative units Revenue in millions of USD and CAGR from 2021 to 2028
Covered segments Types, applications, end users, etc.
Cover of the report Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
Regional scope North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa
Scope of customization Free customization of the report (equivalent to 8 working days for analysts) with purchase. Add or change the scope of country, region and segment.
Price and purchase options Take advantage of personalized shopping options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchasing options

Due to regional segmentation, the market is divided into major regions North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. Further, the regional analysis covers the market split and major players by country.

The research report offered by Market Research Intellect provides an updated view of the global e-learning authoring tools market. The report provides a detailed analysis of key trends and emerging market factors that might affect the growth of the industry. Additionally, the report studies the market characteristics, competitive landscape, market size and growth, regional breakdown, and strategies for this market.

Highlights of the content of the e-learning authoring tools report:

?? Global Online Learning Creation Tools Market Analysis

➮ Competition in the market of players and manufacturers

competitive environment

Production, sales estimate by type and application

➮ Regional analysis

➮ Industrial chain analysis

➮ Global Elearning Authoring Tools Market Forecast

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Schools and Colleges Prepare for Cyber ​​Attacks on Returning Students

Hackers are poised to pounce on schools and universities as they attempt to restart classes 18 months after the start of the coronavirus pandemic while already dealing with controversial topics such as mask warrants and learning hybrid.

K-12 schools and colleges have increasingly been subjected to ransomware attacks, course disruptions on virtual learning platforms, phishing emails and identity theft , further disrupting an already difficult learning environment.

“The past year has been pretty tough,” K-12 Security Information Exchange national director Doug Levin told The Hill. “This year, unfortunately, given the continued challenge of responding to COVID, I think we’ll likely see some school districts bounce back between in-person and distance learning, or at least make that option available.”

Threats to the education sector have increased over the past year as classes have moved online with little time to prepare and underfunded schools and colleges have struggled to cope. the increase in cyber threats that digital learning has brought about.

While many educational institutions first had to deal with the phenomenon of ‘Zoombombing’, in which virtual lessons were interrupted by a malicious individual, cybercriminals increasingly turned to more lucrative tactics, such as as ransomware attacks, to extort vulnerable schools for profit.

As the first day of school approaches across the country, cybercriminals are poised to take full advantage of the chaos many people still face almost two years after the start of the pandemic.

Israeli-American cybersecurity group Check Point Software tracked a massive increase in targeting of the education sector around the world in July, up 29% from the first half of the year, with an average of more than 1,700 attacks per week.

Check Point spokesperson Ekram Ahmed told The Hill that while July is generally a break for schools and universities, the peak of activity was likely before students returned to class.

“It’s directly linked to the start of the school year, and I think there is a kind of dynamic of preparation going on,” said Ahmed. “There’s this motion to seed schools with malware for major upcoming cyber attacks, and I think that’s why we’re seeing it in July as these schools get back on track.

He warned that identity theft is emerging as a major threat to students, noting that data such as social security numbers or dates of birth is “more leverage because you can get someone. ‘one who is young, then years later attack him “.

Many K-12 colleges and institutions have already made headlines after facing crippling attacks in recent months.

The Broward County School District in Fort Lauderdale, Florida was the target of a ransomware attack in March. According to The South Florida Sun Sentinel, when the district refused to pay the $ 40 million demanded by the Conti ransomware group, hackers posted nearly 26,000 stolen files online.

Miami-Dade County Districts, Florida; Baltimore County, Maryland; and Fairfax County, Va., saw classes disrupted by cyber attacks last year.

The K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center, founded by Levin, released a report earlier this year, finding that attacks on K-12 institutions increased by 18% in 2020 from the previous year, an amount the center called it a “record.” “

“A year ago in March, school districts had to turn to e-learning, they made huge changes in a very short period of time, invested in new equipment, took advantage of new services and , therefore, they put themselves at a lot of risk, ”Levin said. “We have seen more incidents targeting schools.”

