Apr 28 2020

Reimagining Education in the Shift to Remote Learning

With higher education driven to embrace a new model of instruction, colleges and universities are making massive strides.

In the past, alternative learning models were viewed as optional, exploratory and experimental. But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced colleges and universities across the country to shut down their campuses and shift to remote learning models, the need to deliver a different method of instruction suddenly became mission critical.

“There’s this culture and perception in higher education that it takes forever to get anything done. But IT departments have really galvanized and responded in ways that will have both short-term and long-term effects,” says Colorado School of Mines CIO Monique Sendze, in our roundtable on remote learning, "How the Remote Learning Pivot Could Shape Higher Ed." 

“We’ve shown that we can be agile, and that we can come up with creative solutions to problems in days, not years,” she adds.

We scoured social media and found some inspirational and thoughtful examples of faculty adapting to their remote learning realities with a positive attitude and an air of creativity, which you can see in “How University Faculty Embraced the Remote Learning Shift,” the first run of our new social media–driven department, Shared Smarts.

Repurposing Space

Students and faculty will eventually return to our campuses and recalibrate to whatever the new normal is. At Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio, that thought process is already well underway as the university has begun reclaiming traditional computer labs for reimagined purposes. Transformative IT leaders are stepping up and embracing this as an opportunity to be of service to the students and the campus as a whole.

“It’s really about breaking the mindset of ‘this is my IT space’ to ‘this is the university’s space; how can we make a more engaging student experience,’” says Baldwin Wallace CIO Greg Flanik, in our feature, “Why On-Premises Storage Still Matters in Higher Education."

As your campuses emerge from this remote learning experience that the pandemic has thrust upon us all, recognize that there are also opportunities to reinvent the way things have always been done. It won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight, but we will get through it. Either way, EdTech: Focus on Higher Education will be here to share your successes and challenges, offer insights and advice, and tell your stories.

jovan_epn iStock / Getty Images Plus