How edutech is solving the global teacher’s crisis

teacher

As Malcom X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” This statement rings true especially for today’s interconnected globe, where the education system has to prepare learners for the modern world challenges.

In the global educational community, every day, new opportunities present themselves in the form of tech tools, communication channels and new learning approaches. Despite this, adoption tends to be slow, and usage is lacklustre.

Education systems cannot afford to fall behind, especially when we consider the fast-paced needs of the modern world. However, to be better at delivering knowledge, development, and training, educators need to upgrade their practices first.

When the COVID-19 pandemic came, however, there was a silver lining. Amidst the school closures and social distancing, edutech was finally given a chance to thrive.

Lack of right development for educators

Teachers are at the heart of a robust education system. These are the individuals that possess the skills and knowledge to shape the next generation. However, what happens when teachers are not given the optimal environment to transfer knowledge? Or when qualified educators leave the system due to a lack of support?

On the surface, it appears that teachers have it all. They are given sufficient training, a decent starting salary, and usual career benefits. Diving deeper, various issues plague the teaching workforce, threatening classrooms across the globe.

Also Read: Edutech is surging, but here are the 3 issues it is facing

Particularly in Asia, countries like Singapore are celebrated for a stellar quality of education. However, a closer look will reveal that teachers in Singapore work 46 hours on average a week, seven hours higher than the global average.

In Japan, teachers typically clock in 56 hours a week. These nations rank seventh and first place in the list, joining their counterparts globally, such as Canada, Alberta and Kazakhstan.

When you rank these results against the Best Education System in the World Index, Singapore and Japan aren’t even in the Top 10.

This brings about the worrying question: are we overworking our teachers for no reason?

It’s important to create support systems educators can turn to if they want to improve the quality of their work and deal with current challenges.

The teaching workforce, like their peers in other industries, is susceptible to burnout and overworking stress. Surely there must be a way to nurture good teachers by giving them the right development opportunities.

It’s common to hear educators in some countries who have been drawing the same salary since they started years ago and depend on passive income to survive.

This is rather astonishing since it significantly impacts the quality of their jobs in the day-to-day.

Also Read: ‘Education is not a content business but a human one’: Nas Academy’s Nuseir Yassin

The need for tech solutions

At the same time, the whole educational industry is falling behind in terms of technology. There are a lot of barriers that need to be overcome.

Given that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the edutech adoption, the rapid influx of new tools and solutions may have come as a surprise to many who have not had the time to adapt to the new world.

Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic showed these weaknesses. Almost overnight, educators had to replicate the “chalk and talk” online without knowing the right tools or methodology.

Pre-pandemic, the ASEAN region did not see much LMS success. Perhaps this is since they lacked scalability, were cost-inefficient and only in English. There is a severe lack of tech infrastructure orientation in this industry.

Especially in developing Asia, where lessons were conducted in their native language, it seemed unnecessary to invest in an LMS at all. These shortfalls were brought over when the pandemic happened, which is why there is a significant disparity in the impact of COVID-19 on education across Asia and even the rest of the world.

Suddenly, everyone wanted in on the edutech market. Promising new players were coming up almost every month, hoping to bank in on the initial edutech surge. Schools, colleges, and other educational institutions were getting learning management systems at a low price to shift their efforts online.

The whole LMS market in the Asia Pacific market grew fast, driven by several factors. Still, we found ourselves in conversations with teachers. We found that even though the schools had invested in LMS platforms and several other edutech apps to enhance the quality of teaching and learning, most of the teachers still preferred to use video conferencing systems like Zoom or Google Meet.

But this teaching method had its inherent problems – for starters, not all students had digital devices or stable internet connections. The ones who did may or may not be engaged through the lesson, and there was no realistic way to find this out.

Also Read: Why customer education plays an important role in Wise’s international expansion plan

Just because teachers started teaching online using various learning management systems, it didn’t mean that all the challenges had just disappeared. There’s still a long way to go in perfecting the educational systems, support, and mechanisms.

A new approach for resolving the teaching crisis

Beyond every groundbreaking technology, there lies a need to make it valuable and usable to the average person.

We found that most teachers had never received any relevant training on designing engaging courses for their learners using digital tools. As such, video conferencing apps were the channel of choice, since it was after all, the most usable.

Again, teachers didn’t have the suitable development courses available to them to overcome these obstacles. In other words, the teachers didn’t know where to turn.

There was little to no support teachers could get to help them transition into teaching online and improve their work quality. The lack of teaching development will naturally lead to poor results with students.

These issues weren’t limited to SEA. They were a global problem. That’s why Akadasia focused on the worldwide issue with Freejoo.

