As thousands of Puerto Rican children and young adults make their way back to school today with backpacks full of fresh notebooks and newly sharpened pencils, education and technology experts agree that sooner rather than later, learning will become less traditional and more technological.
Probably one of the most stable industries for over a century, education is responding to today’s economic and social realities by transforming its practices, structures and pedagogies, according to the findings of a recent survey conducted by the Center for Digital Education and commissioned by Avaya, a global provider of collaboration and communications solutions, including solutions for distance learning and education.
For one, the study confirmed that school districts and higher education institutions could improve the instructional process and better engage students through the use of video-based learning.
“The conventional ways in which students learn is changing: educational institutions are now preparing students for the new design economy in which technology plays a critical role and is embedded into the learning process,” the study concluded.
Technology that allows school districts and institutions to record and provide rich streaming video anywhere at any time has been available for some time, but not all districts and higher education institutions are taking advantage of this capability. Video-based learning offers an engaging, anywhere, anytime teaching and learning experience, the study said.
“Video is already a proven technology in distance learning environments, and we’re delighted to see this trend grow. The key to driving further adoption is simplicity and pervasiveness,” said Bob Romano, vice president, Video Marketing, Avaya. “Avaya’s video conferencing solution brings several unique benefits to video-based learning including a freely distributed client, the ability for students to join a class with a single click, and our ‘data slider’ feature, which allows students to review previously shared content without interrupting the class.”
Video-based learning fosters a more engaged learning experience, information retention is improved through video replay and the learning method is desirable. Encouraging students to bring their own device, or implementing a 1:1 initiative will pave the way for video-based learning opportunities in the classroom, which in turn will benefit student-learning outcomes, the study noted.
“These results demonstrate the power of video-based learning. A system that delivers simultaneously on several core needs for schools — for example one that reaches a wider audience, improves engagement, and lowers costs for educational institutions,” said Justin Greeves, vice president, Research, The Center for Digital Education.
“It can also do this at the right time, in the right place, and on the right device for students. This rare opportunity to do more with less plays right into the needs of today’s educators as well as learners across the spectrum,” he said.
Microsoft offers tips, trick
As it does each year, software giant Microsoft has come up with a list of “tips and tricks” to make student life easier this year, as well as help keep them connected to the latest applications and solutions.
For one, the company suggests using Office 365, its cloud-based software suite that can be access from a personal computer, as well as a Windows phone. In lieu of a laptop, students can consider a Surface tablet, which they can take with them to class or use to chat with friends and family through Skype Video.