A big majority of people in Scotland believe that schools and universities should provide more remote and distance learning services, according to the newly published results of a survey.
It was carried out last May and June by market research firm Opinium for Capita Technology Solutions on behalf of the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) and showed that 84% of 2,000 respondents agreed with the proposition.
Capita pointed to the use of video technology by the University of the Highlands and Islands as what could be achieved. Operated by SWAN partner Ajenta, this delivers courses across 70 learning centres.
“We are already seeing the benefits of digital technology in education – the SWAN network has allowed us to deliver courses to anywhere in the world via distance learning,” said Jem Taylor, Head of Strategy and Development in the University of the Highlands and Islands’ learning and information services department.
“Digital technologies have removed many of the geographical barriers that previously restricted students’ learning. With our learning centres spread around the Highlands and Islands, Moray, Argyll and Perthshire, this has been invaluable in helping us level the playing field for further and higher education in the region.”
Along with this was a consensus of 85% that the internet of things and digital technologies will improve the education sector. Similarly, 91% thought the technology would be particularly helpful with students with disabilities and additional support needs, and 92% agreed it could help those living in remote areas.
Respondents were also positive about the potential for benefits in interactive learning (60%) and remote learning (56%).
Image by Daniel R Blume, CC BY 2.0