Checking in with an edtech company executive about what’s just ahead.
INTERVIEW | by Victor Rivero
Michael Shoham has been with his company for 29 years leading the product and business development teams. The Radix Technologies CEO is responsible for the overall daily management of the company, setting the company’s business strategy and leading its growth. “In addition,” he says, “I am involved in the product roadmap, and strategic deals and discussions with customers, partners and prospects.” EdTech Digest checked in with him to get some insight on what’s happening in education from his vantage point including a near-term look on remote learning and what lies ahead.
How has the pandemic accelerated the need for a flexible learning system?
Michael: COVID-19 changed our world and increased the level of uncertainty in our lives. When the pandemic started, in order to keep safe and stay open for business, schools had to move online without having the right tools to facilitate efficient remote learning. As time passed the world understood that COVID-19 is here to stay, and we need to learn how to live with it, take precautions (distance, mask, hygiene, etc.) and be more flexible than ever before. In the coming new school year, on average, 10% of the students in America are moving permanently to remote learning programs.
‘In the coming new school year, on average, 10% of the students in America are moving permanently to remote learning programs.’
The children going back to school may need to have the option for remote or hybrid learning in case they are away from school during an emergency or routine change, e.g. pandemic, sick or injured, extreme weather, etc. Having said that, schools need to be able to efficiently facilitate remote, hybrid and local learning in a click of a button and cater to the needs of all students.
What challenges to schools face coming out of the pandemic and back to the classroom?
As mentioned, starting next school year, a proportion of students are moving permanently to remote learning programs, while the remainder of students returning back to school may require the option for remote or hybrid learning.
In addition, in the past year, students have been learning by themselves and lacking the direct communication with teachers and friends which is so important. Schools will have to face social problems, bridge previous year curriculum gaps and most importantly change the learning methodology to make it more suitable for remote and hybrid settings, such as less memorizing, and more analyzing and thinking.
Following this, what advice would you give schools?
Schools need to have an all-in-one classroom management solution equipped with video conference and learning management capabilities, enabling teachers to focus on teaching in a remote, hybrid or local setting, stay in touch with their students and provide them the best possible learning experience. In addition, giving schools more independence, such as teaching in smaller groups. There is a great opportunity to change the learning methodology, such as less memorizing and more analyzing, teaching fewer subjects with a heightened focus on STEM, which can be understood as the future.
Why should schools implement a device management platform?
COVID-19 accelerated the digital transformation process in education; more schools are moving online and using edtech more than ever before. Smart digital devices are becoming the backbone of education institutions, helping them to facilitate efficient remote, hybrid or local learning. This is why device management is no longer a recommendation, it is a standard, keeping devices healthy, patched and tuned to their mission, and also contributing to the digital wellbeing of students.
‘Smart digital devices are becoming the backbone of education institutions, helping them to facilitate efficient remote, hybrid or local learning.’
A device management platform enables all stakeholders (IT, support, teachers, principals and coordinators) to increase administrative and instructional effectiveness, reduce operational complexity and save time and money, making device management more focused.
What can you say about the near-term and longer-term future of education?
Good days ahead! In the coming new school year, schools will be busy bridging previous year curriculum gaps. In addition, we are going to see more remote learning programs, and the use of smart digital devices and edtech will be higher than ever before.
Victor Rivero is the Editor-in-Chief of EdTech Digest. Write to: [email protected]