Colleges and universities, like the University of California, have also been targeted, and senior officials are preparing to face the threats for another year.

Aaron Baillio, chief information security officer at the University of Oklahoma, told a webinar hosted by cybersecurity group Proofpoint last week that if ransomware attacks are “No. 1 threat ”, the malicious phishing emails that allow cyber attacks to take hold were the“ no. 1 problem.

“The tactics keep getting more and more sophisticated, where they actually do more research on the faculty side to see ‘who this department head is,’ and then try to usurp that chair,” Baillio said. “The campaigns seem to be a lot more targeted, a lot more sophisticated. “

Mary Dickerson, head of information security at the University of Houston, said at the same event that email has increasingly become the “primary threat vector” for students.

“Attackers are getting more and more sophisticated, they’re more and more targeted, and even our most trusted and best users can fall for some of these things,” Dickerson said.

While large universities often have security teams and adequate funding to address the IT and IT challenges of moving to more online learning, many K-12 schools do not.

Additionally, efforts to address cybersecurity concerns have increasingly been stifled by controversy over mandates for masks and vaccines for students amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a growing society. in addition polarized.

“Problems like being in person or not being in person, or being masked or not, or teaching an X or Y program, these are things that are much more important and that people feel and see in the classroom on a daily basis. . “said Levine.” Cybersecurity in some ways is invisible to the core business of schools. “

As K-12 institutions and colleges have learned lessons from attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic and have started implementing more security measures as a result, cyber threats are high at the start of the new school year.

“If nothing else, the pandemic has shown that with this digital transformation come these new risks, and these risks are not trivial, they have a real impact,” said Levin.

“We expect school districts to be able to protect students, teachers and staff online, just as we physically protect them when they are on campus,” he continued. “I think we have a long way to go to meet these expectations, but this conversation has started because of the experiences of the past year.”

Levin added, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

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Emergency distance education and Covid-19: Our study says …

No one knew that Covid-19 would bring educational chaos to a large extent that would lead higher education to digitally migrate in ways unprecedented. With a limited set of teacher skills to cope with emergency distance education (or ERT) and a limited infrastructure to deliver distance education in developing countries, higher education institutions in these regions have switched to distance education in a face-to-face mode. This article captures the concerns of emergency distance education during Covid-19 in higher education from an empirical study carried out in Nepal and Bangladesh.

Developing countries often face education emergencies for several reasons, such as political unrest, natural disasters, epidemics or pandemics, and war. We agree with Charles Hodges and colleagues that emergency distance education can be a good skill set for future higher education teachers to handle the educational crisis with confidence.

If teachers are geared towards emergency distance education when they are appointed or if this skill set is developed at the start of the service period, they will be able to cope easily with any kind of business disruption. education that will occur in the future. Our study found that certain aspects of emergency distance education, described below, need to be considered by teachers when adopting emergency distance education in crisis contexts.

Mediating artifacts

Photo: Pixabay / Alexandra_Koch

Our study reveals that teachers primarily use social media platforms, typically Messenger, during emergency distance education in Nepal and Bangladesh. Part of the reason is that there are no school-owned learning management systems in many schools. It is interesting to observe that teachers are putting in place rules to use these social learning spaces for educational purposes, such that these platforms will only be used to share academic content, but not to have an informal or informal conversation. .

This contextual adaptation of social learning tools by perceiving a very distinct action potential of such a tool deserves to be noted. It also strongly suggests that universities should select in the future such tools that contain social learning spaces or that the selected tools should have the potential to integrate social learning platforms.

Deeply, it also reflects our culture of community living and how we would like to socialize more compared to the western world. Therefore, it seems that selecting learning management platforms that have social learning spaces in higher education can prove to be effective if we plan to use technology in higher education. in South Asian contexts.

