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2024-04-09 16:38

What ways to effectively promote digital transformation in education?

Series of seminars, exhibitions, and talk shows within the framework of EDTECH VIETNAM which were organized by VIDTI (under VUSTA), VNU Information Technology Institute (ITI), and other international organizations throughout the year 2023 have gained significant achievements.

However, experts and leaders also admitted that the current digital transformation situation has not achieved the expected results.

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VUSTA Vice President Pham Ngoc Linh addressed the opening ceremony of the seminar "E-learning and Professional Development through Digital Transformation" on December 1, in Hanoi.

Digital transformation in education

"National Digital Transformation Programme through 2025 and orientations towards 2030" approved in Decision No.749/QĐ-TTg dated Jun 3, 2020, of the Prime Minister defined as follows: Developing a platform to support remote teaching and learning, thoroughly applying digital technology in management, teaching, and learning; digitizing learning materials; building a platform to share teaching and learning resources in both direct and online formats.

Develop technology for education, towards personalized training. 100% of educational institutions implement remote teaching and learning, including piloting training programs that allow students to learn online at least 20% of program content. Apply digital technology to assign homework and check students' preparation before going to class. To put it simply, digital transformation in education is the application of advanced technologies to enhance the learner experience; improve teaching methods as well as create the most convenient learning environment.

Digital transformation will create a smart education model, thereby making it easier and simpler for learners to absorb knowledge. The explosion of technology platforms has created favorable conditions to impart knowledge and develop learners' self-learning abilities without being limited in time and space.

Currently, digital transformation in education is applied in 3 main forms: technology application in teaching methods: smart classroom, programming ... into teaching; application of technology in management: operating and management tools; application of technology in the classroom: teaching tools, facilities.

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Deputy Director General of the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Training Nguyen Anh Dung shared digital transformation trends at the seminar "E-learning and Professional Development through Digital Transformation" on December 1, in Hanoi.

The situation of digital transformation in education

Vietnam is currently undergoing digital transformation in education through a series of enacted policies. According to statistics, 63 educational institutions and 710 departments of education and training have implemented the construction of a shared database for education. Moreover, presently, 82% of schools in the general education sector have utilized software for school management. Furthermore, the application of digital transformation has contributed to promoting "lifelong learning" activities alongside online materials. Notably, this includes the sharing of 5,000 electronic lectures, along with 7,000 dissertations, over 31,000 multiple-choice questions, and other educational resources contributed by specialized educators.

Additionally, other initiatives are being implemented, notably the introduction of new secondary education programs: Informatics will officially become a compulsory subject for students starting from grade 3. This initiative aims to enable students to access a wide range of modern knowledge and skills, both domestic and international.

According to the Ministry of Education and Training, in the future, there will be generations of globally competent citizens; teaching will incorporate STEAM to help students tackle challenging problems and explore real-life phenomena in the most visual way possible. Concerning digital transformation in higher education, universities, and research institutes have increased opportunities for collaboration with businesses and implemented teaching activities closely aligned with the workforce needs of these enterprises. Consequently, these educational and research institutions will timely gather information, update knowledge, adjust content and programs, and forecast new industries in line with the trends of economic and production restructuring suitable for the development of societal life.

Besides positive results, digital transformation in education still faces many obstacles, such as:

  • Students who live in remote and rural areas still have numerous difficulties accessing knowledge through online formats: the inadequacy of network infrastructure and technology equipment in mountainous or remote regions greatly affects the management of education. This is indeed a priority issue that needs to be overcome to successfully implement online education, especially when face-to-face learning conditions are not feasible.
  • Digital learning materials haven't been controlled comprehensively and rigorously: in order to meet learning and research demands, accurate digital materials are needed. However, the national human and financial resources haven't been adequate for this task. Consequently, rampant digital learning materials lack authenticity and aren't rigorously controlled in quality and content. This leads to inconsistencies in knowledge, financial waste, and time inefficiencies.
  • The legal framework for education hasn't been perfected: this issue significantly affects intellectual property rights and information security. This presents an opportunity to refine regulations regarding timing and methods of assessing and recognizing online learning results. However, these issues are currently not being addressed in a clear manner, which causes difficulties in the digital transformation process.
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Head of Corporate Governance Department, FSB Institute of Management and Technology, FPT  University Ha Tuan Anh presented at the National Digital Transformation Day 2023 - Creative Startup Space.

Solutions for promoting digital transformation in education

To lift obstacles in the process of digital transformation of education, Vietnam needs to come up with long-term solutions and strategies with a specific roadmap.

  1. Enhancing awareness of the importance of digital transformation in education: it is essential to raise awareness and disseminate mindset among teachers, lecturers, and school management staff to comprehend the significance of digital transformation in education, as well as collectively build a digital culture in education. Training, enhancing skills and expertise in applying technology for all teachers, lecturers, and school management staff, aiming towards successfully implementing digital transformation in education. Training managerial staff and educators on information technology skills, and information security is needed for practice in a digital environment and to meet the requirements of digital transformation.
  2. Improving the database infrastructure in education: there is a need to focus on implementing a system for synchronized data sharing within the educational sector, gradually transitioning paper documents into electronic formats to facilitate management tasks. We need to Enhance synchronized network infrastructure, and practical information technology equipment for teaching and learning purposes, creating equal learning opportunities among regions with different socioeconomic conditions. In addition, we should also prioritize outsourcing and mobilize social resources for participation in implementation.
  3. Promoting the development of digital learning materials (for teaching, learning, assessment, reference, and scientific research); establishing a repository of digital learning materials, openly shared across the entire educational sector, connected internationally, meeting the demand for self-learning and lifelong learning, narrowing the gap between different regions; continuously innovating teaching and learning methods based on digital technology, encouraging and supporting the application of new educational training models based on digital platforms. Implementing an education social network with unified control and direction, creating a digital environment for connection and sharing among educational authorities, schools, families, teachers, lecturers, and students, developing open online courses; implementing a shared online learning system across the sector to support the training of teachers and facilitate teaching in disadvantaged areas.
  4. Building network infrastructure, and technology equipment: Network infrastructure and technological equipment must be renewed, especially in areas with poor connection, to reduce regional gaps. Prioritizing service outsourcing or mobilizing social resources can be considered for this solution. Enhancing the integration of technologies like Big Data, AI, Blockchain, etc., with specialized digital databases to build information collection systems that provide forecasts, and predictions, and create suitable applications and services tailored to each learner.
  5. Improving the legal system and application of management software: Perfecting policies and legal systems plays a crucial role in educational management and ensuring the rights of learners. Therefore, unifying regulations on data exploitation and sharing, teaching methodologies, effective management of online courses, and school opening conditions are essential. Implementing digital transformation in education through management software is a solution widely applied by many institutions today. Integrated software with outstanding features will offer efficient school management solutions, enabling schools to enhance operations and manage student records and teaching profiles swiftly with simple mouse clicks. Additionally, there is a need to develop online courses to contribute to the training of teachers and support teaching in challenging locations.

Understanding the essence of digital transformation, accurately assessing the current situation, and identifying and correctly forecasting challenges are crucial in establishing a reasonable roadmap for implementing digital transformation. This is vital for swiftly improving the quality and effectiveness of education, especially in universities. Digital transformation in higher education needs to be seen as a long-term strategic solution, closely tied to robust reforms in teaching, learning, and training management. In this transformation, the most critical aspect is not technology or financial investment but the highest political determination of education leaders and the readiness to change among the teaching staff in educational institutions.

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