EdTech Magazine recently attended an instructional design webinar where they asked about the best research-based strategies for maintaining student engagement during online learning. There, they spoke with Norma I. Scagnoli, a former instructional designer and current senior director of e-learning at the Gies College of Business, about the lessons learned after UIUC launched its first online MBA program, called iMBA, in 2016.
The coronavirus pandemic has amplified cybersecurity concerns as many schools are ill equipped to securely migrate to a completely digital learning experience. There may be a new digital infection spike in the fall when students, teachers, and administrators physically go back to school and plug their devices into hardwired networks for the first time in months.
Increased demand for remote learning and edtech will be outweighed by the difficult equation of other increased COVID-related costs plus decreased revenues and tighter budgets. In this COVID-19 budget environment, schools will again be forced to achieve more with less. Technology budgets may grow marginally, but certainly not nearly in proportion to the shift to remote or hybrid learning might otherwise warrant or suggest.
Deep budget cuts to education and rising poverty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could force at least 9.7 million children out of school forever by the end of this year, with millions more falling behind in learning, Save the Children warns in a new report.
The pandemic has sparked a crucial discussion about the role of edtech for Pakistan and most importantly, about the ways to improve the educational system at large in a country where it was already facing deep issues prior to the crisis (quality of teaching, low levels of learning, ghost schools, etc.). How can technology be best used to help the educational system and its millions of students relying on scarce and limited technological tools?
With a huge digital divide existing (TV and text messaging having the widest reach) and technology being saturated by the needs when it is available, the coronavirus and school closure have made the government join the conversation and show much more interest about the potential and the role of Edtech in the long run. At the moment, innovation in Education in Pakistan largely relies on government funding and very few private educational media actors exist.
Laura Truncellito- Laura is the founder and CEO of Language Scholars, LLC, a company which seeks to utilize cutting edge technology to enhance global learning and communication. firstname.lastname@example.org
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