In the past few weeks, millions of American students switched to learning remotely, courtesy of stringent social-distancing measures that prompted an abrupt shutdown of schools and universities across the country. After all recent data suggests that only strict lockdown has proved to slowdown the spread of the novel coronavirus in the affected regions.
The vast online application of educational technology during these trying times is perhaps the largest in history wherein school administrators and teachers are making utmost efforts to utilize the right technologies to ease the transition from classroom to home. Let us take a look at the technologies in play here and how they could impact the proprietary companies ahead.
Online Learning Space Expands Rapidly
The academic community across the United States and the rest of the world is by and large focused on tapping different ways to continue schooling virtually, thereby incorporating educational technology at such a vast scale. Efforts have been strongly mobilized after the initial 15-day lockdown period was extended to 45.
Although President Donald Trump had last week weighed options to reopen the United States by Easter Sunday (Apr 12) to resume normalcy, the mounting death toll and the rising incidence of infected admissions in the country pushed him to decide otherwise. As a result, the lockdown was extended to Apr 30. White House medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci had earlier warned that as many as 200,000 Americans could be killed by the pandemic.
The President’s orders put U.S. in line with other countries hit hard by the pandemic. Of course, business as usual continues to be affected because of the enforcement but educational institutions found a way out to cope with this massive lockdown, thanks to the many technical tools available.
As of Apr 1, at least 124,000 U.S. public and private schools have been impacted by school closures and affected at least 55.1 million students, according to a report by Education Week.
This is why the online learning space witnessed an exponential boom with teachers and school administrators expanding and updating their curriculum digitally, focussing on better means to connect with students and make the digital learning experience as convincing as a real classroom.
Virtual Schooling is Impacting Tech Giants: Here’s How
The pandemic helped bare challenges in the space of virtual schooling, giving immense tech insights. Some technology companies are playing a significant role in this scenario.
For example, Zoom Video Communications, Inc. ZM has a set of services specifically for those who opt for remote learning. The company’s Zoom for Education services help set up hybrid classrooms, secure video communication services etc., which assist schools and universities improve the quality of teaching remotely.
Similar initiatives have been taken by Microsoft Corporation MSFT. The tech mammoth’s Microsoft in Education program is quite helpful when it comes to setting up virtual classrooms and personalized learning programs. Apart from this, the application offers individualized instruction with the aid of Office 365 Education and Learning Tools.
Facebook, Inc. FB hasn’t been far behind either in helping students learn online. The social media platform is being widely used for live-teaching sessions and interactive writing workshops, which are quite helpful for stuck-at-home students working on their homework.
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