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The impact of distance learning and what it means for edtech advancement

1. How has distance learning affected technology in education and how has education adapted to the conditions of the pandemic?

Peter: The pandemic has shown the great work teachers are doing and it has really highlighted to all of us how passionate teachers are about education, just like we at ViewSonic are passionate about education. Teachers have adopted remote and hybrid learning, we have been closed very quickly all over the world, schools have been closed and this has shown the power and passion of teachers to adapt to distance learning. Teacher adoption has helped speed learning and demonstrated how adaptable our teachers are.

2. What role has technology played in keeping teaching and learning afloat?

Peter: I think we can clearly and certainly see from my personal experience, that teachers work to keep guiding learning, to keep learning afloat, and this was done by teachers who gave up a lot of time because they often in the UK for example, teachers also taught children who were in school. Remember that even though the schools were closed, the children of the Key Workers still went to school, so the teachers played a hybrid role, teaching at a distance and teaching the children who were physically in the classroom. Edtech solutions such as the myViewBoard visual learning platform have helped promote distance teaching and learning.

3. How has distance learning affected learners both in terms of mental wellbeing / health and in terms of learning opportunities everywhere?

Peter: Well, in terms of learning from anywhere, kids they were learning from anywhere, everyone’s kitchen table suddenly became a classroom. You know, I was sitting at my kitchen table and my 10-year-old son was in class doing Zoom meetings, Teams meetings, so he forced everyone to do it. It also showed some of the challenges, not all children have access to tablets and high speed internet, but once again it showed how the schools have responded fantastically and lived up to the challenge and provided those resources to those. that they did not have access, allowing them to learn anywhere and also to learn outside the normal school hours of 9-3.

Some of the effects of this will take some time to surface, another conversation I have had on the welfare side is that teachers are used to dealing with some of these challenges, but parents may not be so, again, it really puts highlights the skills and excellent work done by our teachers in addressing the social and emotional learning of their pupils.

Of course, there is evidence of the number of missed class hours and the recovery that must take place and the damage it could do to students’ learning potential, and a lot of that work is emerging now. But I think my key message is to not just look at the negative side of things.

4. Is there any emerging technology to combat the problem of isolated learning?

Peter: Being able to meet others online in the classroom or in the classroom is something we will see emerging from the edtech world. Children are used to playing in various play environments in an immersive environment, and technology will now allow this to happen. Major edtech companies will try to develop that kind of virtual world. It will also address the lack of ability to have multiple conversations at the same time virtually or parallel group sessions. All of this will be possible in the very near future.

5. Did the pandemic serve as a catalyst for where education was heading?

Peter: I think it definitely acted as a catalyst because schools closed overnight and every child was home, so it was definitely an amplifier of how EdTech was already doing, which was allowing students to learn in an environment that wasn’t. only that of the four walls of a school or university.

6. Do you think the remote will ever replace the classroom?

Peter: Personally I don’t think so. I think there will always be a mix, a hybrid of learning spaces. I think it can improve the classroom and change the shape of the learning day. I also think it can lead to education not only being a 9-3 activity, or not just being for people aged 0-18, it can also drive lifelong learning.

We probably need to redefine what we think of as a classroom. Many of us will think of a classroom as something straight out of a Charles Dickens novel with children sitting in a row facing the teacher. I think it will help redefine the class and the class will change in the future. It could involve more large-format displays and a much more immersive experience than students have now.

If you’ve ever read Seymour Pappett’s Children’s Car you will know what I’m about to say. Talk about the fact that Charles Dickens-era, Victorian-era teachers would be able to recognize the modern classroom, while a doctor would not be able to recognize a modern day hospital because the technology has been adopted more widely in medicine and health care than school education. The pandemic will drive edtech adoption and allow classrooms to look very different, there will always be a mix of distance learning but there will always be a central place to go, just like the current hybrid workplace where employees can choose whether to work from home or go to the office.

7. What can we take / learn from the pandemic learning experience?

Peter: We have to make sure we’re prepared, and certainly when I think about the schools I work with, the ones that already had a vision for technology within their classrooms did better because they already had the right things in the right place. So, I think senior school and district leaders need to have a plan and a vision of what edtech looks like. If a school doesn’t have it in place, it needs to work on it and needs to build a team that can help look at this and put in place an edtech strategy to ensure continuity of learning should another COVID-type pandemic emerge. in the future.

Senior executives need to invest in edtech solutions, see their value and learn from the experience we’ve had. I think we have to conclude by saying that we learned how brilliant our teachers are, they dropped everything and started working in a different way, so we also learned that edtech can be adopted and companies like us at ViewSonic have to make it be there. as a critical friend for schools to support adoption. This is a joint venture between industry, schools and academia and we all have to work together, so I think one thing we will see is that long-term relationships will begin to develop. Another thing is that schools need to choose their technology partners carefully, because investing in edtech is not a one-time investment, it is a long-term strategic change. Schools shouldn’t just look at who has the cheapest hardware, they should look at general solutions and choose a partner they can trust, with whom they can work. At ViewSonic we are very passionate about providing holistic edtech solutions and have learned that it is important to build long-term relationships with the school and work side by side with the school.

Finally, we learned the adaptability of teachers and pupils to embark on a new way of working.


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The impact of distance learning and what it means for edtech advancement

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