The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education around the globe. Educators everywhere—at every level—had to hastily implement remote learning curricula for “learning-from-home” and try to continue maintaining student engagement with the changed environment. The current school year has been marked by a mix of classroom and remote learning, with sometimes jarring transitions from one to the other in response to outbreaks.
Former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise has likened COVID-19 to other natural disasters, saying, “There are three stages to any natural disaster. There’s triage, there’s transition to what is next, and if you’re very fortunate and deliberate, then transformation…We either take this very disrupted, very tumultuous year to plan and build a system that we want or we stumble along, always transitioning but rarely improving.”
The Future of Education is Digital
Much of the remote learning effort up to this point has simply been triage. Educators everywhere are now faced with determining what’s next and transforming their approach to education. While the “new normal” in education delivery is still a moving target, it’s unlikely that primary, secondary, or higher education will ever go back to the way things were Pre-COVID. Learning will increasingly take place using a hybrid approach that more flexibly combines classroom and remote learning—and enables both with the latest digital technologies.
Used correctly, technology can accelerate the transformation of education, democratize access, and facilitate lifelong learning. With mid-career education critical to a changing economy, education is no longer just for the young. Nor is it strictly dependent on accidents of geography or having the ability to relocate. Digital technology can enable institutions to exponentially expand their reach.
Many schools are already developing guidelines for teaching and learning in a digital world. Teachers must adapt their curricula to the new digital reality. From an information technology standpoint, all schools need to provide the tools to facilitate this transition. At a foundational level this includes:
A Uniform and Engaging Learning Platform. Whether a student is in a classroom or remote, they should be able to access the applications and services they need to learn from any device from any location, leveraging on-premises and public cloud solutions. The learning platform must be robust to provide the optimal learning experience and keep students engaged..
Security. All solutions must provide a high level of cybersecurity and protection for personally identifiable information (PII). Complexity is the enemy of security, so solutions to deliver access to applications must be simple by design from an end user and an administrator perspective.
Flexibility. Schools must be able to flexibly support the core set of applications used by all students and teachers as well as any specialized software required by particular courses on any device from any location.
Cost control. Maintaining a separate set of infrastructure and solutions for classroom versus remote learning can increase both cost and complexity.
From a student’s perspective, there are important technology hurdles and limitations to overcome. Failure to do so creates a digital divide that makes it difficult or impossible for some students to succeed.
All students will need:
Adequate connectivity. Enough internet connectivity to support streaming content, unified communications, and access to virtual applications and desktops. This should be the goal of every community.
Suitable device. A device appropriate for remote learning, such as a notebook or tablet. Ideally every student should be provided with a device that meets or exceeds minimum standards.
Support. Responsive support services, including bots, are necessary since there are always problems that arise.
Access. The necessary learning tools must be easily accessible whether at home, on campus, or in the classroom. Modern Identity and Access solutions will provide a frictionless integration between the end-users and the various platform services.
Xi Frame Enables Digital Learning
Nutanix Frame is an innovative, multicloud Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solution that addresses digital learning challenges, allowing your students and faculty to access critical applications on any device from any location from a standard web browser. Frame helps address the challenges that both schools and students face.
How Frame Helps Schools
With Frame, faculty and staff spend less time helping students with technology and more time helping students learn.
Access. Whether in the classroom or remote, everyone is able to access the same applications and services with no changes with a flexible choice of devices. “Run Any application in a browser”.
Security. DaaS is inherently more secure because no information has to be stored on the local device. Frame takes security three steps further by
Eliminating the need for client-side software or plug-ins that can create a point of vulnerability
Encrypting all communication between a user’s browser and the service
Allowing secure access to applications without installing VPN software on the device.
Flexibility and cost control. The best user and application experience is achieved when applications and data are close to each other. Frame can host applications, desktops, and user data in a school datacenter, in the public cloud, or both.
On-premises infrastructure is often a cost-effective option for the core applications that everyone uses, especially applications that rely on backend services that are on-premises.
The cloud helps enable a flexible pay-as-you-go model with usage metered in minutes and hours. The cloud model enables you to adapt quickly to unforeseen needs and to support classes with unique application requirements. Students, faculty, and staff can use their own devices to access applications and all the compute power they need without installing anything. For students that are geographically remote, Frame running in the cloud allows you to provide support from a cloud datacenter close to where they are.
How Frame Helps Students
The learning environment faced by many students is far from ideal. Frame helps overcome the impediments that keep students from succeeding:
Connectivity. Frame is optimized to deliver great performance benefiting students with limited connectivity.
Devices. Because Frame works on any device, it reduces access barriers, enabling students to use the latest software tools and to switch between devices easily when necessary.
Support. Frame streamlines the user experience and reduces support requests--with nothing to install and flexible device support. Nutanix has been recognized in the industry for the quality of support it delivers, maintaining an average Net Promoter Score of 90 or higher for the past 6 years.
Frame can help schools and students transition to a post-COVID world where digital education is available and accessible from anywhere.
Find Out More
To learn more about Frame, visit nutanix.com/frame. Also, be sure and read our solution brief, Frame Streamlines Distance Learning. Want to see Frame in action, check out this great article on Frame simplicity. You can also give Xi Frame a try. Nutanix offers an excellent 30-day free trial for Xi Frame that can help you determine whether the solution meets your needs.
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