Online Education

How the schooling sector is reinventing itself with digital expertise

The health crisis has led students to shift to online courses as teachers. From elementary school to higher education through vocational training, everyone has had to master video conferencing software and online platforms. At a time when the pandemic seems to be slowly fading away, digital solutions such as innovative tools are being introduced into the educational field.

Turn Crisis Challenges into Opportunities

If the digitalization of the education sector had already begun before Covid-19, then the current health crisis has accelerated this process. Physical and social distancing, isolation… Over the past two years, digital transformation has become essential. Courses needed to be rethought at short notice to limit the impact of the health crisis on learning. Then a large number of schools, universities and educational institutions switched to digital technologies. Video conferencing software such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, or Blackboard has integrated the daily lives of teachers, speakers, and students. Everyone is used to sharing documents from disk or digital platforms like Dropbox.

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The spring 2020 health crisis and high school closures have forced us to rethink and update our pedagogy. Indeed, fifteen days before our Easter courses, the Parisian schools with which we cooperate, such as Fénelon Sainte-Marie or Stanislas, could not accept us.

So we had to think of an alternative that was both effective and high quality: abandoning our students was out of the question. Therefore, we opened our first online courses from which we were able to learn lessons to become better.

It is in this sense that we have moved away from touch-panel courses to offer online sessions on a real whiteboard in our studios, which consist of 14 classrooms fully equipped with 4K equipment.

At the same time, we have developed our Prepa Medicine, fully available online: prepa-medecine.com. So today our online courses are no longer just an alternative to overcoming face-to-face learning, they are a real learning offer that can be addressed to everyone! » Edouard Maurice, Thales Course Director and Associate Professor of Physics

Organization, adaptation, a new way of communication… For both teachers and students, this period was not always easy. However, it emerged as an opportunity to rethink educational methods with an emphasis on accessibility. To do this, many institutions and individuals who wish to study any discipline have chosen online sites or platforms. These educational technology (EdTech) companies aim to change the traditional way of teaching and learning. There are some for language learning (Babbel, Duolingo, Lingumi), finding a private tutor (MyTutor, SuperProf, GoStudent, etc.) or for learning through play (360Learning). In France, the number of EdTech companies is estimated at around 400–500.

These new learning habits become permanent. Today, many establishments have switched to a hybrid mode. In terms of training, they are almost systematically offered online and in person. Before the health crisis, the EdTech market potential was about $325 billion by 2025. Estimates are now between 400 and 500 billion, of which between 50 and 90 billion are related to the possibility of this exceptional crisis.

Rely on new technologies

To keep the digital transformation going, some players in the education sector are adopting cutting-edge innovative technologies such as virtual reality (VR). This allows you to, for example, visualize regions of the world or objects from a class or home. This solution meets the current needs: it offers more interactions during training. According to the consulting company IDC, the virtual reality market growth rate will reach 200% between 2019 and 2023 in education.

At the same time, augmented reality (AR) is also progressing in the educational world. Applications that use this technology allow you to visualize abstract concepts, tell stories in a more playful way, and better understand details, especially in science or technology.

Finally, cloud solutions are also gaining momentum. They offer students and instructors the ability to connect from virtually anywhere. They can use this type of application when they are face to face, at home or in another country. During the pandemic, many teachers have opted for cloud platforms to upload their videos, assignments, projects, and other content.

The health crisis has highlighted the importance of new technologies in a sector where some gaps still exist. They are gradually fixed in the educational sphere, changing pedagogical practices and habits. Each of them is aimed at facilitating access to certain training courses, transforming learning and increasing the interactivity of courses, both face-to-face and online.

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