Universities will need to look to digital innovation and new forms of student experience capable of attracting domestic and international mkt share. Immersive learning can play a role here.
Education transformation looks to new forms of student experience and engagement
Education is in the midst of a turbulent transformation globally. COVID-19 has forced more than 1 billion students out of the traditional face to face “industrialisation era format” of delivery to an online delivery.
As this US focussed podcast with Connie Chan, general partner at a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) explores with education there is so much potential for further innovation.
At its core, online is a mode of delivery for education that has tremendous potential to reach people that couldn’t be reached with in-person education models.
Focus on Australia
In Australia, universities are grappling with the downturn in international student revenue in 2020 due to COVID19. Recent University Of Melbourne research modelled the impact and reilence of universities with the loss of international student fees. It included an outline of seven strategies universities needed to undertake including investing in digital education,
universities will need to continue investing in digital education and new forms of student experience capable of attracting and retaining both domestic and international market share in a post-COVID-19 era.
Tech giants eye education
And muscling in for a greater share of the educational pie are tech giants like Google.
Portrayed as a “digital jobs program to help America’s economic recovery” Google recently announced its “Google Career Certificates” courses. The courses are conveyed as helping participants get qualifications in “high-paying, high-growth job fields” without needing to attend university.
College degrees are out of reach for many Americans, and you shouldn’t need a college diploma to have economic security. We need new, accessible job-training solutions—from enhanced vocational programs to online education—to help America recover and rebuild.
All of this reflects the World Economic Forum call for education to have a rethink as COVID19 is causing a widening gap in education.
“The old model of our education system where everyone sits in a classroom is not going to work in the new normal.”
Which brings us to a world where newer technologies such as virtual reality become part and parcel of a blended learning program in our schools, collegies, universities not to mention workplaces.
Reimagining student experiences
It is not hard to envision a very near future where every student gets a wireless VR headset as part of their enrollment at school or university much like they have a laptop or notebook.
The student simply turns on the headset, connects to a wifi network and can easily access the shared immersive learning experiences specified for their year level or studies across diverse subject or content areas.
Assessments on soft skills or technical skills that need to be acquired can be practised over and over in a safe virtual environment. All student interactions in the virtual environment can be tracked and reported back providing the student with enhanced insight on proficiency and understanding.
Students can also access immersive collaborative meeting experiences and spaces for seminars, workshops, plenary sessions and meetings.
As Ishwar K. Puri, Dean of Engineering and Professor, McMaster University (Canada) recently wrote in a Conversation article there are five ways education can be reimagined in response to COVID19 including “create virtual content for the future and “engage students through virtual experiences”.
Oculus for Business users will soon require a Facebook account
Facebook last week announced that starting in October 2020, everyone using an Oculus virtual reality device (eg Quest) for the first time will need to log in with a Facebook account. There will be a period of grace for anyone with separate Oculus and Facebook accounts which will end January 2023.
Concerns for VR business content creators
The news raises questions for VR business content creators, educational bodies and government authorities using Oculus products around their desire to connect their business profile to their personal social profile when using the Oculus for Business virtual reality deployment platform.
The news has met with resistance from existing business product users and led last week to colourful social activity and articles on tech media.
Vodafone set out to discover which businesses are best prepared for the future. This is what they found.
Late last year Vodafone looked at how COVID19 has affected the emerging challenges they identified, and what this means for the future of work.
Surveying 1,813 businesses in November and 800 in May in follow up research they found “future ready businesses” (FRB) had six key characteristic in common. And the six characteristic are not all what you might expect.
As outlined in this Forbes article business models are evolving in the wake of COVID19 and it is in the direction of digital.
“Businesses that have thrived through the pandemic may not solely be operating in a digital business model, but what all successful business have in common is a strong digital culture…moving forward, we need to face that the future will be more digitally-focused than ever before, and businesses need to start thinking about how to create and implement a digital business model.”
This post originally appeared on Snobal Midweek
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