Article posted on May 12, 2020
The COVID-19 global pandemic crisis has forever changed the education system as many traditional classrooms have been supplemented by video conferencing technologies. Although many universities and colleges have implemented distance learning solutions for years—the coronavirus has expedited the need for enhanced virtual teaching capabilities.
Microphones and videos have been used by educators for years, but only recently have become necessary components of virtual learning technology. As such, social distancing regulations have forced professors to use video conferencing methods in order to continue studies. Zoom, WebEx, and Microsoft Teams are just a few of the applications being used by universities, however, the problem is many educational institutes lack the hardware components necessary to optimize these technologies.
Due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, many universities question if and when students will return to campuses. Although educational institutes may eventually return to physical classrooms—universities will likely be forever impacted by COVID-19. Let’s take a look at how university functionality may be forever changed in a post-pandemic world.
Social distancing recommendations have changed how people function in close-proximity to one another. Although the COVID-19 pandemic will likely end at some point, the implications of the virus will likely be sustained afterwards, especially within the educational system.
Reductions in classroom size and social distancing regulations have already been implemented in some parts of the world. In Germany, students have returned to school with desks that are distanced from one another. Additionally, France has resumed instruction with limited classroom sizes of 15 students or less. The future is becoming clear—classrooms will likely never be the same again. Instructors must be able to adapt to digital technologies as distance learning replaces many in-classroom teachings.
Physical classrooms will need to update infrastructures in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. However, in certain situations digital learning cannot supplement or replace classroom environments. While under remote learning conditions, students lack the tools and equipment necessary to perform functions such as experiments and labs.
Universities must use proper judgement when allowing students to return in a way that best minimizes the spread of viruses. Some institutions may return next school year, but digital technology will still be needed to support the educational needs of students and staff moving forward.
The pandemic crisis has forced many schools to expedite technological developments. As schools struggle to adapt to a changing educational landscape, they must continually assess the individual needs of students and educators. A one-size-fits-all approach to technology implementation will be ineffective as universities operate under differing budgetary constraints and requirements.
Although campus expenses such as overhead and utilities may be reduced—implementing new technology may increase budgetary expenditures. Campuses may decrease in physical size with less students on campus, but technological capabilities must be enhanced in order to accommodate virtual students.
Many schools will continue to utilize online and hybrid courses to meet social distancing regulations. Learnings must be interactive to properly engage students while increasing course effectiveness. Archiving lectures is another useful tool allowing students to revisit topics at a later date. Screen sharing and digital whiteboards can help learners interact with professors in order to keep students engaged. Additionally, sharing files in real-time with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other related platforms can aid in student accountability.
Universities are using visual learning tools to transform classrooms into digital environments. Educators expect a seamless transition without learning the nuances of complicated technological platforms. As students and professors adapt to educational changes, Spinitar continues to provide virtual communication assistance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Spinitar not only designs and installs audiovisual solutions, but also trains faculty members and IT staff on to use the integrated technology via training programs provided by our customer success team. With our new product HelpPoint+™ we’re continuing to provide support both virtually and on-site. Change is never easy, but Spinitar is helping universities create a seamless transition for educators and faculty. Our specialized audiovisual technology solutions help students and educators stay connected—even when physical presence isn’t possible.
Learning new forms of technology can be a challenge, so we’re here to offer a helping hand every step of the way. At Spinitar we’re continuing to support virtual communication needs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond into the future.
For more information on how Spinitar is helping to aid the technological transition in a post-pandemic world, please feel free to visit our website for additional information.