More than 80% of students and 95% of educators increased their use of technology over the last year in the Asia Pacific region, according to a study conducted by Microsoft and Lenovo. Over 65% of the students and 85% of the educators spent more money on technology last year in comparison to the previous year and anticipate the same in the year to come.
The study which was conducted in May 2021, following the currently ongoing covid-crisis, surveyed 783 educators, 669 parents, and 1,935 students aged 16 to 25 on their experience with e-learning during the covid-19 pandemic. The respondents belong to the Asia Pacific region and were from countries such as India, Australia, Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam, etc.
While only one in three students felt that their academic performance had improved with e-learning, around 60% of educators were confident that their teaching performance had improved with technology.
The major factors that had a positive impact on student learning were accessibility and flexibility when it comes to e-learning. Both educators and students find it worthy that learning online eliminates the need to commute and brings in the advantage of convenience.
Educators further highlighted that learning materials can be centralized and personalized and state that e-learning encourages collaborative learning.
“Students and their parents said it was “extremely important” that their technology provides security (50%), privacy (52%), flexible performance (26%), and continuous value (29%). Just 17% considered it to be extremely important to have the lowest possible cost for a technology solution.” The study said.
The educators on the other hand were concerned about education-specific security, data privacy, collaboration features, student assessment tools, general ease of use, and accessibility features.
The physical distance involved in online learning did not deter students from getting the technical support that they required. The users often reached out to their peers instead of the over-loaded school technical support teams.
However, even the best of e-learning technology has its set of cons. Students, parents, and educators found the following difficulties with respect to online learning.
Distractions at home
less motivation to attend online classes at home
Lack of immediate feedback and interaction with teachers/classmates and
Social isolation or difficulty in meeting people
Conference calls and video interactions might be good substitutes, however, 75% of educators stated that students get distracted or lose concentration during online live sessions.
It is necessary for students and educators to find the best possible way to inculcate the technology into the learning process to make the best use of it.