January 24th marks International Day of Education, and this year’s theme is apt for the year we’ve all had – Changing Course, Transforming Education. To honor the strengthening and welcoming of this revival of education, Automatic Sync Technologies turned to an array of thought leaders to share their perspectives on what’s ahead.
Education in its standard and formal way observed a huge gap, but significant learnings and established new norms emerged from emergency remote learning tactics. Now, leaders at K-12 schools, universities and ed-tech platforms are changing course and helping to transform education for the better.
Read below to get their takes on questions like:
- How will education in 2022 be different?
- What transformations do today’s students need to be successful?
- How are you seeing policies or practices be tweaked to promote inclusivity?
- What transformational trends must educators be aware of in 2022?
“Moving into the new year with two years of constant changes and pivoting, students have come to expect a level of flexibility that honors who they are as learners and respects the weight and impact of the last two years,” said Dan Darkow, Assistant Director, Miller Center for Student Disability Services. “As we move forward educators must be aware of the impact the last two years has had on students and embed flexibility into their course design. This flexibility allows for students to engage in ways that are most meaningful to them while demonstrating overall engagement in the course material.”
“The flexible teaching approach to course design and delivery, combined with solid pedagogical frameworks such as Universal Design for Learning and the creation of accessible educational materials, fosters inclusive learning environments where all students can succeed within face-to-face, online or hybrid instructional models,” said Mark Nichols, Senior Director of Universal Design and Accessible Technologies.
“What the pandemic has taught us is that the work being done by myself and several of my colleagues on preparing for a more digital world was not embraced as it should have been,” said Steven Anderson, Educational Evangelist. “For over 10 years I have evangelized the need for more transformation education technology use and we must continue moving in this direction.”
Royal College of Art
The learning sustained during the pandemic was a knee-jerk reaction to an invisible enemy. Now we know what we need. Educators who are willing to embrace the transformation and dive head first into understanding the relationship between Technology, Pedagogy and Content,” said Juli MacArthur, Learning Technologist.
“With such a diverse group of students and staff, our approach and investment in inclusive learning and practices around this is something we are continuously developing. In 2022, we hope to bring inclusive education even further than we have before in our institution. “Students are the key stakeholders in their education. Technology constantly changes and the way our students use it does too; listening to the ways they communicate and learn is the best way to meet their needs and for us to consider ways to transform our own teaching practices, so there aren’t any single trends we need to keep a look out for, just the ones our students bring to us.”
“We have all witnessed the beginning of a digital transformation at institutions across the globe. While this is not surprising – due to the pandemic – this transformation must recognize in 2022 that “emergency remote” learning is not “online” learning,” said Darcy W Hardy, PhD, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs & Director, Center for Advancing Learning (CAL).
“High-quality online learning requires strategic planning, a remediation of those remote learning courses to include increased levels of interaction and engagement, advancements in required faculty development that provide instructors with tools and experiences to appropriately engage learners, and a full suite of student support services. For institutions who now plan to grow their online programs, 2022 should be the year they ensure they are developing and delivering programs at the highest quality level possible.”
University of Toronto
“We are still an in-person institution, thus there is still a push to maintain this type of educational experience for students,” said Sara Lerner, Accommodation Administrator, Accessibility Services. “While we have pivoted to remote learning as a result of the pandemic, the University is still focused on returning to an in-person presence and giving student’s the on-campus experience of learning. The Institution is very dedicated to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access (EDIA) training for students and staff (recruitment and hiring). There are policies developed for inclusive hiring at the University.”
District Management Group
“The in-person classroom settings affirms the typical dynamic between teachers and students as providers and receivers of knowledge, respectively. Remote learning, however, has proven to be most effective when students take ownership of their own learning and use teachers as coaches. In this tech savvy generation, students have endless access to facts and so it’s how students select that information and what they do with it that can really accelerate learning. This will be a shift in the general understanding of a teacher’s role and will take time and professional learning to fully evolve,” said Rachel Klein, Project Manager, who works closely with K-12 schools across the US.
“For years, the opportunity gap has led to predictable outcomes for underrepresented student populations. District leaders have been sensitive to this for decades and many have sought and implemented academic approaches to change this trajectory. In the past couple years, however, there has been a greater awareness around a district’s role in perpetuating systemic racism. There has been an outpouring of district leaders interested in better understanding how their systems and structures may be perpetuating inequity. Through comprehensive equity audits, leaders are looking not just at the content being taught and the materials being used, but also at structural components like how schedules impact access to instructional opportunities.”
“There’s the old way of education and the new way of education,” said Tom Livne, CEO and Co-Founder, Verbit, which acquired AST last year. “The old was around networking and building contacts to help you evolve in your career. Why do your MBA at Harvard? The typical response is about surrounding yourself with a group of smart people to build your network around. Now, in this new era, it’s about being agile, shifting to distance and remote learning and offering dynamic ways that people can learn and interact. Many schools are dramatically shifting away from theoretical teaching practices to provide students with more real-world tools. For education to be effective, it must now prepare students with critical career skills to be more successful.
Automatic Sync Technologies
“If there’s a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that there is now a much broader audience aware of the importance of digital accessibility, and video accessibility in particular,” said Art Morgan. “AST has been at the forefront of video accessibility since our inception almost 20 years ago, so we’ve been working at this for quite a while.”
“Video, both live and recorded, allows learners to study at their own pace in a safe environment, and it also allows instructors to deliver new educational content with greater efficiency. But to be effective and inclusive your educational video needs to be as accessible as possible. At AST, we focus on making video accessibility easier, and we’ve only accelerated our efforts since the start of the pandemic.
AST is working with schools and institutions across the country to support them on their journeys as education continues to evolve. Reach out to learn more about our technologies like captioning, transcription, audio description and our processes which are designed to ensure students continue to be supported and that their learning is made accessible to them.