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ED-TECH in the ‘New Normal’ with Dorette Botha

An insightful interview with Dorette Both, a Senior Account Manager at Konsyg and a long time player in the ASEAN educational market. She talks about how technology has proven to be a catalyst for effective learning and how much potential there is yet to be explored when it comes to learning through technology.

How has technology changed the way people learn?

The use of technology has been more significant ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every company/organization/firm has had to adopt online solutions to carry out their daily business tasks. We've seen a lot of development in the Ed-tech space. When it comes to people providing the education, the teachers and the managers in the space, they have also had to learn a new skill set. So we've seen a lot of new technology come up to support these different players in the market. Although this has always been a steadily growing marketplace but now it will exponentially grow. It has actually grown a lot faster than anyone anticipated.

What kind of tech is there for schools who need to manage learning remotely?

There are quite a few options and it actually depends on the size of the schools, where the students are and how involved you want to be in the education. It also depends if you're looking for a LMS system or a complete solution that tracks everything such as attendance, teacher involvement, lesson planning, log-ins and log-outs and how well the teachers prepare. So it actually depends on what the consumer wants their software to do. There's a really good software available in the market called 'Little Lives' which is a complete solution for schools. It's perfectly positioned for times like these where people are going through changes, and remote management of teachers and students becomes more and more challenging but also necessary.

How important is the role of tech in education today?

It has always been very important. But now that we know that technology is even more important than before, making it part of the curriculum is a necessity nowadays and developing these skills in kids when they are very young through STEM and other academies that teach coding is beneficial for and it will only help them further in life.

Is this positive or negative?

I think that with everything else in life, you need a balance. Too much online activity is very bad for anyone, no matter how old you are. Creativity is the key here. If you're looking at the physical toll, it takes to sit in front of a computer all day that speaks for itself. Now, if you think about the different capabilities and skill sets people need to develop to be functional people in society then simply being in front of a computer is not enough. Learning coding, math, science, engineering. These are important skills, but you still need to be able to communicate your ideas to work in a team. You need to be able to take criticism. You need to be able to identify and be self aware of where you need to develop yourself and I believe this cannot be taught online. This needs to be taught in person so we need that human contact. So I think you will always have study circles. You will always have offline learning opportunities because people will always need that

How do you think education and technology have changed as a result of the new normal?

It was always building steam toward online learning, online platforms, providing all kinds of education opportunities and you also have renowned platforms like Udemy and Coursera which have had a steady increase of users over the year but lately that figure has just exploded. People understand that in order for them to survive this competitive market, they need to build on different skill sets and more and more people are opting for online learning now since it's just so much more convenient. It has skyrocketed and it's going to continue breaking barriers where we have not even scratched the surface yet.

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