Online Education

How the education sector is reinventing itself thanks to digital

The health crisis has moved students as teachers to online courses. From elementary school to higher education through vocational training, everyone has had to master video conferencing software and online platforms. At a time when the pandemic seems to be gradually disappearing, digital solutions such as innovative tools are gaining ground in the educational field.

Turn the challenges of the crisis into opportunities

If the digitization of the education sector was already underway before COVID-19, the current health crisis has accelerated this process. Physical and social distancing, isolation… In the last two years, digital transformation has become inevitable. Courses had to be re-evaluated in a short time to limit the impact of the health crisis on learning. A large number of schools, universities and educational institutes then went digital. Video communication software such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams or Blackboard have integrated the daily life of teachers, speakers and students. Everyone is used to sharing documents from disk or digital platforms like Dropbox.

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The health crisis in the spring of 2020 and the closing of secondary schools forced us to reconsider and renew our pedagogy. Indeed, fifteen days before our Easter courses, the Parisian schools we work with, such as Fénelon Sainte-Marie or Stanislas, could not welcome us.

So we had to consider an alternative that is both effective and qualitative: leaving our students was out of the question. That’s why we opened our first online courses to learn from to improve.

In this sense, we left aside touchpad courses for the design of online sessions on a real blackboard in our studios consisting of 14 classrooms fully equipped with 4K technology.

At the same time, we developed our Prepa Medicine offered entirely online: In this way, today our online courses are no longer just an alternative to overcoming a face-to-face meeting, it is a real training offer that can be addressed to everyone! » Edouard Morice, director of the Thalès course and associate professor of physics

Organization, adaptation, a new way of communication… This period was not always easy for both teachers and students. Nevertheless, it appeared as an opportunity to rethink educational methods with an emphasis on accessibility. For this purpose, many institutions and individuals who want to educate in a particular discipline have opted for online sites or platforms. These educational technology (EdTech) companies aim to change the traditional perception of teaching and learning. There are some for learning a language (Babbel, Duolingo, Lingumi), finding a private tutor (MyTutor, SuperProf, GoStudent, etc.) or training in a fun way (360Learning). In France, the number of EdTech companies is estimated at around 400 to 500.

These new learning habits become permanent. Nowadays, many businesses have adopted a hybrid mode. In terms of training, they are almost systematically offered online and in person. Before the health crisis, the EdTech market potential for 2025 was around $325 billion. Now the estimates are between 400 and 500 billion, of which 50 to 90 billion is due to the occasion of this extraordinary crisis.

Rely on new technologies

In order for the digital transformation to continue, some players in the education sector are adopting advanced innovative technologies such as virtual reality (VR). For example, it allows the visualization of areas of the world or objects from the classroom or home. This solution responds to current challenges: it offers more interactions during learning. According to consulting firm IDC, the growth rate of the virtual reality market in education would reach 200% between 2019 and 2023.

At the same time, augmented reality (AR) is also advancing in the world of education. Applications using this technology make it possible to visualize abstract concepts, tell stories in a more playful way, and better understand details, especially in science or engineering.

Finally, cloud solutions are gaining ground. They offer students and instructors the opportunity to connect from virtually anywhere. They can use this type of app when they are face to face, at home or in another country. During the pandemic, many teachers have opted for cloud-based platforms to upload their videos, assignments, projects and other content.

The health crisis has highlighted the importance of new technologies in a sector that still has certain gaps. They are gradually anchoring themselves in the educational sphere by shaking up teaching procedures and habits. Each aims to make certain training courses easier to access, transform learning and make courses more interactive, both face-to-face and online.

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