Long-term learning in the pandemic will be determined by how schools use technology strategically to adapt to changing conditions, says Dirk Dumortier, Head of Business Development Smart-City, Healthcare, Education, Asia Pacific, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise to Business Today.
According to Dumortier, the COVID-19 uncertainty has made schools realise the importance of making a quick and seamless transition to a mixed learning environment. As many countries still grapple with a surge in cases and renewed restrictions, educational institutions must be able to respond quickly at a moment’s notice.
“Digitalisation will be key to providing a non-disruptive educational experience for students in a hybrid learning environment, while also allowing staff to streamline operations when work from home is necessary. In the enduring battle against COVID-19, digitalisation will be the enabler of learning continuity,” he stresses.
“Furthermore, educators are recognising that the future of learning is now inextricably linked to digital tools and online environments, even beyond the pandemic. Today’s students are more technologically savvy than ever, and digital devices are making more frequent appearances in their lives both within and outside of the classroom,” he adds.
Future classrooms will hence need to look at how they can integrate technology together with the learning experience, keeping pace with the advancement of the times while preserving an ideal academic environment for students, teachers, and faculty members alike.
An intelligent network is a crucial first step for educational institutions, serving as the bedrock that supports futureproof teaching and research initiatives while empowering digital transformation initiatives.
A smart network contributes significantly to improving the robustness of existing network infrastructure, along with offering higher bandwidth and connectivity to meet the requirements of new-age technology such as AI and IoT.
Such emerging technologies offer a multitude of benefits, ranging from optimising the learning process to allowing easier access to educational materials. A fully integrated smart network will also allow school IT teams to adopt a truly unified approach that allows all technology and communications systems to work together as a single, reliable network — even as more technology is added to the mix during digital transformation.
Furthermore, with strengthened encryption and enhanced security measures, these networks can provide a common security strategy for all network access — minimising risks of malicious cyberattacks, and protecting schools’ critical data assets and the privacy of its students and staff.