New research by Rackspace Technology finds changes in technology for education during the pandemic will become permanent, including an increase in the use of video, AI, data analytics, and chatbots but only 13% feel very well equipped to deal with this change
Research from Rackspace Technology, a leading end-to-end multicloud solutions company, shows that almost all educational and research institutions across Europe have significantly modified teaching methods and content since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of digital applications being used in the classroom has grown dramatically within the last two years since the pandemic began.
The research, How COVID-19 is reshaping campus technology, found that although a remarkably high percentage of respondents believe that these changes are permanent, only 20% of respondents feel “very well” equipped to personally deal with the changes, and 42% said they have struggled to adapt.
The measures taken since the outbreak of COVID-19 have accelerated digital transformation at educational institutions. For example, nearly a third (31%) of respondents said that their use of social media for study support groups has increased. According to 15% of those interviewed, they are more frequently leveraging solutions for online collaboration during lectures, and 12% saw an increase in the use of pre-recorded learning materials for self-study.
The permanent impact of change
All respondents from within the education department believe that the changes resulting from the pandemic are permanent, with 45% saying that the new focus on new tools in the classroom has changed the way they feel about technology. Over a third (34%) agreed that the new technologies have improved their productivity and they have learned new tech-based skills (44%).
44% of the respondents do not see the increase in the extensive use of social media for study support groups going away long term, whilst 19.5% believe that there will be an increase in the use of collaboration technologies in the classroom long term.
Interestingly, a higher percentage of respondents from the education department than from the IT department think that greater use of social media for study support groups will become a permanent teaching method (74% vs. 33%) citing convenience and ease of access to resources as the key reasons. The maturity of the technology and the ability to integrate with other collaboration platforms are amongst the reasons for this, as well as the vastly reduced cost of delivery, leveraging organisational license agreements and the quality of Bring Your Own Devices in the hands of students.
Technology of the future
Looking ahead to the next five years, nearly all (99.77%) of the respondents believe that education will continue to evolve in response to the pandemic. For example, 41% expect AI and data analytics will be used to measure student progress and attainment and 38% believing there will be a greater maturity of video content delivery.
Room for improvement
Respondents were mostly positive about the adjustments that had to be made because of the pandemic. However, there were some challenges; 31% of respondents say they struggled to adapt. There seems to be room for improvement, and this is especially true when it comes to feeling prepared for digital transformation. Only 13% of respondents feel “very well” equipped to personally deal with the changes.
“All respondents expect new technologies to be implemented in the next five years. However, not all feel well equipped to manage this change,” says Donald Dunsmore, Director, Education & Research for EMEA at Rackspace Technology.
He added, “The data shows that the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in the classroom. At the same time, more than a third of respondents said they needed help from third parties to manage the change. With deep expertise, vast experience and a strong commitment to preparing every generation for business and society, we are ready to accompany educational and research institutions in their digital transformation.”
Rackspace Technology is the AWS contract partner in 39 countries in the OCRE framework – the Open Cloud for Research Environments, an EU-compliant procurement framework established by GEANT – a pan-European research internet interconnection network – and supported by the National Regional Education Network (NREN) in each country.