Hybrid educating, a brand new manner for college students to be taught?

Over the last two years, education systems around the world have undergone extensive stress testing.

The uptake of digital education by schools and universities has accelerated. In two months, two years of digital transformation have actually been achieved.

New innovative learning methods

The year 2021 marked the return of full-time education for primary, secondary and secondary school pupils. Unlike higher education, which favors a hybrid and innovative way of teaching. A number of applications (Zoom, Discord, Teams, etc.) allow teachers to think and conduct their lessons differently, thanks to tools for video conferencing, chat, co-creation and document sharing.

Gamification is also a tool recognized by higher education, such as the prestigious Stanford University or major French business schools. The latter have created a facility that allows teachers, administrative teams and students to connect to the virtual campus by creating a personalized avatar like in a video game, attending courses and conferences.

Progress in the public and private sectors has therefore been rapid, innovative and collaborative. Distance education has shaken previously used standards and made it possible to convince even the most reluctant about the usefulness of hybrid education.

These advances have also highlighted the digital divide between students, teachers and administrative teams, which are not as easy as using digital. Distance learning courses seem to be a permanent part of the learning environment, so training plans are needed to support all stakeholders towards hybrid learning.

The changing education sector

Blended learning supports a more resilient education system with tailored learning while improving accessibility. IT leaders want to build on the transformational progress made so far in terms of flexibility, scalability and agility.

Several institutions have begun to invest in advanced technologies. In 2020, the ESCP business school invested almost 1 million euros in about forty hybrid rooms of the latest generation. The same observation from the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, with more than € 750,000 earmarked for video conferencing courses and training of teaching staff in these new procedures. With the advent of pedagogical innovation cells, some facilities sought the expertise of pedagogical engineers to help teachers keep students’ attention remotely. In Paris-Descartes, for example, the PédagoNum service has around ten teaching engineers.

Creating flexible financial opportunities for educational institutions is key to supporting future transformations. This allows educational organizations to move from a rigorous “CapEx” model to an agile “OpEx” approach. In this way, facilities can invest according to the development of their needs and always prefer the optimization of school education rather than stopping them immediately. For example, PC-as-a-service (PCaaS) offers businesses a simple and efficient ongoing solution.

These new innovative services designed to simplify the digital transformation make it possible to deploy more connected tools. Students will continue to acquire new digital skills and competences that will prove to be key as they enter the labor market. As schools implement distance learning solutions through online platforms and benefit from accelerating technological development, blended learning is becoming the new norm.

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