At True Dialog, we value higher education and we aim to support the education community by offering insights into how technology is enhancing the experience in an EdTech Panel webinar. Whether it is kids in a classroom, adults continuing their education from home, or people learning on a mobile device in a far away place, technology plays an integral part in how we learn today.
Here are five reasons why you need to attend the EdTech Panel
Hear from Kathleen Denyer Hall, User Experience Research Manager at Civitas Learning, understands how educators are using technology in classrooms. She hears directly from the users of the Civitas Learning platform, which provides a detailed view of an institution’s historical and predictive student flow.
Hear from Sean Duffy, founder of EdTech Austin and marketing lead for the MakerSquare team in Austin, about the important connection between education and technology – especially here in Austin, Texas. He works with his team to offer outcomes-focused learning opportunities for those developing their engineering skills.
Moderated by John Wright, CEO of True Dialog, has an extensive background in how people communicate. His professional experience with email communications, text messaging, and business to consumer relationship management supports the insights that he can offer into this conversation.
Get Answers: You will have opportunities to ask your questions about education technology, mobile learning, and how these technologies are integrated into institutions today. This EdTech Panel of experts will address your questions in real-time or following the webinar.
Thought Provoking Insights: You will be surprised by some of the insights you hear from these industry leaders about tools and ways technology is truly enhancing education – rather than disrupting it.
Easy to Join: We’re keeping this panel short out of respect for your time – only 30 minutes of presentation time. Plus you can listen in from your computer or phone, depending upon what is easiest for you.
Free to Attend: That’s right. There is no cost to register for the EdTech Panel webinar. We are so passionate about sharing information and starting the conversation that we see no reason to charge for this webinar.
Learning management systems (LMS) have proven to be a crucial tool for education institutions. However, learning isn’t limited to children or classrooms. In fact, many businesses use a LMS for training and professional development of their current workforce including onboarding programs for new employees.
Professional Development Using a LMS
One important way that learning management systems are being incorporated into the workplace is by assisting in employee training. Over 76% of employees desire opportunities for growth within their company. Since internal employees make up 59% of new hires, fostering their skills through training holds long-term benefits. You are creating a new wave of employees from pre-existing talent. So, where does LMS fit in?
Using a LMS is quickly becoming a popular way to conduct and organize professional development. Having a centralized learning platform allows employees to access all the necessary resources and training materials from anywhere. The seamless integration of learning management systems also means that employee development doesn’t stop after the a training session ends. Mobile integration is built into most LMS platforms. Two of of the top professional development systems – Litmos and Bridge – boast about their mobile capabilities allowing employees 24/7 access to learn. This means that professional development can occur at anytime regardless if employees are at their desks, in between meetings, or while on company travel.
Simplifying the Onboarding Process
68% of HR professionals want a stronger link between onboarding and learning. What better way to strengthen this connection than with a learning management system? Using a LMS can improve the efficiency and outcomes of your onboarding process. It supports a uniform onboarding experience for new hires that is both quick and effective. And seamless mobile integration is beneficial for new hires as well as current employees.
The mobile components of professional development a LMS also make it easier for onboarding remote employees and disperse teams. Telecommuting has grown in the US to 37% as of August 2015. Since remote work allows employees to work from anywhere in the world, having a digital onboarding program ensures that your team is connected and educated with the same materials.
Learning management systems are changing the way professional development is conducted. It has literally put the entire training process at the fingertips of employees. By providing instant uniform access to learning tools, employers can expect to see a more skilled workforce. For employees, these skills translate into better productivity and assistance in achieving professional aspirations.
Learning management systems, or LMS, are software applications that support a variety of functions such as administration, documentation, and e-learning. These systems are a crucial part of providing seamless technology integration in education (EdTech). In essence, it is the backbone providing the foundation for education CRMs and mobile integration capabilities.
Benefits of Learning Management Systems
It is estimated that between 2017 and 2018, the LMS marketplace will grow about 23%. This increasing popularity is due to the wide number of benefits that learning management systems provide for many educators and administrators. Most of these benefits can be sorted into one of two categories. The first is how it benefits the education experience from a teaching standpoint, and the second is how it improves education from an analytics standpoint.
