Edtech, virtual classroom, online teaching

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As schools reopen, big tech is doing its bit to make the weird transition to hybrid school and college smoother.

School season has started. Colleges are opening up too. Students, teachers, and parents are experiencing mixed feelings towards the event.

With the pandemic wreaking havoc on education last year, there is a need to make things as contactless as possible yet return to the old feeling of normalcy that makes us feel secure.


Read more: Tech Vs. COVID-19: How big tech pitched in to help India during the second wave


Consequently, a hybrid model has emerged, with tech and in person teaching blending. Big tech is gearing up to aid teachers, parents, and students get into the groove with either free tutorials on how to leverage technology for education, contactless access, or aid in school shopping.

Go to School but Don’t Touch

Apple has been encouraging contactless as well as non-plastic access through its Apple Watch and iPhone in the US and Canada.

In Canada, mobile student IDs debuted on the Wallet app in Canada, beginning with the University of New Brunswick and Sheridan College this year. At the same time, American schools adopting mobile student IDs are Auburn University, Northern Arizona University, University of Maine, New Mexico State University, and many more.

Students and faculty are using their iPhone and Apple Watch to access buildings, purchase meals, and more.

Universities are also moving away from plastic, preferring a mobile-first approach to their student ID programs. Students are allowed to use mobile student IDs in Wallet to complete tasks that would earlier require a plastic ID card, both on and off campus.

In fact, according to Apple, in April 2021, the number of times students used their mobile IDs to purchase and access campus buildings became more than the use of plastic ID cards.

The University of Alabama will be exclusively issuing mobile student IDs to 38,000 students with eligible devices, becoming the first school to do so.

Learn to Use Tech to Teach & Be Taught

Microsoft Tools has seen phenomenal usage in the last year. Now, with hybrid models taking over in most schools, the Microsoft Educator Center has been offering three free on-demand courses that can support educators and school leaders in the evolving learning environments.

For example, ‘Teach forward’ and ‘Lead forward’ are designed to help educators create a suitable learning environment. A third course, ‘Enable student success with blended learning solutions in higher education’, focuses on student engagement.

With the pandemic wreaking havoc on education last year, there is a need to make things as contactless as possible yet return to the old feeling of normalcy that makes us feel secure. Consequently, a hybrid model has emerged, with tech and in person teaching blending

Free courses are also available from the Microsoft Store Hybrid Classroom Tools to equip teachers with the technical proficiency needed.

The tech giant has also partnered with the United States College Board organization to announce a free new curriculum resource for high school educators who teach the College Board’s Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles course.

The Intel Education Group has partnered with crucial leading educators in the US to form two remote learning companion guides to support educators and parents to get started with remote learning.

They are designed for parents, children, and educators with no minimum technology access or resource requirements. It also offers a list of trustworthy, subscription-free resources that work even without the latest computer.

Tech Gets Real

Education systems have changed so much last year that show the increasing amount of acceptance of technology in regular areas of education.

IBM’s 21st century apprenticeship program has earned official recognition from the American Council on Education (ACE) which will now allow IBM apprentices to translate their 12 months of on-the-job training for up to 45 college credits, the equivalent of about three semesters of college coursework.

Education systems have changed so much last year that show the increasing amount of acceptance of technology in regular areas of education

With the help of this apprenticeship in software engineering, current and future IBM apprentices can apply credits at participating two and four-year institutions across the US. Apprentices can thus fast-track their progression to gain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in pursuit of their career goals.

Clearing the School Wish List

With many schools going back to normalcy, Amazon is supporting #ClearTheList, a social media movement that raises awareness about the shortage of classroom supplies and aids teachers in getting necessary items on their Amazon Wish Lists.

The tech giant is purchasing items from hundreds of teachers’ wish lists to fulfill classroom needs with items like pencils, markers, and books for classroom libraries.


Read more: The great wooing: Is Apple close to finally convincing the Indian middle class?


As students get ready to head to college, Amazon is also offering Prime Student members exclusive savings that include Grubhub+ Student, Calm, StudentUniverse, and Course Hero for a limited time.

Designed particularly for college students, Prime Student offers Prime benefits in shopping, savings, and entertainment. In addition, there are exclusive perks and offers for college life, for example, movies and TV series with Prime Video, two million ad-free songs, more than 3,000 books, magazines, and comics with Prime Reading, free in-game content and games with Prime Gaming.

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