SEOUL, South Korea, April 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Dr. Kim, the Academic Vice President of aSSIST Business School, in his article (link below), South Koreans have adopted the word "non-face-to-face" to describe the digital lifestyle, and this word is sweeping society as the invisible virus spreads and disables many daily activities throughout the country. In banks, there are non-face-to-face account authentications, companies are using digital marketing strategies, while schools have transitioned to online lectures; there are even non-face-to-face shareholders meetings inside corporations.
When this word is deciphered, "non-face-to-face" can be replaced with "digital-face-to-face". What's truly happening in today's world is carrying on usual activities in cooperative ways under masks while still facing each other. Most colleges across South Korea are now conducting non-face-to-face lectures, but in fact, inside schools, digital face-to-face lectures are being held through software such as Zoom.
In offline classrooms, students could not see other students' faces and expressions because students would usually sit in rows facing a single direction - the front screen or the blackboard - while paying attention only to the professor. When students meet in online classrooms, students can see the expressions of not only the professors but also all of the students in a single screen. Professors can improve the quality of education by looking at real-time facial expressions and reactions of all students with a single glance.
In offline classrooms, students who sit in the far back have poor sight of the professor and the whiteboard, and the opposite is even worse, where the professor is barely able to see the students or have good communication. In a digital class, everyone can communicate at the same level. In technical courses, such as coding, professors and teaching assistants would have to walk up to where the student is to help, and this would take a long time with larger classes and cause inconvenience in operating the course overall. In a digital coding class, with the appropriate software, the student's screen can be corrected directly through the remote-control system, where all students also see how the software program is being solved and run.
Digital face-to-face doesn't simply stop at talking among participants in real-time. In the virtual digital space, it goes beyond time and space. Students can connect to the Learning Management System (LMS) to continue with questions and discussions to review. The quality of education can be downgraded if offline classes are switched to online systems without good management, but there are ways to create further synergy and advantages offline courses could not offer. By effectively utilizing the characteristics of the digital environment, education can be greatly improved and shared.
Most of all, the educators need to be more elaborate craftsmen and designers with the learning tools that are available in the digital space. In a digital education environment, educators should not stop at relying on their oral delivery but select and provide the best and most suitable materials among the pool of academic research, video, animations, and learning platforms that are ready-made for access. Rather than just handing out the selected materials, learning outcomes will become much more effective if the educators plan the details of learning material delivery sequence, timing, and process by considering the students' cognitive processes and learning mechanisms.
In the digital face-to-face era, countries must make bold investments in digital education to avoid generational and regional disparities in digital knowledge. Older people who are not familiar with computers or mobile apps feel life-threatened beyond discomfort, and the disparities in purchasing masks revealed this reality. Just as the curriculum in elementary and middle schools is compulsory education, digital survival methods must be educated to protect our seniors, the elderly, and the vulnerable.
The general election of South Korea occurred in very unusually quiet campaign activities on April 15. This is mostly because offline face-to-face campaigns were not seen as appropriate and effective due to COVID-19. What should be learned from the pandemic is that the victors should not spend time in the city's wedding halls or funeral houses as before but spend time in solving the current problems with higher productivity by facing and analyzing the big data accumulated in the district community with data scientists, analysts, and developers. There needs to be a new paradigm shift toward discerning and strengthening digital competency. The world has changed. We now need digital experts who can proactively address the new world of digital face-to-face, the new normal in the post-COVID19 era to direct the society beyond emergency responses and finding new opportunities, particularly in the education sector.
Modified from the original article in Korean by Moon Soo Alan Kim, Ph.D., Academic Vice President, aSSIST Business School
SOURCE aSSIST Business School