Another intriguing result of this study is the plan of teachers and students to use online resources after Covid-19. Only 55% of teachers made significant use of online resources before Covid-19, but 74% of teachers said they intended to use the technology in their classrooms after Covid-19. This is, of course, because they knew the importance of technology in managing crisis contexts and also, they received training to manage digital technologies during this unexpected pandemic.

Similar results are also found among students. Only 41% used online technologies to any significant extent before Covid-19; nonetheless, that ratio rose to 60% when we look at students who plan to use online resources after the pandemic. It also indicates which path higher education will take in the future and the type of preparation required in higher education to harness the trend of blended learning, flipped classes and online education.

Constraints of online teaching and learning

emergency distance education
Photo: Pixabay

Peggy A Ertmer, an American professor, ranks barriers to the use of technology in education as first-rate (external to teachers, such as lack of infrastructure, limited bandwidth, etc.) attitude in the use of technology and so on). The results of our study indicate that teachers of ESL in higher education face many challenges in managing online courses, including poor network, lack of their own skills to manage technology, a lack of technological support on the part of the establishments, a low attendance of the students. and motivation, lack of learner interaction, power failure and learner assessment difficulties.

Teachers reported that students are passive in online lessons and that it is sometimes very difficult for them to get the content to their students. In addition to first and second order barriers, our study also identified system level barriers such as difficulty in assessing learners as identified by Anja Balanskat and colleagues. This suggests that, whether in emergency distance education or in a normal setting, if we are planning to use technology in higher education, we need to be aware of these three types of challenges and plan for the use. of technology.

Higher education students participating in this study also reported that they faced several challenges when joining online courses, such as poor and unstable internet connection, power outage, lack of power. devices to work on, inability to pay attention to content due to being distracted by social media, not being accustomed to working in an online environment, expensive dataset, and fear of online exams. line.

After identifying these challenges, teachers and students can focus on effective strategies to deal with those issues that may emerge while getting involved in future crisis contexts. At the same time, the higher education course designer and policy makers can plan their course and policies to meet these challenges and use digital technologies in a way that can help achieve learning outcomes.

Mental well-being

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As Professor Laxman Gnawali asserts, mental well-being in an educational context is still an emerging problem in Nepal. It must also feature in academic discourse in higher education contexts. Our study shows that on the one hand, students received less support from institutions during emergency distance education, which had a direct impact on their mental well-being. Students in rural Nepal had anxiety associated with online education as they could not complete the given tasks comfortably. Sometimes they had to walk for two hours to reach the place where they could access the internet. This situation can be completely frustrating for anyone. Many Bangladeshi students felt depressed during emergency distance education.

On the teachers’ side, the lack of decent incentives for teachers or the uncertainty of what incentives to provide to teachers during the pandemic has also affected their mental health. This study found that the issue of teachers’ salaries in community colleges during the pandemic was really a problem.

One of the teachers from Nepal also reported that he had organized guest lectures for his course, but had no idea whether these guest lectures would have certain incentives. As a result, many uncertainties loomed in teaching and learning during the pandemic and these implicitly or explicitly affected the mental well-being of teachers.

Participants also reported that basic training in online resource management, training to boost student morale during the pandemic, training for teachers on how to psychologically support students, counseling courses and workshops with psychology experts can be helpful in psychologically helping students and teachers.

Teachers and students maintained that online lessons were too mechanical and lacked opportunities for sharing; therefore, they also felt estranged from their colleagues and friends. In the interview, almost all students said they preferred face-to-face lessons over online lessons.

Nevertheless, participants also highlighted the positive points of online courses. They do not need to travel to institutions to teach and learn, and they can have more time with their families, to study and to plan their classes. Some research participants also reported that the pandemic has become an opportunity to be technologically proficient; in this case, they treated the pandemic as a blessing in disguise.

(This article is based on the full open access article titled ‘Online Education Preparations and Practices During the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Study on Bangladesh and Nepal‘published in Education and Information Technologies on July 28, 2021.)

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