Digital Transformation trend in Education
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Digital Transformation trend in Education

Digital Transformation in Education has been encouraged and prioritized by the Vietnamese government these days. Although there are certain challenges to overcome in the process of implementation, digital transformation brings many huge benefits to students, lecturers, training institutions, and society.

Digital transformation is gradually participating in all fields and industries, from economics, manufacturing, and technology engineering to culture and life. In the education and training sector which has an important influence in ensuring the development of socio-economic life, digital transformation is being deeply focused. 

The state of the education sector 

By the end of 2020, Vietnam’s education sector has achieved certain achievements. Vietnam’s general education has been equivalent to the group of developed countries (OECD) in the top 40, higher education in the top 70, and vocational training in the position of about 90. According to the World Bank’s 2020 assessment report, Vietnam’s Human Capital Index ranks 38th out of 174 economies, of which, Vietnam’s education sector ranks 15th, comparable to countries such as the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden (1). 

However, due to the impact of Covid-19, Vietnam’s education sector, as well as others, has faced many difficulties and challenges. In order to ensure health safety and comply with policies and regulations on social distancing of the State, schools and educational institutions need to suspend operations, affecting the progress of training programs. However, from a different perspective, the Covid-19 epidemic also contributes to building and thriving digital platforms, providing an online environment for training and learning, and creating momentum to promote digital transformation in the education sector. 

Digital transformation journey in Vietnam’s education sector 

In 2020, the Prime Minister signed a decision approving the “National Digital Transformation Program to 2025, oriented to 2030” in which education is one of the areas that need to be prioritized to implement digital transformation first since education is an area with a direct and daily social impact on people. Successful digitally transformed education will help change people’s perceptions in the fastest way, bring efficiency, and cost savings for many activities in socio-life, and at the same time, create the motivation for digital transformation for other sectors. 

A series of policies to promote the digital transformation of education are issued to gradually complete the legal corridor, such as regulations on the application of information technology in management, operation, and teaching, organizing online training, forming regulations on remote training of undergraduate and postgraduate levels, or making regulations on management and operation using the database system throughout the industry. Digital transformation in education focuses on three main areas: teaching such as e-learning training, and virtual reality training; education management such as management of schools, assets, and information lookup; operation and management of educational enterprises. 

Together with the policies to encourage and promote digital transformation, the whole education sector has been implementing digitalization, building a shared database from central to local levels, and attaching data identifiers to more than 53,000 educational institutions, 1.4 million teachers, and 24 million students. Teachers are encouraged to participate in and contribute to sharing materials into the general digital knowledge base for the whole sector, expanding the Vietnamese knowledge system with about 5,000 quality e-lectures, doctoral thesis repository with nearly 7,500 dissertations, multiple-choice question libraries up to over 35,000 questions, along with around 2,000 video lectures on television, 200 virtual experiments, etc. (2) 

However, the concept of implementing many digitalized applications incoherently into operation does not mean digital transformation. These implementations are only the beginning steps in the whole digital transformation journey. Comprehensively, technology needs to be integrated and connected holistically in business and operational processes, transforming the organizational model, and at the same time fostering changes in cognitive thinking from each individual in the sector, towards the proactive and effective implementation of training, operation or management activities. 

Difficulties remain on the Digital Transformation journey of the education sector 

Along the way to digital transformation implementation, the education sector is also facing some outstanding difficulties where facilities, network infrastructure, equipment, services, and internet connection are lacking, being outdated and asynchronous, or not meeting the minimum requirements for digital transformation. The continued expansion and development of the sectoral knowledge base require a large investment in resources; including human resources from management to implementation, and financial investment; to ensure the progress of digitalization. In particular, the construction of the digital knowledge base needs to have a specific and synchronous plan across all levels of implementation, to avoid spontaneous development that leads to waste of time and resources. 

What is the solution to the journey of digital transformation of the education sector? 

Currently, many solutions have been put in place to apply to digital transformation in the education sector in which some of the main solutions are being targeted as follows: 

  • Implementing the model of education integrating science – technology – engineering – mathematics and art, business, enterprises (STEM/STEAM education) into the training program. 
  • Training skills in the use of information technology, ensuring information security at all levels of education. 
  • Carry out vocational training so that students, teachers, and officials in schools/ educational institutions have skills ready for the digital environment. 
  • Provide Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for all citizens, aiming to improve access to education through digital technology, and training to improve digital skills. 
  • Apply digital technology to be able to deliver and self-evaluate homework, as well as check students’ pre-class preparation. 
  • Apply technology to education towards personalization for each object. 

Technology trends are being applied in the education sector. 

Many technologies and their applications are being applied in the education industry. The application of cloud computing technology makes it easy and secure to store and share learning materials while increasing the ability and reach of documents at no extra cost or time pressure. Besides, the popularity of e-learning platforms allows students to learn remotely, helping them save time and fostering proactivity and time-space flexibility in learning. Another learning application that many are also interested in nowadays is virtual training using AR/VR/MR technology. This learning model gives students the most intuitive learning experience, helping them grasp knowledge more quickly and easily than traditional forms of training. The development of AI technology and machine learning has also been put into application in supporting training activities. 

A real-life example of the application of technology, specifically AI, is an application called Bakpax. This application can help teachers perform assignments, assessments, and grade tests directly. Bakpax (3) uses AI technology to read handwriting from a student’s assignments, automatically grade them, and help convert that content into digital form to save time for teachers, while providing students with quick feedback assessments of their assignments. 

  

With the support and encouragement from policies that promote digital transformation of the education sector, for successful digital transformation, the journey requires not only determination and pioneering from the leaders of each educational and training organization, but also the initiative, participation, and contributions of all related parties. With consensus and synergy, digital transformation in the education sector will bring important effects, directly affecting the overall socio-economic life of the country. 

 

Reference
(1) National Report 2020. National Council.
(2) National Foreign Language Project. 2020. The ‘bright spots’ of the education sector in 2020.
(3) Bakpax website. N.d. 

 

 

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