As we continue to embark on the new normal, 2020 has brought us an entirely new way that students learn. From Kindergarten to MBAs, students are immersed in distance learning, and the one unifying factor is that technology connects the classroom. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella furthered this point in his quarterly earnings call, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”
With parents spending their days muting and unmuting Zoom meetings for their grade-schoolers, we’re not fully streamlined in the processes that make remote learning seamless; however, there are many tools and platforms that empower the next generation to continue to build community and garner more applicable skills for the classroom and beyond.
To gather more insights into this digital transformation within the education sector, I went Live on LinkedIn to interview Harvard Business School Lecturer Jeff Bussgang on the platforms he is bullish on for the future of education.
With in-person education either completely non-existent or a hybrid model, students still need camaraderie and that feeling of community. Students of all ages are focusing on STEM education to garner additional job market skills. The free online coding platform, Codecademy, has found exponential growth as schools are adopting the curriculum into their classroom. Investor Tareq Hawasli of London-based Darin Partners notes, “Codecademy’s global reach is particularly appealing as the world’s universal language has shifted from English to code.” Jeff further expands on this notion, “Codecademy built a native online platform, a browser-based learning environment, and a software development environment. Most importantly, they built a community of learners that could help each other create lesson plans for coaching and mentoring. It’s not only an online school but an online community.”
Technology levels the playing field as it allows for global interaction helps students learn important skills. Open English has had an incredible impact in the Latinx community empowering Spanish-speaking students to learn English. There are three pillars on their platform which include: speaking with North American teachers, live classes where you chat about fun topics, and innovative tools that help with your pronunciation and grammar. Jeff expands, “With in-person language schools like Berlitz closed, Open English has been able to support English learning so that students don’t fall behind in their curriculum. And, it’s interactive and personal which makes language learning fun.”
Increasing access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere, is edX’s mission. Jeff sits on the Board of Directors for the non-profit, which is a joint venture between Harvard and MIT. He shares, “edX is transforming traditional education, removing the barriers of cost, location, and access. During these times, there’s been a surge of online activity, and their world-class course library has really been embraced globally.” There are over 2500 courses from 140 top-tier institutions, including Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, and Brown University to support students throughout their educational journey.
What The Future Holds
The digital transformation will continue to positively impact the education sector as students will continue to learn remotely. With education technology tools supporting students’ educational growth, only time will tell which new communities will arise from these platforms. As Jeff and many other leaders in the education space agree upon: the future is now.