Digital Connectivity: How will technology shape the future of education?

Technology has made distance learning a reality. Courses, training and exams are now simultaneously accessible to millions of students around the world. If the desire for a quality education with recognized qualifications hasn’t changed, the business world has evolved.

Research by the World Economic Forum earlier this year predicted a very different future for education than the current model of traditional classrooms and final exams. In particular, the development of digital connectivity has allowed higher education institutions and universities to be more flexible by offering more and more courses online.

Studies have also shown that traditional classroom instruction alone can be less effective teaching methods than digital experiences that allow for more interaction and problem-solving practice.

The end of traditional exams?

Many universities have already begun abandoning standardized tests, fearing that the “final exam” may not be enough to reflect a student’s true ability.

Favoring a hands-on approach with professional education, Northwestern University in Qatar is equipped with the latest communication technologies and quality facilities such as the “Forum” where staff and students from 60 different countries can meet for exchange.

The campus is also equipped with a very modern press room. Here it is difficult to convince yourself that you are in a university and not in a press room of a major medium.

Euronews spoke to the Dean of Northwestern University in Qatar, Marwan Kraidy, about this trend in real-world learning. “I think these methods are very important for the media industry. We’re part of a very well-established tradition in the United States, that of the liberal arts,” he explained.

According to Kraidy, it is also important to have vocational training that enables new graduates to integrate more easily into the world of work.

“We have professional study programs. So our students learn everything from the history of the British Empire to how to use high-end cameras, editing and reporting. I think by combining these two things you can do good effective learning, experiential learning of course crucial because you can no longer send someone to an editorial office without having the slightest knowledge of the latest technologies, but the technology is so complicated skills have become so varied that even a beginner is believed to need skills in addition to their theoretical training. And I think it’s like that everywhere.” explained Marwan Kraidy.

Changing lives through education

While learning-by-doing and distance learning are two trends shaping the future of the industry, companies are also looking to capitalize on these new trends and technologies.

Among them we find Barco, based in Courtrai in western Belgium. Here we try to use the latest technologies to develop education as broadly as possible.

Online courses and training have become a staple of schools and businesses in the wake of the pandemic. Hundreds of institutions around the world have used Barco Studios to improve the interactivity of their courses.

“As a coach or teacher, you have really, really close contact with your audience from a distance. You see them all. If someone is distracted, you can notice them and interact with them, which creates a completely different dynamic.” said Jan Van Houte, Vice President of Barco weConnect.

Barco offers a wide range of tools such as question and answer sessions, polls and visual aids. The company started out as Belgian American Radio Corporation. Founded in 1934, the company manufactured radios from the United States. The company has also set up bespoke studios so surgeons around the world can follow each other live in the operating room.

“One of the functions we are focusing on is surgeon support, so an expert can help the surgeon and provide remote support. But the other use case that is growing very fast and teaching remotely,” explained Johan Fornier, Executive Vice President at Barco.

JA Europe is the largest provider of job entry, financial education and entrepreneurship education programs on the continent. Their CEO, Salvatore Nigro, told us how all of this can help shape the future of Europe.

“As we speak, 370,000 young entrepreneurs are participating in our entrepreneurship program. Ultimately, these will be the unicorns Europe needs to rebuild the economy. If we really want to rebuild the economy, we have to look at the traditional sectors, no doubt. But we also look to the future. We really have to imagine what the world of work will be like for these young people. So we reverse the process. We look at what the jobs are. breakdown skills. We train young people to become successful entrepreneurs or to get a successful job”, said Salvatore Nigros, who hopes to transform lives through education.

Three more business facts in brief

  • Eurostat has released wage growth data for the third quarter. As the cost of living skyrockets across Europe, experts fear wages will not rise fast enough to catch up with inflation. But companies like Stellantis and LVMH have pledged to increase wages and pay bump bonuses to help their employees weather a harsh winter.
  • The Bank of Japan announced its interest rate decision. Despite skyrocketing inflation, the Bank of Japan has been reluctant to raise interest rates as the country’s fragile economy still needs monetary support in the form of ultra-low interest rates.
  • The American agricultural and food group General Mills has published its business figures for the second quarter. The owner of well-known brands like Betty Crocker and Nature Valley has posted strong earnings this year and raised its full-year guidance in the previous quarter. But uncertainties surrounding consumer sentiment, inflation and supply chain disruptions could cloud this positive outlook.

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