There are many centers experiencing rapid digital transformation, considering the global COVID-19 pandemic (coronavirus). During this crisis, it is important for institutions to establish and continue to provide reliable training mechanisms by offering online content so that students can study at home or by converting face-to-face classes to online video conferencing sessions. However, it would be a mistake to think that these solutions are temporary and ignore that they represent a profound change occurring in the education sector.
Unlike other industries where digital transformations are occurring at a fast pace, the education industry is experiencing these transformations at a slow rate. We talked about this in our white paper on language academies and the use of virtual technology, pointing out that the development of online platforms in education is progressing slower compared to other industries, despite the fact that a large portion of the student body, in most institutions, are digital natives.
(…)The evolution of technology in education is estimated to be very slow, especially in training centers, since changes within the education sector occur in a complex fashion. Many schools, even though they are aware of certain needs, are often late to react and others, due to lack of experience, take advantage of options that are not 100% viable, making them lose credibility with their students over time. Oftentimes, the students in question are well-versed in online environments and will make more demands since they are digital natives.
Based on information from the foreword to “White Paper: Language Centers and New Technologies to Teach Online” by Sandra Domínguez and Carmen D. Rosell (CAE). Download the complete document.
A Future that Coronavirus has Advanced
The global COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the implementation of e-Learning courses and online education. Until now, many centers simply acknowledged the importance of such modalities, as indicated in the latest Verxact study, in which more than a hundred academies from 20 different countries participated. However, current situations are activating the need for such modalities.
One of the first measures taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 was to close schools and universities. The education sector was one of the first sectors to be affected by the crisis; thus, it is not surprising that the importance of online learning is being highlighted by measures taken by the state.
Pedro Sánchez is the president of Spain -one of the nations most affected by the coronavirus pandemic (1). He explained, in a speech before an empty Congress, that, given the state of alarm within the country, Spain should strive to “fully implement distance education, using virtual technology” since “it is the future of education.” On the same day, the opposition party echoed the president’s sentiments, stating that “the way of teaching must change towards total digitization.”
Spanish leaders are not the only ones talking about change. After closing his country’s educational institutions and borders, the Canadian president, Justin Trudeau, allowed many training centers to remain open to ensure the transition to online platforms for the rest of the semester. Note that Canada is third (with 642,000 students) on the list of countries that receive foreign students.
In France, Emmanuel Macron’s prohibitions have led to test online platforms to avoid the paralysis of public education within K-12 schools and institutes.
Effective Language Training Using Distance Education Technology
Online teaching platforms and learning management systems (LMS/LCMS) provide centers with web portals so that students can access educational content and join virtual classrooms.
- Content for natural and progressive learning (CEFR)
- Automatic evaluation, monitoring, records
- Study plan
- Speech recognition
- Social factor: online communities, conversation groups
Virtual classrooms allow users to host online teaching sessions with audio, video and chat. These classrooms, when integrated into a platform, record class attendance, assessments, grades, etc. They offer users the chance to experience effective distance learning.
- Virtual whiteboard and file repository
- Fixed schedule publication (online class reservation)
- Open rooms with call for notification (without reservation)
Content Creation: Authoring Tool
Authoring tools make it easy for you to create your own content for language classes and training centers. These tools allow users to apply their know-how and distinguish themselves from their competitors, using experience and skill. They also allow users to distance themselves from the standard manuals used in many centers.
- The Dexway Authoring Tool has more than 15 available templates for users so that they can create hundreds of different exercise models.
The Dexway Tutor Center is a new tutor management tool that allows you to modify the profiles and schedules of your teaching staff. You can combine the schedules from different centers, offer flexibility, and produce extremely detailed reports.
- Management of tutors: profiles, schedules, prices, etc.
- Fully flexible hours within the hourly availability of the teaching staff
Changes in Educational Models: Flipped Classrooms
The adoption of new distance education technologies not only prepares language centers for effective distance learning, but also makes it possible for them to introduce new teaching models. One such model is the flipped classroom, a model that has been successfully implemented worldwide. This model is unique because it facilitates student-centered learning.
The flipped classroom, as you can guess by its name, inverts traditional methods of teaching. First, the student prepares a lesson at home. Then, the student practices said lesson in class. The result is a more enjoyable and productive class where the student can get his or her questions answered. In the case of language teaching, the inverted classroom model gives students the time to practice what they have learned, either in-person or via video conferencing.
(1) As of March 20.