This past month, the world has witnessed an extreme amount of change due to COVID-19. Amid growing cases in the U.S. and around the globe, many industries and organizations have had to shift their activities online, resulting in drastic changes to “business as usual”. Among such disrupted industries is education, which, now more than ever, is in need of support and solutions that help teachers and students undertake new methods of learning together.
Given the suddenness at which coronavirus spread, many educators and parents alike have had little time to adjust to the new normal of e-learning. More than that, many school districts have had to rush to adopt technological solutions that may have not been vetted or equipped to handle what is expected to be a longer term issue: Homeschooling kids for the foreseeable future.
With this in mind, many educational platforms, and the teachers alongside them, are struggling to overcome unexpected barriers introduced by the new environments in which we’re all living. From problems with platform bandwidth to a need for kid-friendly controls, to scalability and quality issues, and many other concerns — every educational technology is being put to the test.
However, just as quickly as problems have arisen in the e-learning space, so has the technological capacity to solve them. With decades of experience and a talented team, Lineate has well-tested strategies and the right expertise to help e-learning platforms overcome the unique challenges they are facing in the world of remote learning. Read on to see how our custom technology solutions can help educators and tech companies overcome new issues brought on by COVID-19.
Arising Problems in Remote Learning
First, the vastness of the access to education issue cannot be overstated. The United Nations recently reported 166 countries have closed schools and universities to limit the spread of coronavirus, putting 1.5 billion children and young people in need of educational tools and 60.2 million teachers in the position of teaching from home.
With teachers and classrooms flooding online educational platforms, now more than ever a need for custom technology solutions is present. Already, we have seen teachers and school districts struggle with unforeseen problems in remote learning such as security issues with certain video conferencing platforms (see “Zoom-bombing” negatively impacting online classrooms) and a lack of accessibility for disabled students due to many e-learning technologies not meeting ADA compliance (American Disabilities Act requiring all online technologies to be accessible to those who are disabled). More than that, many students have varying forms of internet access and bandwidth, which can drastically impact their ability to access educational content and learning platforms. The Verge recently reported about criticism facing the FCC over its inaccurate broadband maps, especially in rural areas where the commission has exaggerated coverage. With custom tech solutions and creative features from a company like Lineate, student onboarding and tiered content for varying types of internet access can help bridge the learning gap for those lacking certain resources.
And while ADA compliance, WIFI access, and security issues are among some of the larger problems schools are facing online, there are also a host of smaller problems that still need to be addressed, as quickly as possible, to improve remote learning for both teachers and students. These include adding mobile device usability (for children accessing lessons from a parent’s phone or ipad), creating an infrastructure to handle a higher number of concurrent users, adapting and migrating content systems quickly, mic and video pick up and lag time problems, as well as a host of other issues that have yet to arise.
As the landscape continues to evolve, we will see that it’s the companies that prioritize long-term updates, better security, increased online stability, and practical fixes who will be the ones that rise to the top. But, most remote learning companies are struggling with access to the right talent to increase development bandwidth needed to improve their product.
Lineate has already begun to provide specialized plans and custom technology solutions to help remote learning platforms meet fast-growing demands — increasing accessibility and overcoming usability issues in a time when education has never been more important.
How Lineate Can Help
Our experts at Lineate have specialized experience across dozens of programming languages and tactics to solve tough development challenges. And, we make no exception for the current issues facing educators and the surging needs of the platforms they are using.
We have already spoken to dozens of educators about the big and small issues they’re coming up against and have developed custom solutions for edtech clients, like Rosen and Hachette, to improve usability, measure effectiveness, update data infrastructure, and increase security measures.
Some examples of how custom technology can help remote learning platforms:
- Decrease mic feedback: Echoey rooms, apartment building sounds, unwanted conversations, and other types of environmental feedback that can increase classroom distraction or create security issues can be improved with a custom feature build.
- Improve usability: Creating custom buttons and/or shortcuts to give teachers more control over their online classroom or improve the user experience for younger children with better, kid-friendly controls
- Enable ADA compliance: Adding features that make it easier for slow learners and differently-abled students to understand and absorb information, i.e. adding caption technology, voice navigation, screen readers, and more to online classrooms and activities
- Assessment and scaffolding tooling: Enabling technology for timed tests and quizzes or blocking students from using particular sites and tools during examinations
- Mobile accessibility: Many families are using the technology they have at home to meet a number of different needs from educating their children to working from home. Sometimes, children need to be able to access learning modules and classrooms on phones or ipads, requiring remote learning to be accessible via these devices and features to be customized as such.
- Digital asset management and delivery: With more content being uploaded to educational platforms, the need for better organization, bandwidth, and security is necessary. Lineate is able to help these platforms organize, store, and retrieve rich media and manage digital asset rights and permissions as needed.
- Better speed and connectivity: Many educators and students living across different socioeconomic lines have drastic differences in WIFI accessibility and connectivity. Lineate can help educational platforms with a diverse set of users lighten the load of their platform and scale to meet different environmental requirements.
The solutions Lineate can provide are not limited to just the above. Our expert team is assembled to not only ensure your platform’s current stability and technological success, but is also created to prepare and solve for problems that could arise over time. If you’re lacking access to talent, technology, or expertise amid the COVID-19 crisis, Lineate has all three elements to meet your company’s needs.
Whether it’s improving your educational platform’s accessibility, bettering the user experience for disabled folks, correcting an unforeseen issue within technology that you don’t have the bandwidth to solve, or developing a brand new industry-specific solution, Lineate is here to help.
Set up a meeting with a technology solutions expert today and get the best solution for your business, tailored exactly to the educational industry’s ever-changing needs.