Analysis | Feature

Education Technology For Lifelong Learning

While traditional classroom learning may be preferred or required in the case of hands-on trade schools and the sciences, educators and schools should be prepared for the likelihood that online learning will continue, even after this crisis. Investment in EdTech options will be important into the future.
20 Jun 2020 10:34
Education Technology For Lifelong Learning

Analysis:

  • Jim Tora is the owner of That’s IT Consultants which provides a range of ICT advisory. He has an MBA from The University of the South Pacific.

As a father of four, with two older kids researching University options and two little ones in kindy, I’ve been eagerly following the news on schools, social gathering restrictions, and bubbles reopening.

Fiji’s schools and teachers have had a lot of challenges to deal with over the last few months, and many have adapted admirably. After supervising my son’s online kindergarten, I have renewed appreciation for the work of Fiji’s teachers. And I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I can’t wait to hand my boys back to their teachers!

How does EdTech support learning?

In response to school closures around the world, the World Bank has been working with ministries of education in many countries to support remote learning options and explore how countries are using Education Technology or EdTech – online learning, radio, television, and texting – to support access to remote learning during the pandemic.

Countries such as Austria, Ecuador, and Finland are using the learning management system (LMS), Moodle, while other countries are using cloud solutions from Microsoft and Google to organize and deliver course content, assign and submit homework, enable student interaction, and even administer exams online.

While traditional classroom learning may be preferred or required in the case of hands-on trade schools and the sciences, educators and schools should be prepared for the likelihood that online learning will continue, even after this crisis. Investment in EdTech options will be important into the future.

What are the advantages of Learning Management Systems?

Remote learning options improve equity of access to education and may be preferred for any number of reasons, ranging from remote location, student health or disabilities, to greater flexibility of time and cost.

Anyone who has recently taken courses at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji National University, or the University of Fiji will be familiar with Moodle, as it is the LMS of choice for all three tertiary institutions in Fiji as well as the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC). Moodle LMS is used by over 60 per cent of all higher education institutes across the world.

Moodle is a learning platform designed to provide educators, administrators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system to create personalised learning environments. The platform can also be deployed for K-12 (kindy through to year12) schools, distance education or home study.

Fiji’s 20-Year National Development Plan 2017- 2036 has one of its strategies for education to “strengthen the use of ICT, distance learning and e-learning in schools”.

By leveraging off what our universities have been using and deploying tools such as Moodle will assist in reaching our goal of “quality education for all.”

How can businesses use EdTech?

But let’s remember, while we’re all focused on reopening schools and universities, learning doesn’t stop at form 7 or a university degree. Adult learning, workplace training, and short courses are critical to build skills to support ongoing professional development.

With regional travel, workshops, conferences, and events on hold, many organisations are exploring alternative capacity building options for their staff. One upside of the COVID-19 pandemic is that many programmes are now being offered online and are easily accessible  through LMS.

A new solution, Moodle Workspace, can help you deliver effective corporate training and professional development, and share knowledge across your organisation.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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