The EU Tech Chamber (EUTECH) held the Importance of Digital Transformation in Education webinar today, Aug 18. Director Digital Transformation and Smart City Council at EUTECH, Nedzad Piric, MBA, Ph.D candidate , moderated the conference and was joined by a panel of experts in digital education.
Evelyn Ngatia, CEO and Founder of TechaWatt and Board Member Women in Tech, delivered the keynote address. Citing a World Economic Forum report—which highlighted that school closures affected around 11.5 billion children worldwide due to the pandemic—she illustrated that there was not enough investment capital in education technology to remedy the debilitating state of education.
A proponent for the Fourth Industrial Revolution technology, she saw that there was a need of implementing modern trends in education, collectively called Education 4.0. These trends include the use of on-demand learning platforms, adaptive learning, gamification of education, use of augmented reality techniques, and collaboration tools to boost students’ learning and retention.
Beatrice Bischof, Dr., Consultant and Board Member Cavalla International University, stressed the point that digital technology in education should leverage its accessibility ease to create new entrepreneurial possibilities. She referenced her educational institute’s efforts in educating and facilitating young African farmers to become better at their Agri business with the help of education technology.
Digital Transformation Expert in EUTECH’s Academy Commission, Michael de Jose, was less hopeful about the current state of educational transformation unless it was accompanied by a mindset shift at all levels of the education sector and a process of continuous change. Mindset transformation must go hand in glove with other efforts of implementing technology solutions.
In an answer to a question about the challenges to the full-on acceleration of these trends, Evelyn Ngatia mentioned low venture capital investments as the primary challenge. Countries in Africa, especially, are still without access to the Internet, digital devices, and even electricity. Michael de Jose believed most academia even in the developed world was conservative and resistant to change, which poses the biggest hurdle in progress toward digital transformation in education.
Beatrice Bischof, Dr. voiced the same infrastructural concerns while also mentioning that a real transformation would only be possible with a change in curricular standards.
In her final message, Evelyn Ngatia stressed educating children in emotional intelligence, problem-solving, and creative skills from an early age. She further stated that we must enforce digital transformation in education trends globally by first addressing the digital gap that exists between the emerging and developed countries.