One of the most popular benefits of using an LMS is hosting a centralized learning experience. This means that student development, student performance, and classroom resources are made easily available for professors to leverage both in and out of the classroom. Centralized learning also ensures consistency by allowing multiple teachers to access the same set of tools at any given time. However, this doesn’t mean every teacher has to provide the same cookie cutter experience. Professors can utilize the standard templates from their LMS to customize a learning experience optimal for their students.
Tracking & Analytics
A popular benefit of using LMS is the analytical capabilities built-in to the product. Reporting, tracking, and evaluation can all be done directly through your learning management system. These built-in analytical tools diminish the burden of manual grading, and they provide professors tools for tracking class progress. In addition to tracking, many systems also possess scoring capabilities that can assist with in-classroom games for boost classroom interactivity.
How Education is Taking LMS to the Next Level
As much as technology shapes the modern classroom, education as a whole is changing the functionality of learning management systems too. There are many different types of classroom environments today that all have different needs from a LMS. Education itself is expanding in all parts of the world, educators are seeking technologies that can keep up with growing demand. This means that LMSs are getting bigger, more customizable, and, most importantly, more accessible.
Mobile integration has become a pivotal point for the evaluation of a learning management system’s quality. Professors are using mobile technology inside the classroom and it’s conducted through an LMS. Two of the top 3 LM Systems, Moodle andBlackboard, possess mobile learning capabilities. Even classroom interactivity tools such as TopHat and Kahoot are showing new ways to incorporate mobile technology into education.
It is estimated that by 2019, more than half of all college classes will be based on eLearning. This sharp growth in EdTech means that LMS adaptation is no longer an option, it is a norm. By providing educators a seamlessly integrated teaching experience, more students will be engaged in their learning experience.
Opinion Editorial by True Dialog Marketing Intern, Ciara Cook
I remember everything from the comic sans riddled PowerPoints that I learned to make in elementary school to the Microsoft office basics in freshman year of high school, and beyond the basics with the 2 mandatory business computer classes in college. As a millennial college student, technology has always been a necessary part of my education. Now, education technology (EdTech) has grown into an unstoppable force that is solidifying technology integration in education. For me personally, EdTech has 2 main components: first is how it affects classroom interactions, while the second is how I use technology to be a student outside the classroom.
How Technology Integration is Changing the Classroom
More and more, I have noticed my professors slowly change their position about cell phones in class. While I still have old-fashioned professors who prohibit cell phone use in class, more professors are looking to utilize mobile devices to benefit my learning. My English composition professor encouraged us to keep our cell phones handy so we could google random facts behind the stories we were reading. I have been in various lectures and presentations where mobile usage is encouraged through polling and other audience participation.
This semester marks a time when my cell phone is directly tied to my grades. Prior to the start of my marketing class this semester, I had to register for a platform called TopHat. TopHat is a teaching platform that allows the professor to add participation material into their lectures and also operate as a classroom CRM system for managing grades and keeping up with attendance.
One of marketing professor’s classroom pain points is that he wanted to have an interactive classroom but, his students would often forget their classroom clickers needed to make it happen. So my professor uses TopHat to give daily, in-class quizzes, conduct marketing surveys, and take attendance. And, to encourage lecture attendance, these quizzes don’t count unless you are in class to text-in the the randomly generated attendance code shown on the lecture screen. My entire marketing classroom interaction can be done with my cell phone.
EdTech is Shaping the 360 Degree Student
One of the best things about technology integration in education is that it can help students beyond the classroom. There are so many educational CRM systems and apps that help manage student life outside of lectures. I know I would be lost without my university’s mobile app. It allows me to do everything from checking on grades, seeing my class schedule (that I still haven’t memorized), checking shuttle routes on campus, and staying up-to-date with the latest campus news . Apps are now common place for many universities and colleges. It is almost like having your entire school right in the palm of your hand.
And it isn’t just university apps that make college life easier. EdTech also helps make collaboration with classmates and campus group members a lot easier as well. All of my study and project groups were conducted with GroupMe, which is a messaging app that allows people to form and manage their own specialized groups.