The goal was to create a digital ecosystem that would support educators globally and give them the knowledge, resources, and connections they need.

Through Freejoo’s Digital Learning Community, teachers can instantly access a wide range of professional development courses that help them improve their teaching skills, create more engaging online courses, and collaborate with their peers on various projects.

Over 60 per cent of teachers globally feel that they have limited access to relevant and valuable development courses to help them do their jobs in the 21st century.

Also Read: SMU’s Protege Ventures as a catalyst for entrepreneurial education

The problem is that teachers can communicate with their friends on mobile devices but can’t handle holding e-learning courses in the same manner.

To help people keep teaching, we need to support them and improve their work environments. More than ever, teachers need to be nurtured and provided with a community that can help them share experiences and practices of working online.

On top of that, they need to stay relevant in the job market by acquiring new skills. That’s why development is essential to keep up with the latest e-learning practices and technologies. Ultimately, this will help increase their salaries and bring in more people towards careers in education.

The pilot programme started in 2020, and by September 2021, it was used by more than 130,000 teachers from 36 countries. The platform has been growing at a rate of around 8,000 users per month. On top of that, over 18,000 teachers were on the waitlist before the launch.

Education needs a significant change for the future

We cannot divorce the classroom setting from the increasingly globalised and complex world that it exists in. If what students need to learn goes beyond rote, then there needs to be a simultaneous shift in teacher pedagogy.

All industries are working on adding innovative solutions and digitising various processes. It’s essential in a field where professionals and organisations work directly with their clients or, in this case, students.

As edutech rises to the forefront of education, it needs to do more to empower and support educators by first recognising the notion of teachers as learners. In other words – education needs to enter the 21st century.

There shouldn’t be a gap between tech solutions and the teachers’ ability to use those technologies to deliver knowledge through different mediums in a digital-led generation.

Also Read: 1 tech, 4 ways: How blockchain disrupts the education sector

Online learning is here to stay, even after the pandemic. Organisations and individuals have invested a lot in setting up digital environments for their students to thrive.

On top of that, 73 per cent of students say that they would like to continue with their online courses even after the pandemic has ended. Hence, it is essential to empower educators everywhere on a war footing.

Editor’s note: e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing views from the community. Share your opinion by submitting an article, video, podcast, or infographic.

Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page

Image credit: halfpoint

The post How edutech is solving the global teacher’s crisis appeared first on e27.

,
teacher

As Malcom X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” This statement rings true especially for today’s interconnected globe, where the education system has to prepare learners for the modern world challenges.

In the global educational community, every day, new opportunities present themselves in the form of tech tools, communication channels and new learning approaches. Despite this, adoption tends to be slow, and usage is lacklustre.

Education systems cannot afford to fall behind, especially when we consider the fast-paced needs of the modern world. However, to be better at delivering knowledge, development, and training, educators need to upgrade their practices first.

When the COVID-19 pandemic came, however, there was a silver lining. Amidst the school closures and social distancing, edutech was finally given a chance to thrive.

Lack of right development for educators

Teachers are at the heart of a robust education system. These are the individuals that possess the skills and knowledge to shape the next generation. However, what happens when teachers are not given the optimal environment to transfer knowledge? Or when qualified educators leave the system due to a lack of support?

On the surface, it appears that teachers have it all. They are given sufficient training, a decent starting salary, and usual career benefits. Diving deeper, various issues plague the teaching workforce, threatening classrooms across the globe.

Also Read: Edutech is surging, but here are the 3 issues it is facing

Particularly in Asia, countries like Singapore are celebrated for a stellar quality of education. However, a closer look will reveal that teachers in Singapore work 46 hours on average a week, seven hours higher than the global average.

In Japan, teachers typically clock in 56 hours a week. These nations rank seventh and first place in the list, joining their counterparts globally, such as Canada, Alberta and Kazakhstan.

When you rank these results against the Best Education System in the World Index, Singapore and Japan aren’t even in the Top 10.

This brings about the worrying question: are we overworking our teachers for no reason?

It’s important to create support systems educators can turn to if they want to improve the quality of their work and deal with current challenges.

The teaching workforce, like their peers in other industries, is susceptible to burnout and overworking stress. Surely there must be a way to nurture good teachers by giving them the right development opportunities.

It’s common to hear educators in some countries who have been drawing the same salary since they started years ago and depend on passive income to survive.

This is rather astonishing since it significantly impacts the quality of their jobs in the day-to-day.

Also Read: ‘Education is not a content business but a human one’: Nas Academy’s Nuseir Yassin

The need for tech solutions

At the same time, the whole educational industry is falling behind in terms of technology. There are a lot of barriers that need to be overcome.

