Technology, essential in hybrid post-pandemic education model

In dialogue with AmCham Colombia and Cisco support, representatives of the academy and the Government stressed the need for a change of mindset in the classroom to move towards a model that integrates in person and virtuality, and ensures access to education in all regions of the country.

Bogota, October 9, 2020 (AmCham Colombia).- Promoting a hybrid learning model that integrates in-personity and virtuality, supported by technological tools to raise the quality of training, reduce the risk of covid_19 contagion in schools and ensure accessibility to students of basic and higher education in all regions of Colombia is the alternative that the country's education sector will bet on in this post-pandemic phase.  

This was made known in a forum organized by the Colombo Americana Chamber of Commerce, AmCham Colombia, in partnership with Cisco, which was attended by the head of the Office of Educational Innovation of the Ministry of National Education, Diana Silva; vice-chancellor of Innovation at EAN University, Juanita Rodríguez; and The Sales Specialist Premium Services of Cisco Colombia, René Sanz.  

According to the head of the Educational Innovation Advisory Office of the Ministry of National Education, Diana Silva, the MinEducation has been working for years to advance the digital transformation of the country's educational campuses and to train more and more teachers so that they can be prepared for the challenges imposed by the digitization of education and that accelerated with the covid-19 pandemic.

"Over the past seven years we have trained more than 140,000 public sector teachers in the use and appropriation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This work has already paid off, so today we are not at a first level of exploration around these technologies, but we are focused on their integration into the country's classrooms," Silva said.

A paradigm shift

In this regard, EAN University Vice-Chancellor of Innovation Juanita Rodríguez noted that the covid-19 contingency has shown that universities that make that commitment to digital and understand their new role will remain relevant, it shows that, "it was one of the few sectors that thanks to technology was able to move forward, in most cases , which in turn allowed the economy to continue to move because most jobs could be maintained."

He added that what needs to be done now is to rethly rethly in person and make sense of it again to move towards a more flexible model of academic alternation, so that students attend classrooms where their presence is really necessary.  

"At the EAN we recently did a survey with our students on what the alternation for back to school was going to be like and 70% told us that they were fine with the virtual scheme, as many of them returned to their regions, live with older adults and fear putting them at risk, and also do not want to resume the use of public transport , for now, because they still have doubts," explained the Vice-Chancellor of Innovation at EAN University.    

The challenges

Another key player in this paradigm shift is the private sector, with which universities and the state must strengthen their relations and jointly bet on the country's research, innovation and development, as this is a time when business models, from all sectors of the economy, are going to start to transform and that transformation is going to be mediated by technology.

"Business models start to change because users change and if we want to grow as companies we must take this into account, rethly rething our processes and moving towards a true digital transformation, otherwise we will gradually come out of the market," Silva warned.  

For René Sanz, Sales Specialist Premium Services of Cisco Colombia, under this change of mindset, part of the challenges point to borderless access to both knowledge and technology, where students can be integrated into educational institutions from anywhere in the world, implying that the country's universities must also prepare to share globally.   

Also, the labor market demands new skills. "A World Economic Forum study reflects that 85% of the jobs that the Z and Alpha generations will have in 2030 have not yet been invented, so they become key elements such as artificial intelligence and automation that will replace many of the traditional activities we do today," Sanz said.  

In this way, it is urgent to accelerate digital transformation in educational models to make them more resilient, flexible and innovative, adapt to new needs and, above all, ensure access and inclusion of the entire population, including the most remote areas, which remains one of the main challenges of the country to adapt to this new reality that came to stay.   

You can see the full conversation here