For me, the best part about educational technology is that it provides a tangible aspect to learning that can be integrated with traditional methods. It makes being tech-savvy a norm and not just a special skill. I look forward to seeing how it will move classrooms forward in the future. Maybe my younger sisters will have virtual reality or robots as a classroom norm.
As many millennials are graduating college and entering the workforce, Generation Z (Gen-Z) is rapidly taking their place. Gen-Z is defined as the generation born in the late 90s through the early 2010s. This generation makes up about 40% of today’s undergrads, and that percentage increases every semester. Unlike their millennial predecessors, Gen-Z has never lived in a world without instantaneous communication. This means that they are the most connected generation on the planet. As this new generation enters the realm of higher education, professors and university personnel are facing new challenges in communication.
Using Mobile to Connect with Gen-Z
Thanks to their millennial predecessors, many universities are equipped with some sort of mobile application or SMS alert system. As the most connected generation, Gen-Z is communicating instantaneously with each other and non-stop. So how are universities going to keep up with the new wave of students? SMS has proven to be extremely popular for students of this generation. Although millennials do well with email, Gen-Z is more inclined to use faster methods of communication. Having a text messaging service incorporated into university communications is a smart and affordable solution for maintaining contact while addressing the instant communication lifestyle.
Gen-Z in Higher Education
In order for professors and university faculty to keep up with this fast-talking generation, it’s crucial to have mobile tools integrated into everything. This mobile integration goes far beyond basic communications. More then ever, professors have an array of technology to aid them in maintaining their classrooms. The steep rise of the EdTech movement has made mobile devices a pivotal cornerstone for educational success. These tools make it easier for professors to take attendance, record grades, and increase classroom participation.
For students, having a mobile solution means more hands-on learning possibilities. This encourages students to take charge of their learning. And it fits into their fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyle.
Each generation brings a new challenge to universities around the country. Overcoming the generational gaps such as technology development and communication styles is paramount to university operations. Both students and faculty benefit from a cohesive form of communication. With mobile-based tools such as SMS alerts and mobile applications, the burden of communication can be alleviated. It is important for universities to be well-equipped to reach the new generation of college students. What is your school’s plan?
True Dialog had the privilege of attending a number events during SXSWedu for the interactive portion of SXSW. The week-long affair included many events around Austin to discuss the latest in innovations in education. A large component of the SXSWedu was the technology being used in education (EdTech), and how it is shaping the modern learning environment. Coming out of these events, I took 2 large takeaways from SXSWedu. The first is how EdTech is shaping classroom interaction and the second is how the maker movement is being utilized for education.
EdTech for Classroom Interactions
Classroom interaction is crucial for fostering learning. However, those interactions can be tricky to conduct, depending upon the topic and age group.
EdTech has gained momentum due to the high interactivity it garners in the classroom. One company, Kahoot, had a large presence at SXSWedu with it’s game-based learning platform. This fun, easily integrated system (available for desktop, tablet, and mobile) increases classroom participation with quiz-like activities that students can participate in using their own device or one provided by the professor. One of my favorite interactions with Kahoot was during The Oslo Lounge’s presentation on EdTech and the SmartCity. During the event, they did an interactive presentation where we were invited to demo the platform from our mobile phones. The platform used bright colors and a need for quick-thinking made things more engaging and fun for all.
The Maker Movement in Schools
The maker movement helps empower people to process and develop unique technology products in a DIY fashion. This movement has slowly made its way from workshops to classrooms. And this growth is closely tied to the increasing demand for STEM/STEAM education throughout the U.S. Students are encouraged to go beyond the textbooks with increased hands-on projects leveraging technology for teaching necessary life skills and inspiring collaboration among peers. By providing students these technology tools, students are better equipped to compete with the rest of the world.
We can’t have a conversation about improving education without discussing how technology is integrated into our communications. EdTech is redefining the way educators interact with their students, which in turn affects how students interact with their education. Not only does EdTech improve the learning environment, it also ensures that students are better prepared for tackling the dynamic realm of technology.
