Future of APAC schools depend on teachers able to go hybrid

The future of education in the Asia-Pacific region will lean on the ability of educators to drive a consistent, engaging learning experience to students across hybrid modes of instruction, and this highlights a critical need for institutions to prioritise professional development for educators in leveraging technology for teaching, according to Zoom Video Communications.

Commissioned by Zoom. Intelligence Business Research Services conducted 12 detailed case study interviews between January and February 2022 with a mix of stakeholders  curriculum leads, technology/innovation leads, heads of teaching and learning, and so forth. 

IBRS also selected institutions from across the region and across different economic strata, including Australia’s Monash University, Indonesia’s Mentari Intercultural School and Philippine K-12 private catholic school La Salle Green Hills.

The report revealed that digital platforms served a dual purpose in helping to enhance the learning experience for educators. This includes moving training to online channels for time-short educators to access at their convenience, as well as bringing training into the classroom, where recordings of lessons can be continuously monitored to inform teaching feedback.

Behind the scenes, educators and administrators worked double-time to digitise curriculums and reconcile pedagogical frameworks with the new reality of education. While in-person classes are resuming, many schools in APAC today continue to adopt a hybrid learning model.

“The pandemic has demonstrated the immense flexibility of our education sector, including how quickly institutions were able to turn to digital tools to provide a consistent, accessible learning experience for students,” said Joe Sweeney, IBRS Advisor. 

“To help educators manage these ever-changing modes of learning, it will be key to integrate the different digital solutions and platforms into one cohesive ecosystem that can accommodate both in-person and virtual mediums of instruction,” said Sweeney.

Ricky Kapur, head of APAC at Zoom, said making education accessible to everyone means supporting educators with the right technological platform as they navigate the future of education in a post-pandemic environment, which may look different for each institution.

The report also found that many institutions found it difficult to balance educators’ availability with student expectations, as students were applying digital social conventions from communicating with their friends to interactions with educators. 

This resulted in unrealistic expectations for teachers to reply to late-night messages. Thus, it is important to invest in educational solutions that support timeshifted learning across different types of communication mediums.

The report also highlighted the need to prioritise professional development for educators. Institutions that were lagging in their use of technology found that time constraints for professional development were most severe. 

Generational habits in teaching also caused concerns that older educators might not be receptive to such training in the use of digital tools. However, many educators have indicated that they would like to continue receiving professional development remotely, which they first experienced during the pandemic.