Turning a new page

An educator who adapts to upskilling and reskilling will be able to effectively deal with different needs and requirements of students   | Photo Credit: Freepik

Last year was momentous in many ways. From a largely offline mode, educators had to adapt to teaching online and tech skills became a must have. The ed-tech industry emerged with products to help educators with this task.

Educators had to embrace opportunities by innovating and finding their own ways to focus on students’ needs. They had to research and learn to use new tools to make online classes interesting and interactive enough to hold attention. For example, the use of Virtual Reality helped make learning a fully immersive experience.

Closing the gap

Educators are increasingly turning to AI-driven tools to help cancel background sounds, automate tasks, analysing student performance and in assessment. All this helps close the educational gap. How do you assess virtually what a student has learned? By using tools/ apps that can solve the mounting administrative burden associated with running exams. A cloud-based system cost-effectively streamlines the process, eliminates time-zone restrictions, and enables institutions to run any kind of e-assessment, from formative tests through to high-stake summative exams.

Another challenge has been the reduced or lost ability to ‘read the room’ in a virtual class group, or understanding often-unspoken dynamics between classmates. Educators had to upgrade their skills and use learning management system (LMS), write on whiteboards, and so on. Augmented Reality allowed them to better connect with students as it allows students and educators to create avatars that aid interaction.

A smart classroom with IoT will help save teacher’s time. Using IoT with 5G enables teachers to log in as they enter a class, helps automate manual administrative tasks, and allows students to deliver feedback digitally. A higher bandwidth will help signals remain strong through lectures and presentations and prevent the occasional dropped connections and derailing focus. How often have we heard the terms, “Am I audible?” or “Can you see my slides?”

While gaming in education is sometimes viewed as interference to learning, it actually increases students’ motivation and engagement, enhances visual skills, improves the ability to interact and collaborate with peers, and enables them to apply gaming values in a real-world situation.

It is apparent that educators have to upskill and reskill themselves so that they can use differentiation tactics or strategies to address learning gaps that currently exist because of online delivery. Upskilling helps them explore new avenues and turns a new page in the book of ‘Learning’. Reskilling is simply learning and honing those skills. An educator who adapts these two in their professional life would not only be effectively dealing with different needs and requirements of students in the virtual world but will fulfil his/her role as a true educator.

The writer is a Senior Vice President for Enterprise Ireland/ Education in Ireland

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 10:49:03 AM |

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