We invite you to join the conversation about EdTech and more by following or tweeting with #SXSWedu. After all, education today shapes the technological world of tomorrow.
Technology is playing an increasingly large role in education around the world
Many schools and classrooms use education CRM systems for student management. These CRM (customer relationship management) systems are crucial for maintaining attendance, grades, homework, and other various classroom interactions. However, many systems operate on email-based integration for communications. Although millennials are extremely receptive to email, SMS has a higher open rate at 98% and 45% response rate (email has an average 6% response rate).
Mobilizing the Classroom Experience With SMS
For the busy college student, having a mobilized classroom experience is vital to their success. Although many education CRM systems have created mobile applications, it’s sometimes difficult to convey information in real time. Students need information as fast as possible, and in-app messaging often takes more effort than it’s worth. SMS integration into education CRM systems gives professors the tools needed to inform their students instantaneously – less work, higher response rate.
A simple way to utilize SMS with your education CRM is by setting up triggered messages via a gateway. When certain time-sensitive material is uploaded by a professor into the education CRM system, such as announcements or grades, a text message will be automatically sent out to all students on the targeted list. Although this is a commonplace feature in the email portion of education CRMs, a text-based approach will be massively efficient for both student and professor. You can even give students the choice of how they want updates from you – via email or SMS – and either way, you can include the same information and web links to the details. Students will be more likely to read the important classroom information, while professors will have a simple way to instantly reach all their students at once.
Education CRM Supports the EdTech Movement
Education technology, or EdTech, is becoming more than just the technology itself. It is becoming a wide sweeping movement focusing on changing education on multiple levels, all across the world. Integration is huge component of EdTech with many classrooms using apps, software, and even virtual reality to enhance education. When education CRM systems integrate mobile technology, professors can expand their reach and make room for more students or teach across far distances. By pushing the boundaries of the physical classroom, education can make steps towards being accessible for all.
Using an education CRM is important to many schools, colleges and universities. As of 2015, the top collegiate LMS (learning management systems), Blackboard, was on the market for over $3 billion. Not only is an education CRM the built into most schools, but it is also the norm for students to have access to their educational progress in a digital format. Making education CRM systems more mobile via SMS is a logical expansion for the fast-paced and highly dynamic realm of education.
It’s no surprise that the student to teacher ratio is growing. As of fall 2015, this ratio for public schools hovered around 16:1 according to the National Center for Education Statistics. With the number of students growing, educators are challenged to meet the high demand. A crucial component to alleviating the burden on educators is by strategically organizing among the education faculty itself. Using mobile for education with both professors and administrators could improve inter-faculty communications and ultimately help professors within the classroom.
It Takes an Administration Village
According to a recent study by Deloitte on workplace culture, employee engagement was a top challenge for many organizations. Almost 87% of respondents believed the issue was “important” with about 50% of respondents believing that it was very important. Although professors are heavily engaged with their students, they also need support from colleagues and administrators to achieve success. With the integration of mobile tools such as SMS, maintaining communication within a school’s network can be simplified and made to be more efficient. SMS messages provide a more instantaneous communication form than email, so that educators can get the information they need faster.
Mobile for Education Helps Foster a Bright Future
Over the next decade, it is projected that over 1.5 million new teachers will be hired (American Institute for Research). This means that the number of student teachers are projected to increase as well. Student teachers have reported that using mobile for education and learning has helped them keep students on task, get corrective feedback in real time, and excite students about learning (The Conversation).
Mobile learning is an effective response to the issue of educational resources being spread thin. This newer approach to learning, sometimes called EdTech, is helping student teachers garner the tools to change education for the better.
According to Salary.com, teaching ranks in the top 10 most stressful jobs in America. Using mobile for education allows for a more efficient means for internal communications and getting the support that you need as a professor. Properly using mobile tools can improve professor and administration communications and lead to improved preparedness for managing a classroom and meeting student development goals. Education is a vital part of our society and mobile tools are revolutionizing the way professors can perform.
How are US Universities and Colleges adopting technology into classrooms?