Given that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the edutech adoption, the rapid influx of new tools and solutions may have come as a surprise to many who have not had the time to adapt to the new world.

Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic showed these weaknesses. Almost overnight, educators had to replicate the “chalk and talk” online without knowing the right tools or methodology.

Pre-pandemic, the ASEAN region did not see much LMS success. Perhaps this is since they lacked scalability, were cost-inefficient and only in English. There is a severe lack of tech infrastructure orientation in this industry.

Especially in developing Asia, where lessons were conducted in their native language, it seemed unnecessary to invest in an LMS at all. These shortfalls were brought over when the pandemic happened, which is why there is a significant disparity in the impact of COVID-19 on education across Asia and even the rest of the world.

Suddenly, everyone wanted in on the edutech market. Promising new players were coming up almost every month, hoping to bank in on the initial edutech surge. Schools, colleges, and other educational institutions were getting learning management systems at a low price to shift their efforts online.

The whole LMS market in the Asia Pacific market grew fast, driven by several factors. Still, we found ourselves in conversations with teachers. We found that even though the schools had invested in LMS platforms and several other edutech apps to enhance the quality of teaching and learning, most of the teachers still preferred to use video conferencing systems like Zoom or Google Meet.

But this teaching method had its inherent problems – for starters, not all students had digital devices or stable internet connections. The ones who did may or may not be engaged through the lesson, and there was no realistic way to find this out.

Also Read: Why customer education plays an important role in Wise’s international expansion plan

Just because teachers started teaching online using various learning management systems, it didn’t mean that all the challenges had just disappeared. There’s still a long way to go in perfecting the educational systems, support, and mechanisms.

A new approach for resolving the teaching crisis

Beyond every groundbreaking technology, there lies a need to make it valuable and usable to the average person.

We found that most teachers had never received any relevant training on designing engaging courses for their learners using digital tools. As such, video conferencing apps were the channel of choice, since it was after all, the most usable.

Again, teachers didn’t have the suitable development courses available to them to overcome these obstacles. In other words, the teachers didn’t know where to turn.

There was little to no support teachers could get to help them transition into teaching online and improve their work quality. The lack of teaching development will naturally lead to poor results with students.

These issues weren’t limited to SEA. They were a global problem. That’s why Akadasia focused on the worldwide issue with Freejoo.

The goal was to create a digital ecosystem that would support educators globally and give them the knowledge, resources, and connections they need.

Through Freejoo’s Digital Learning Community, teachers can instantly access a wide range of professional development courses that help them improve their teaching skills, create more engaging online courses, and collaborate with their peers on various projects.

Over 60 per cent of teachers globally feel that they have limited access to relevant and valuable development courses to help them do their jobs in the 21st century.

Also Read: SMU’s Protege Ventures as a catalyst for entrepreneurial education

The problem is that teachers can communicate with their friends on mobile devices but can’t handle holding e-learning courses in the same manner.

To help people keep teaching, we need to support them and improve their work environments. More than ever, teachers need to be nurtured and provided with a community that can help them share experiences and practices of working online.

On top of that, they need to stay relevant in the job market by acquiring new skills. That’s why development is essential to keep up with the latest e-learning practices and technologies. Ultimately, this will help increase their salaries and bring in more people towards careers in education.

The pilot programme started in 2020, and by September 2021, it was used by more than 130,000 teachers from 36 countries. The platform has been growing at a rate of around 8,000 users per month. On top of that, over 18,000 teachers were on the waitlist before the launch.

Education needs a significant change for the future

We cannot divorce the classroom setting from the increasingly globalised and complex world that it exists in. If what students need to learn goes beyond rote, then there needs to be a simultaneous shift in teacher pedagogy.

All industries are working on adding innovative solutions and digitising various processes. It’s essential in a field where professionals and organisations work directly with their clients or, in this case, students.

As edutech rises to the forefront of education, it needs to do more to empower and support educators by first recognising the notion of teachers as learners. In other words – education needs to enter the 21st century.

There shouldn’t be a gap between tech solutions and the teachers’ ability to use those technologies to deliver knowledge through different mediums in a digital-led generation.

Also Read: 1 tech, 4 ways: How blockchain disrupts the education sector

Online learning is here to stay, even after the pandemic. Organisations and individuals have invested a lot in setting up digital environments for their students to thrive.

On top of that, 73 per cent of students say that they would like to continue with their online courses even after the pandemic has ended. Hence, it is essential to empower educators everywhere on a war footing.

Editor’s note: e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing views from the community. Share your opinion by submitting an article, video, podcast, or infographic.

Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page

Image credit: halfpoint

The post How edutech is solving the global teacher’s crisis appeared first on e27.

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