By Michael Ngan, president and general manager of Lenovo Philippines
As we continue to work toward a better post-pandemic world, different industries face the challenge of adapting to the demands of the new normal. In the education sector, schools are tasked to adopt new systems to cater to the demands of online learning. In the new normal, even as students make their way back into the classroom, hybrid learning will continue to shape our reality in the coming years. Driven by uncertainty about emerging COVID-19 variants and the changing attitudes of students, what was originally viewed as peripheral to education has become mainstream.
In this new era, educators must get students ready for an increasingly complex, digital, and hyper-connected future. In order for the next generation of learners to succeed in the future, they must be equipped with essential skills outside the conventional curriculum. Soft skills such as flexibility, adaptability, and digital citizenship must become an important part of learning and educators are at the forefront of this charge.
To bring learning beyond the classroom in a safe, secure environment, schools need to take a holistic approach filled with multi-layered solutions, integration with business systems, and new hardware, paired with technological ability and a can-do attitude.
Equip students with the right infrastructure
With digitization quickly and continuously accelerating, it is fundamental that students are well-equipped with solutions that facilitate learning, no matter where they may be. Beyond devices, students also need robust technical support and managed services to ensure the product runs smoothly across its lifecycle while delivering productivity, security, and collaboration.
Research by the McKinsey Global Institute identified three digital skill groups that will be foundational for the future of work: digital fluency and citizenship, software use and development, and an understanding of digital systems. To help students develop these skills, they must be supported with the right infrastructure. For example, students can learn digital fluency and citizenship through their interactions with online communities, like their schoolmates. It is the role of educators to encourage civic engagement, teaching them how to be proficient, responsible, and respectful in their use of digital technology.
Training programs to develop digital competency
In an ever-evolving world, technology will continue to advance. Educators are then faced with the challenge of developing competencies that will cater to the evolving needs of digital learners. Schools must prioritize digital literacy training, which covers topics such as core digital skills, how to use hardware and software solutions, and the latest trends in the tech industry.
In Lenovo’s commitment to creating Smarter Technology for all, the Lenovo EdVision program was established with the aim to hone technological literacy and digital skills among students while providing resources and support for teachers to prepare them for a more digital educational landscape.
With the plight of the education sector and the new demands of digital learners, Lenovo EdVision held webinars designed to help both learners and their teachers navigate the new normal. Among the topics covered were mental wellness in the digital age and effective e-learning. Each incorporated how Lenovo devices, built for the virtual classrooms, truly enhance learning experiences for all.
In addition, EdVision Summit 2.0 has been updated with the theme of “Learning Pedagogy and Technology to Embrace Change” from the first summit in March 2021. With an updated set of discussion points, the summit aimed to deepen our understanding of e-learning and provide a holistic approach for a seamless hybrid classroom experience. The EdVision Summit 2.0 also featured a plenary about learning pedagogies to help educators embrace technology in their classrooms. Participants and speakers were also able to interact at a panel discussion about furthering digital technologies and literacy, workshops that combine play and pedagogy, and how to cultivate positive learner attributes in online distance learning.
Build smart classrooms for the hybrid future
Classrooms will also have to evolve in the future. Educators must expand the learning space beyond physical classrooms and blend the best from in-person classes with digital teaching methods to encompass classroom activities, homework, and learning reports. Meanwhile, students will need to remain adaptable and accustomed to interacting, collaborating, and sharing both in the classroom and digitally. With classroom and learning management software, schools can support a seamless transition and prevent disruptions to learning.
“Empowering better learning experiences and outcomes, as well as building digital skills to enhance employability are critical priorities of Microsoft–both globally and here in the Philippines. We’re privileged to work with partners like Lenovo, who share our commitment to enabling that future for Filipinos across the country,” said Peter Maquera, general manager of Microsoft Philippines.
Last year, Lenovo surveyed over 3,400 students and educators on their experiences with remote schooling and explored how technology can further engage students. This has resulted in the launch of new programs and solutions, such as Lenovo EdVision’s collaboration with Microsoft. Both parties intend to combine classroom technology upgrades with free training for educators to improve their digital literacy and expertise, allowing schools to reap the full benefits of educational technology.
With its efforts to bring forward its advocacy of Smarter Technology for all, Lenovo was named one of the finalists for the Marketing Excellence Awards 2022 under the CSR category. This reaffirmed the brand’s commitment to providing educational technology and opportunities to communities.
Now that the new year has begun, the brand continues to stand by its commitment as we believe that both innovation and education are catalysts for change. The next era of education must be collaborative and technology can bring people together and ultimately, enhance the potential of both students and their communities. Digital transformation is about more than just the technology that powers it. Its success is also driven by a robust ecosystem of collaboration between educators, parents, school administrators, IT teams, and technology partners.
Ultimately, what students need more than anything is a human touch in an increasingly digitized world.