We’ve been going through a ton of research into the various ways schools are integrating technology to create a mobile campus environment – from BYOD (bring-your-own-device) choices and solutions for inside of the classroom to the education enhancements outside of class. What we found are new approaches to learning.
A Mobile-First Approach
The University of Texas System is driving for student success with new education initiatives such as the launch of TEx (Total Educational Experience). This is a personalized, mobile-first learning environment with the goal of making the UT system more accessible and affordable (TEx). The Institute for Transformational Learning (ITL) has developed a proprietary mobile-first application to boost student engagement and retention. The application is accessible from a laptop, desktop, tablet, or mobile phone so that students can be plugged into their education no matter where they are located. This is one way that schools are dealing with the mobile campus concept.
There’s an App for That
Small IT teams at large universities and community colleges are among those leading the way to create a mobile campus experience. At the University of Central Florida they chose application streaming – which is where applications run directly from a virtual machine on a central server. According to UCF’s IT and communications director, this choice was made because of the flexibility if gives students access anytime, anywhere. Students can use their UCF Apps on any device (mobile phone, tablet, desktop) from any place. While this is a pilot program right now, the potential here is in how UCF is improving the experience of making coursework outside of the classroom.
It’s powerful to see anonymous data collected from classmates in real-time, so many college professors are engaging students in discussion with polls in class. However, the many programs out there often require a computer or specific program to be installed. More and more educators are switching to SMS (text message) polls. There’s no technology divide or extra download / app requirements with SMS, so professors get more flexibility. Now students can respond with their own personal device, and the professor can share the results within an online portal for later reference.
The key with these polls is the engagement from the less outspoken students. In a typical class of 75 students, there may be 3-5 heavy hitters who dominate the conversation. Using the SMS polls, however, more students are participating and it’s causing a deeper discussion on topics.
Outside of learning and course management, the other key areas where mobility solutions are being applied are in the library services, student recruitment and administrative services. More to come on these topics soon…
Education technology, or EdTech as it’s been shortened and hash-tagged, is a rapidly growing area of interest for education innovators. Technology is being leveraged to better meet the high demands of our ever-developing education system. We accomplished this through the use of technology in form of tech products, applications, and tools that enhance learning and instruction. So where are we heading next in the evolution of EdTech? How will it be shaping the ways we educate and learn?
EdTech is Enhancing Education Not Replacing It
First let’s be really clear about the purpose of technology in education. Many educators believe that EdTech is a way to enhance the education experience by integrating technology into the classroom pedagogy. The use of technological resources such as the computers, mobile devices, social media platforms, software applications, and the Internet in classroom practices and school management are among the ways that we see technology integrating into education and enhancing the experience – not replacing it.
EdTech proves to be a positive enhancement when:
Tools are supporting the education goals
Part of a routine inside and outside of the classroom
It’s accessible and available for use
Uses of technology are transparent
The technology is helping students, teachers and parents to connect
The Future: Mobilizing Education
A physical classroom is no longer a requirement for gaining valuable information or “proper education” today. The world is our classroom and we have mobilized education in such a way that one can learn through a computer, tablet or mobile phone no matter where he or she is located in the world. And the gap between the “geeks” who understand technology and the teachers who understand education is become narrower every day. Digital natives are quickly becoming the larger portion of the population, so the learning curve is not so steep.
Mobile technology offers a powerful way for students to achieve educational goals. An increasing number of institutions are using mobile devices for education because it allows for a more personalized experience for the learner. This is where so much of where we see the future of EdTech going – mobile, personalized and expanding outside of the classroom.
Among education professionals, 94% say that students “demonstrate improved learning, performance and/or achievement when technology is integrated into the curriculum.” This is especially important for global education initiatives. The main challenge is getting education to those in hard-to-reach areas of the globe where large universities and schools with the great tech tools are less accessible.
Put a mobile phone in the hands of a young person looking for information and education, and then the world opens up to him or her.
There is a clear shift in the way we learn today, and the innovations around mobile technology are a big piece of that conversation. We’ll be discussing this further with those participating in SXSW Edu, so stay tuned for more detailed updates in the coming weeks.
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