Learning and growing, together
In education, we all learned a LOT this past year. Educators learned how to migrate their course material online. School teachers learned how to teach 7-year-olds how to log-in to a virtual class. Professors learned how to do 1:1 coaching when office hours couldn’t look like they used to. As we plan for the future, it’s our time to re-evaluate what worked well, and what we can improve for the coming years.
As schools try to recoup their learning loss from the last year and look to support and heal students emotionally, one thing is certain: Hybrid Education isn’t going anywhere – but how has it evolved and how are we adapting?
Education must be more accessible and inclusive for students and educators than ever. Students have learned the value of joining class from anywhere, and there’s always going to be one student ill or out of town. We’ve expanded the curriculum students can access, by going on virtual field trips or bringing in virtual lecturers never before possible to spotlight in-person. When used the right way, virtual learning tools helped students with ADHD, hearing or visual impairment, or unique learning styles. Plus, we’ve seen that security must come first when designing for education: no class-bombing allowed. Cisco is innovating to provide solutions for schools and universities to transform their institutions to support hybrid learning as a simple, sustainable solution for both educators and students.
Virtual tools are here to stay
When designing the future tools for education we had 4 main goals:
- Make technology disappear into the background for educators to feel natural.
- Reduce learning loss created by disengaged students, and unequipped teachers.
- Give students choice, options, and resources to get the most from their education.
- Keep everyone secure who’s connecting with education institutions
Let’s look at some of the tools from Cisco Webex designed to connect educators, students, faculty, and staff in the future of hybrid education.
Rethinking physical spaces for Hybrid Learning
When considering the future of hybrid education, we need to envision merging the physical and virtual worlds to create experiences where all students feel equally engaged in class. An educator shouldn’t have to look down to a tiny laptop screen in order to check on their virtual students; they should be able to look out at their in-person students, while seeing virtual students right behind them. A Webex Room Kit Pro on top of any display can stream the physical classroom space with cameras that can crop the view to optimize seeing instructors as they naturally move around their lecture hall, providing an immersive experience for everyone. There’s a device created to be just right for any size classroom.
High-quality video devices like the Webex Board can be used at the front of the class to capture the view of the students in class, while acting as a collaborative whiteboard for both in-person and virtual participants alike. Setting up classrooms for quality hybrid learning unlocks new classroom delivery experiences such as inviting specialized educators, enabling virtual field trips, connecting global students and more.
See how Oak Meadow School is using Webex devices to drive inclusive learning.
Webex Education Connector: Join class from your Learning Management System (LMS)
Educators open two tools to start their day: 1st = email. 2nd = their LMS. Webex Education Connector simplifies the day by putting everything educators need to connect to students virtually in the same page. Right from their LMS, educators can schedule virtual class sessions or offer 1:1 virtual office hours with students. Educators can message with individuals or the whole class in a simple chat space they can access with from their LMS, or simply from the Webex App on their favorite device. Plus, recordings are readily available for student to review what they missed, or study for the big exam. Webex Education Connector integrates with Schoology, Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard, D2L, and Sakai to make sure everything teachers and students need lives inside LMS.
Webex Classrooms – One platform created for hybrid learning
What if your school or university doesn’t use an LMS? Webex Classrooms can serve as a dedicated place to join hybrid classes, view on-demand recordings and access course material. This secure platform is purpose built to provide an easy-to-use interactive tool that allows educators and students to access classes from anywhere, on any device, to engage naturally before, during, or after class.
Educators can manage classrooms, schedule courses, organize content, and host and monitor classes in one simple environment. Webex classrooms serves as a personalized calendar for students, showing upcoming classes, plus past recordings and transcriptions too. Webex gives students secure portal to collaborate after class hours too, y meeting one-on-one with classmates or in small breakout rooms.
Check out Webex Classrooms:
Conclusion: Onward and Upward
We have work to do coming out of this pandemic. This is the time for us to re-evaluate the future of education, to make the most from our growing pains of the last year. Now is the time to invest together to support students, fight learning loss, connect our global environment, and make tools simpler for educators to do it all.
Regardless of the platform or Webex education tools you choose, Webex is built with educators in mind: to be simple, seamless, smart, and secure.
Learn more about how Cisco is helping bridge student and teachers learning experiences and join us at the upcoming higher education event, EDUCAUSE, October 26-29, to hear the latest around Cisco secure hybrid experiences and learning. And as we celebrate World Teachers’ Day this October 5th, let’s continue to recognize all of our educators who keep our students engaged and learning no matter where they are. Visit our Everyday Heroes in Education for more stories.
Resources for Educators
- Getting started: Looking for help getting started with hybrid learning? Check out co/WebexRemoteEdu for our educator resources, that have had over 1 million views to date.
- Virtual field trips: Brinf your class on a FREE daily virtual field trip through the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration sponsored by Cisco and the National Parks Service.
- Tips & Tricks: Hear some of the top ideas for using hybrid technologies from our educators in this 10 minute video.
Do you have an predictions about the future of Hybrid Education? Leave your ideas in the comments!