-By Bharat Kumar B
As institutes reopen their campuses, a new mode of operation is emerging, with digital at its heart. It is now a universal truth that technology is more than just an enabler – it has become a necessity that helps organizations thrive in these times.
The education sector has come a long way in its digital journey, moving from a heavy reliance on paper and manual management of data collection to embracing distance learning and achieving online reviews.
Institutes are also realizing that going digital goes beyond hosting virtual classrooms. The industry has reached a stage where modern institutes are considering revamping their processes. This will help them improve their digital ecosystem and make their operations more efficient and data-driven.
Modern institutes recognize that a digital-first mindset can help them focus their energy on what they do best: sharing knowledge and enhancing learning. Routine tasks can be automated and processes can be redesigned. These processes can range from admissions management, library management, and scheduling to communication, event management, exam control, accounting, and other administrative tasks. This will give them more time to focus on essential work, like program design and student experience.
Current challenges and the sweet spot
Currently, schools and universities face two main bottlenecks to progress in their digital journey: firstly, the education sector has pre-existing rigid legacy infrastructures which become an obstacle when introducing new processes . Indeed, the traditional infrastructure does not allow the user to easily add new modules or modify existing ones without any technical expertise. Second, they don’t have large IT teams, but the demand for custom applications from different stakeholders keeps growing. This overloads the IT team. This is where low-code technology can be leveraged by institutes to overcome these challenges and create a digital approach to education.
When it comes to the education sector, the sweet spot is at the intersection of technology and pedagogy. This is why the industry needs a solution that not only addresses the challenges mentioned above, but also helps improve the student experience. In addition, some aspects that can be made more efficient with the help of digital technologies that are becoming obstacles in the sector are: the communication gap between students and teachers/professors, the lack of instant report generation, the inability to make data-based decisions, weak IT guardrails and data loss.
Enter the code down.
This technology helps people with little or no coding experience to build apps and solutions using a visual drag-and-drop builder. But why has it become so popular? A good analogy to low-code would be to think that what Canva did for design, low-code will do for app development. Low-code helps people automate and build solutions faster, and they don’t need any previous developer experience, just business logic.
Each institute has an “X factor” that is unique to that particular organization, and that is what makes it successful. An important advantage of low-code is that it respects the uniqueness of institutes. Going digital with low-code is about more than just automating processes. Some platforms even allow institutes to create complex, scalable and highly customized solutions. Additionally, many low-code platforms make cross-platform availability easy, as you don’t have to spend time building a separate mobile app; it is automatically available.
Keeping pace with the VUCA world
While most restrictions have been lifted and schools and colleges are gradually opening up, institutes have yet to consider a looming fourth wave. The crucial question? Where do we go from here and what’s next for us?
Many believe the future of education is hybrid: a mix of in-person classes and virtual sessions. However, two aspects can make or break a hybrid education system. One, if there is a gap in instructional consistency between students and instructors. Second, to mitigate digital burnout, a balance must be struck with optimal use of distance learning to be able to provide students with authentic social experiences and peer-to-peer learning, as well as socialization.
Ultimately, it’s about the shared experience of students who are digital natives, which is why technology must play a vital role in the future. This could include classes becoming more immersive, expanding networking and guest lectures, more efficient operations, automating mundane and repetitive tasks for teachers and administrators, or going paperless with digital solutions. EdTech is the future and low-code ensures that institutes can keep pace with the times.
The author is responsible for marketing and customer experience for Zoho Creator.