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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The education sector wasn’t prepared for the sudden turn taken when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic back in March of 2020. All schools had to change the way they operated in a matter of days or weeks. Students around the world suffered the greatest impact, but education had to continue no matter what. Here is how Covid has changed education in the last few months.
One of the first things that happened after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic was a rapid transition to online learning. Most schools weren’t prepared for the sudden change, but they didn’t have a choice. Schools and universities around the world had to move to online platforms in a matter of weeks to try and continue to offer quality education to students. Even now, around 130 countries have schools that are closed due to Covid-19.
The problem was that many schools didn’t even have an online learning platform. They had to use other software like Zoom or Google Classroom from the beginning to deliver lessons. Another issue was that most teachers didn’t have the time to be properly trained in online teaching. They had to jump right in and learn on the go.
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These problems affected students this year. However, the situation has also opened the door for a new way of learning that could be even more efficient if schools are better prepared in the future. Kids nowadays grow up surrounded by technology, and they learn in different ways than people from previous generations. Online learning could be the best system for kids now.
The adoption of online learning will change a lot of things in the education sector. The main aspect that will improve is accessibility. Online learning platforms allow students from all levels of education to access classes regardless of location. Students that are from remote locations can access quality education as long as they have an Internet connection.
Overall, remote learning could increase educational opportunities in developing nations. Governments will need to invest in Internet infrastructure as well as computers, tablets, or smartphones, but that is cheaper than having to build more schools.
Another group that will benefit from the increase in online learning platforms are people with disabilities that can’t leave the house. These people have more options than ever to enjoy quality education. In addition, with investment in edtech rising to meet demand, these platforms are becoming more sophisticated and focused on providing the best user experience possible.
Most parents sent their kids to school and were happy leaving the responsibility of their children’s education to teachers. Parents were content with helping with some homework or a project here and there, if at all. However, now, with online learning becoming the only way for kids to continue their education in many countries, this responsibility is shared. Parents have to be part-time teachers too to help kids concentrate and get used to a new system.
The student also is responsible for their own education. This is especially the case for high school and higher education students. In most cases, students can decide when and how they will complete school work with less supervision from teachers.
Online learning platforms have also spurred an increase in self-paced courses. Students can decide when and how to attend class and deliver work. There are thousands of online courses, from coding to leadership and foreign languages.
Accelerated New Technologies
All these changes created by the pandemic have accelerated the need for new technologies in the sector. For example, online learning platforms create a need for a more personalized learning experience that adapts to each student. This is possible with artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Another thing that will need to change is more interactive classrooms. Kids are growing with environments created by tech that respond to their actions. Classrooms that imitate these environments will likely be more successful in keeping students engaged. That’s why we’ll soon see things such as virtual reality and IoT in the education sector.
The education sector as we knew it has drastically changed with the pandemic. The increase in online learning platforms has increased accessibility and shared responsibility for the learning process. However, it has also accelerated the introduction of other technologies to meet the increase in demand. Technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, IoT, big data, and others will become pervasive in the industry.