Using a business platform to improve on education

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    SHOOKT. The digital lingua franca for “beyond belief.” It’s the overwhelming feeling which took over most school administrators, faculty, parents, and students in the abrupt shift from classroom learning to learning from home.

    As the pandemic took its toll on the economy, wreaking damage on manufacturing, hospitality, government, and retail businesses, it seemed business as usual in the digital space. This observation was highlighted at the Zoho Virtual Media Session conducted recently, where it was agreed that it was companies who were already in the process of, or have completed digital transformation were the survivors. In the field of education, schools that were able to adapt quickly and adopt new processes for deploying learning were the most successful.

    There were also discussions of a single platform that can integrate virtual classroom meetings, grading and record-keeping, image exchange, and audio call functions to help schools, faculty and students improve the way education is delivered.

    For parents, who have become the new teachers, a digitally transformative experience, normally felt in business can now be used end-to-end for the education sector.

    “Learning involves a lot of collaboration,” Gibu Mathew, Vice President, and GM, Asia Pacific Zoho Corp. said in his discussion of the use of Zoho applications in education. He explains that the process of learning is no different from the process of business. The previous performance is measured in a grade, the latter in profit. By applying the capabilities of a comprehensive suite of software applications to education, an integration can happen and better collaboration can result.

    Zoho Workplace is a platform that email, chat, audio and video conferencing, shared file storage, and an online office suite that enhances the productivity of employees, anywhere. It is an online workspace that allows users to intuitively and securely work together, meet, collaborate, and accomplish goals in a contextual setting. These same attributes can be used to create a proactive digital classroom, where students come into a discussion and faculty—even parents can monitor the progress of activity much like a CEO would see sales performance from a dashboard.

    “In the physical world, collaboration happens around students or in the classroom. To make this work a transition between a physical classroom and a virtual one should happen without losing context to their primary task at hand—to learn.  An integrated suite like Zoho Workplace helps you get just that.

    Workplace has seen a dramatic increase in adoption and now supports 15 million users globally. The company explained this unprecedented growth as a consequence of the pandemic as well as high demand from business users seeking better business application integration.

    This may also apply to the education sector where Zoho created two programs—the Vertical Relief Program and their Small Business Emergency Subscription Assistance Program (ESAP) to assist SMEs and schools to get back to their feet, starting with bringing their business or the classroom to the digital space faster.

    Digital transformation was offered for up to 20,000 qualified paying customers with 25 employees or less. In these cases, Zoho waived the cost of every single application the small businesses use for up to 3 months. The Vertical Relief Plan was announced in May and it comprised of programs and tools to assist businesses and organizations.

    Powered by Zia, Zoho’s AI assistant, imagine how classroom or school operations can run across communication channels seamlessly, fetching information across classroom sessions, email, chat conversations, internal forums, and academic documents on shared on a common platform.

    This greatly improves learner’s and teachers’ experiences, without disrupting task momentum. Instead of interchanging between different platforms for similar work, the convergence of these powerful applications allows users to work contextually.

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