The spread of COVID-19 is a public health emergency and while the impact on business and the stock markets is clear – Coronavirus wiped out $1.7 trillion in US stock market value in two days (slightly less than the total US student debt of $1.75T!). 

Dozens of companies are pioneering health projects to really help fight the disease, and robots and technology are supporting everything from delivering food to people in quarantine to inventing nanoparticle-infused fabric which can be used in medical masks, protective clothing 

So how does education technology come into it all and will its impact have long term consequences well after the COVID-19 crisis passes?

In the article Education & Technology in an Age of Pandemics Michael Trucano, the World Bank’s Senior Education & Technology Policy Specialist, spoke of the possibility of a ‘black swan’ event to push educational technology into the mainstream and, if he is right, this might be it.

Firstly this crisis is the first real test for online platforms – many of whom, across the world, are loading up with massive cohorts of learners like never before. School’s not out in China despite the quarantine – classes have just moved online. This week, China launched a massive national online learning platform with 169 lessons covering 12 subjects and which has been built for simultaneous use by 50 million students.

This got us thinking about the Blackbullion platform, specifically our new Funding Tool, and how it supports staff and students during this challenging period.

There are three main ways Blackbullion Funding Tool ensures that even in the event of the need to work remotely, or a quarantine situation, or any other major response to COVID-19 our tool can ensure the impact of such events on students ability to access funding and support can be minimised.

With the Blackbullion Funding Tool:

  1. Students can apply for funding regardless of whether they are on campus or at home 
  2. Students can submit documentation seamlessly from wherever they are and enhance their financial knowledge, confidence and skills fully online at the same time
  3. Staff can review, accept and reject documentation wherever they are and complete the entire process without needing to be in on campus

What we are seeing is that far from the usual accusations of being cold and impersonal, technology is presenting a real opportunity to recreate the student community and give students the support they need when they need it.