Books | Education

Education 2021: Four Areas In Focus

Improving education in the midst of a pandemic is the challenge of our time. To help with this, many institutions are turning to cloud tools to rapidly innovate on behalf of students. Some of the education leaders who have taken on this work over the past year will join us to share their insights and lessons learned as part of the Google Cloud Public Sector Summit, a virtual event on December 8-9.

There are four main areas where education organizations have been driving improvements, and we expect to see even more momentum in these in 2021:

  • Enabling virtual learning and support
  • Drawing insights from complex data
  • Ensuring compliance without compromise
  • Enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion

Enabling virtual learning and support

The pandemic accelerated an ongoing shift in education to moving more work, research, and learning online. It’s incredible how quickly educators pivoted from in-person to virtual or hybrid learning. More than 150 million teachers and students worldwide use G Suite for Education, up from 80 million at the start of 2019. University of Lynchburg trained all its staff on Google Meet in just 5 days in March. In addition to using Google Meet for virtual learning and work, we’re also seeing organizations launch virtual agents to provide real time support 24/7 to help families and communities understand everything from school reopening to COVID testing. Learn how organizations used Google Cloud technology to get virtual agents up and running very quickly during the session Scaling Virtual Support in the Pandemic Era: The AI Connection, featuring Bill Mackenzie of Upper Grand District School Board and Marco Palermo of the City of Toronto.

Drawing insights from complex data

Schools have access to a lot of data, but this is often sitting across hundreds or thousands of sources, so historically, it has not been easy to make sense of it. But now with cloud tools for analytics, education leaders can get real-time insights like understanding which students may be at risk of failing a course or dropping out. Learn more in our Public Sector Summit session, Driving Student Success with AI and Analytics, featuring perspectives from Ling Chai Maginn of Jenzabar and Joe Schaefer of Strategic Education.

Ensuring compliance without compromise

The security and compliance requirements that education and government entities face can sometimes seem like a challenge or roadblock, but Cloud tools can help institutions meet their needs for compliance and also be an enabler for transformation. Also using the Cloud means that education leaders don’t have “to worry about deploying the physical resources to run those services on-premises and can shift resources to other priorities across campus,” according to Bill Thomson at Lafayette College. Also, learn how Brown University is using the Cloud at our Public Sector Summit session Create a Scalable Virtual Learning Environment with Infrastructure as Code, featuring Sean Broestl.

Enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion

Schools and universities continue to grapple with how they can ensure equal opportunity for all students, educators, and researchers, regardless of their race, gender, and financial resources. There is no question the pandemic will continue to exacerbate inequalities unless we make active efforts to understand and address the issues. Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt of Stanford University is a researcher and educator who has worked with many organizations to both identify and interrupt bias. She’ll share examples from education, the workplace, and public safety in her Public Sector Summit session, “Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think, and Do.”

Register today for the Google Cloud Public Sector Summit. There’s no charge to view over 50 sessions, book an “Ask the Expert” meeting, and explore many resources. Even if you can’t join us on December 8th and 9th, by registering for the event you’ll gain access to watch sessions on demand any time.

By Steven Butschi. Source: Google Cloud Blog.

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