Artificial intelligence is having a tremendous influence on the future of education. BuiltIn recently published a list of 12 AI startups that specialize in serving the education sector.
AI is going to affect education in a number of ways. One of the impacts is the growing use of video conferencing.
AI is Going to Be Important for Video Conferencing in Education
This year has brought with it a mountain of challenges for educators and parents across the nation. COVID-19 has shown us one very important fact: our systems are fragile but adaptable. Our educators have shown an extraordinary ability to adapt under pressure and move to digital teaching mediums with minimal issues. They will be even more capable with the right big data tools at their disposal.
2020 will be the biggest year in history for online education. The need to social distance and minimize the spread of the virus has created an entirely new demand for AI tools like conference calling services to facilitate the millions of students now learning from home. Blogger Anne Marie Ginn has shared some important reasons that AI is vital to video conferencing solutions. AI is already helping improve efficiencies and user experience, as Ginn points out.
How will our teachers handle the shift? Will we need an entirely new curriculum? Will digital learning and AI video conferencing become the new standard in education? Today, we’ll look closer at some of this year’s educational changes and how the video conferencing industry is answering the call.
How Education Has Been Impacted by the Pandemic
Let’s rewind to February of this year. The news of the seriousness of COVID-19 was only just beginning to develop, with dozens of other countries beginning to shut down public places and take more extensive measures to prevent contamination. In the US, it started with temporary closures, extended spring breaks, and increased awareness of COVID’s impact; and then, the schools closed down for the rest of the academic year.
The sudden switch to online learning was a shock for both parents and educators. Suddenly, the kids are home all the time, work shifts change, and teachers need to craft entirely different curriculums to facilitate the new learning methods. While distance learning is still effective, a sudden shift to AI-based digital-only interactions leaves something to be desired.
One of the most important aspects of education is social interaction. Peer influence can shape a child’s views, beliefs, and sense of belonging, and also help them to better communicate using both verbal cues and body language. Though distance learning still facilitates a measure of social interaction, the need to social distance prevents children from experiencing the full value of healthy social interactions.
We can’t ignore the financial impact of sudden closures, either. Across the nation, campus enrollment is dropping, causing financial burden on universities, and even public schools are witnessing a decrease in funding as the costs of COVID-19 mount in all 50 states.
A glaring problem for many students is the lack of equality that online-only learning presents. Not all students have access to the same resources, including an internet connection. Without one, what is to become of their education? Do they fall by the wayside and receive no education? Around nine million schoolchildren across the US may not have access to online learning opportunities due to the lack of an internet connection.
A shift to online-only learning presents its own set of problems. From the financial impact on universities and public-school systems to a lack of equality among students, these are issues that need to be addressed quickly to facilitate a successful transition. Luckily, the video conferencing industry is stepping up to fulfill the need for a simple, effective online learning tool.
The Challenges Facing Conference Providers
Conference providers are facing their own set of challenges with the sudden shift to online learning. The demand for online conferencing services has skyrocketed, with millions of educational institutions and workplaces requiring a secure method of digital communication.
With an increase in users, conference services will face a significant security challenge. Millions of new users mean new possibilities for security breaches, and providing a safe, secure educational environment isn’t just a need in 2020, it’s become a duty. Conference calling services are rising to the challenge to provide students with a high-quality learning experience that’s both secure and effective.
Not every conference service is set up to facilitate online learning, however. Companies will need to adapt to keep up in the ever-expanding market and attract the attention of educational institutions. The market has some new standards that every conference calling service will need to adapt, including tools such as HD video conferencing, screen sharing, mobile apps, and third-party software integrations.
The Benefits of Video Conferencing to Education
Video conferencing is nothing less than a necessity for the new education trend. It’s unclear whether or not we’ll begin to recover from COVID this year, or if the virus will run its course as it has in other parts of the world. What is clear, however, is that social distancing is more important than ever, and without video conferencing services, we might have no way to continue to educate while maintaining social distancing guidelines.
Video conferencing services make it easier than ever to collaborate and communicate with students, educators, and administrators. The ability to connect with students and educators across great distances can also open up new learning opportunities for students, connecting them to people and experiences they otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.
Distance-learning may help reduce the overall long-term costs of education as well. Maintaining education facilities can be costly, but online learning tools carry minimal cost. Most conferencing services are based on a monthly or annual plan, which is less than a fraction of the cost of in-person education. In fact, even college courses are often less expensive when they’re entirely online.
How We’ll Need to Adapt
The shift to online education will require adaptation on the part of students, parents, and educators. Educators will need to craft online-friendly curriculums, especially for younger students. Younger students need content that keeps them engaged, and this task can be challenging with online learning. Parents will need to take a more active role in their child’s education, ensuring that distance learning is encouraged and enforced at home.
There’s never been a better time to switch to online learning. With so many tools and resources available, we can all come together to ensure a successful and easy transition. This shift may change the entire face of education for the future, and that’s a future we’ll need to be ready for. If, after the pandemic has run its course, we adopt more distance-learning into curriculums, we’ll have already laid the foundations for such change and taken a test-run.
AI-Driven Video Conferencing Sets the New Standard for Education
AI-driven video conferencing tools are crucial to the success of our educational efforts during the pandemic. By reducing the costs of education, providing a safe and secure educational platform, and meeting the increasing demand of educators across the nation, it’s safe to say that these tools are among the most critical to our society during COVID-19.
The next steps we need to take are to ensure that every student, regardless of income level or location, has access to an internet connection and mobile device or computer to facilitate their learning. Closing this gap will require cooperation between educators, parents, and state/federal funding organizations, but with the right effort, we can achieve an equal online education for all.