How Technology Saved Universities Amidst Covid-19

By mid-March, almost all universities sent their students home due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Luckily, most schools had a week of spring break around this time for faculty to brainstorm the best ways for the rest of the spring semester to be taught entirely online. Universities already have online platforms used for communication between professors and students, whether that be announcements, homework assignments, or online readings. These platforms, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Ecourseware, and Google Classroom, have defined the classroom in this pandemic age. Not to mention, Zoom has taken over everywhere, changing the way we communicate forever. All of these online platforms saved higher education around the country, so let’s break down the role they’ve played. 

Course Management Systems

Most universities already have course management systems in place to keep classes and communication organized. Systems like Canvas, Blackboard, Ecourseware, and Google Classroom are top-rated. Features of the software include announcements, assignments, quizzes, syllabi, and reminders of due dates. This software was necessary before coronavirus, but then became the central role of communication when classes were moved entirely online.

Video Streaming Platforms

Teaching online gets difficult because students lose access to the lectures their professors would teach the material in. Video streaming platforms have helped that loss and new and old platforms became a necessity for professors. YouTube Live became an excellent platform for teaching lessons because the class would go live, but was also recorded if students could not get on due to time changes. The live stream comments feature was heavily used to answer questions in real-time and create secure communication between students and professors. Another platform, Panopto, became the leading online video platform for universities. The secure online video platform made it easy to create, host, search, share, and stream videos for educational purposes. These platforms transformed the traditional lecture methods as students participated in class from their childhood bedroom.

Virtual Communication

Communication is critical when learning in higher education, and discussion sessions were the primary source for college students’ communication of questions or concerns about the determined topics. Since classes could no longer meet in person, Zoom took over and became the new meeting spot for students and their teachers. Discussion sessions were moved to Zoom calls, and discussing topics as a class became possible from individual homes. Students could learn and ask questions over Zoom and hear and see their professors virtually to understand and capture the material being covered. Zoom was the hero of the coronavirus pandemic and made everyone’s life a lot easier.

To sum it up, universities would not have been able to survive the pandemic without software and innovative technology. Zoom, Canvas, Panopto, and all the other software made life easier for students and professors. The spring semester was able to end smoothly, and a new teaching method was normalized across all universities. At Integracon, we love all things tech, and we love seeing the role it plays in all aspects of life. If you are a small business owner who needs assistance with IT management during this time, please contact us for a consultation.

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