Digital Transformation in Education

April 29, 2024

 By Dr. Harjot Dhatt

Educational Psychologist, Radius Global

The pandemic has brought the most massive and probably swiftest digital change for many sectors, including education. When roughly 1.5 billion students, or 90% of all students in primary, secondary, and tertiary education worldwide, were unable to physically attend school. Around then, implementing innovative solutions empowered remote teaching and learning. However, digital transformation in the education industry is not restricted to online teaching and learning post-COVID-19; it is also seen as a long-term investment towards bettering our systems through technology integration.

According to Norton et al. (2020), digital transformation consists of a change in the organization of work motivated by emerging digital technologies and innovative business models. It involves more than the implementation of a technological solution; it is an alignment between digital technologies, human, and organizational factors. According to Mahlow and Hediger (2019), digital transformation builds new skills and models through digital technologies in a deep and strategic way. With these definitions in context, the digital transformation is fourfold:

1. Transformation in Teaching & Learning Methodologies

The pandemic has forced educational institutions to adopt a hybrid model of imparting education, if not entirely online. Video integration for online learning: Initially, educational institutions turned to video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Google Meet to conduct classes. Institutions found themselves struggling to manage student attendance online and administer exams. However, with overnight advancements in technology, organizations can now integrate their website with such tools and recreate a seamless classroom experience digitally.

  • AR/VR-based Learning:

    Augmented and Virtual reality is extensively gaining ground in education. These technologies make subjects like History, Geography, Biology come to life. For example, the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University trains human anatomy and surgery through AR-based 3D human models.

  • Gamification:

    Games are fun. Through a gamified learning approach, educators can help students retain the subjects eidetically. Widely prevalent in K-12 education, gamified learning is slowly becoming popular in professional courses and test-prep segments.

  • AI/Predictive Learning:

    When you log in to your Netflix or Amazon Prime account to watch a movie or series, you see recommendations based on your preferences. Organizations are leveraging similar AI technology to help recommend related topics to students. It makes classes interesting because now students can delve deeper into the courses of their interest.

  • Interactive Video and Media:

    The concept of smart class isn’t new. Unlike blackboard learning, interactive content helps students learn by watching videos/media content. Teachers’ role becomes significant to keep learners engaged amidst the distractions of digital media.

  • Smart Exam Portals:

    Assessment tests and grading are also a challenge for institutions. Students sometimes try unfair means to pass the exams. To prevent this, institutions can integrate webcams on their online examination portals. It will help them track any suspicious activities such as tab opens, chatbox in the background, image exchange, and more while taking the exam.

  • Learning Experience Platform:

    Think of an LXP as a mindmap of a student. Unlike a Learning Management System (LMS), which provides a one-track roadmap for learning, LXP provides autonomy. For example, an LMS offers courses in the order named 1, 2, 3, and so on. An LXP, on the other hand, offers curated content according to the learners’ pace and preference. An LXP provides flexibility in choosing the curriculum flow rather than following a predefined course curriculum.

  • Education chatbots to revolutionize communications:
    Using chatbots for education has evolved institutional communication between students and staff alike. Chatbots empowered with artificial intelligence provide an interactive experience to engage students and save time for educators.

2. Transforming the EdTech Models:

While there was a sudden influx in inquiries for online courses due to the pandemic, EdTech companies had to prepare themselves to handle both – student onboarding and coaching. EdTechs started using CRM (customer relationship management) software that is commonly used in most B2C businesses. Over the next five years, it is estimated that EdTech spending will increase by $404 billion.

Although things have gone back to normal with schools and universities reopening, we continue to witness the growth in EdTechs as they have started to adopt hybrid learning and self-paced course modules.

Here’s how online educators are using CRM:

  • Student Inquiry capturing and distribution: In a digital world, student inquiries come in from several channels such as social media, website landing pages, offline campaigns, referrals, and more. Capturing the student inquiries and reaching out to them as soon as they arrive helps convert them faster. EdTech CRM helps route student inquiries to designated sales agents based on various attributes such as language spoken, location, subject, experience, etc.
  • Student Intent Tracking: Knowing the students better helps the enrollment representatives pitch relevant courses. EdTech CRM captures many data points such as websites visited, links clicked, time spent on each website, link, video, and more. It provides enough information to the representatives to strike an engaging conversation with students/parents.
  • Lead Scoring and Prioritization: What if you could figure out the sales-ready leads and reach out to them first? EdTech CRM helps assign scores based on critical actions such as email opened, link clicked, website visited, webinar attended, and more. A lead with a higher score has a higher chance of conversion, and your representatives can follow-up with such inquiries first to enroll them into courses.
  • Data-driven Analytics: Having an overview of metrics such as daily calls made, leads from various sources, campaigns, email open and click rates, lead conversion ratio, and more helps make data-driven decisions. EdTech CRM such as LeadSquared provides over a hundred reports that make lead, enrollment, learner, and faculty tracking easy.

3. Using Technology in the Admission Process:

The new-age admission process has to be online to make things simple for everyone – parents, students, teachers, and administration. An end-to-end admission management system helps students and institutions in the following ways:

  • Institutions can avoid the hassle of paperwork associated with the admission process.
  • Technology can help select eligible candidates automatically.
  • An automated response system can offload counselors of routine inquiries.
  • Institutions can get real-time updates on the courses, faculties, students, etc.
  • Students need not stand in queues and waste time checking the status of their applications.
  • Students can simultaneously apply at multiple institutions without visiting the campus.
  • Managing administrative processes using technology

Technology has made it easier for institutions to manage their daily administrative processes. It can be used to manage class schedules, raise administrative requests, and store documents. Utilizing technology to manage administrative tasks improves counsellor productivity, reduces chances of human error, and builds resilient processes that don’t break down with scale.

4. Moving certain administrative processes online has benefitted institutions in multiple ways:

  • Cloud security has improved the way documents are stored and managed.
  • Timely reminders and optimized schedules have improved productivity.
  • Service level agreements (SLAs) and process documentation have led to faster query resolution.
  • Technology has helped administrators, teachers, and counsellors focus more on their core job functions and not spend time on manual, and repetitive tasks.

In conclusion, it’s evident that digital technologies have the potential to enhance student learning outcomes and increase access to information. It has also proven its ability to improve the administrative and edtech functions of educational organizations. However, caution must be exercised, and the benefits and drawbacks of technology must be analysed thoroughly, including ethical considerations. The biggest hurdles to overcome are data security, unequal access to technology across the globe, and the need for educators to update their skills.


Mahlow, C., & Hediger, A. (2019). Digital Transformation in Higher Education-Buzzword or Opportunity?. eLearn Magazine, 2019(5), 13.

Norton, A., Shroff, S., & Edwards, N. (2020). Digital Transformation: An Enterprise Architecture Perspective. Publish Nation Limited, UK.


Book a Demo