Since the COVID-19 pandemic has started to spread globally affecting most of the industries, education also has moved from the unthinkable to the inevitable. All learning was forced to move from traditional in-class to hybrid and then, eventually, fully remote mode. Some schools were more prepared and better equipped than the others, thus transitioned smother than the others. Now, as the second semester of remote learning is in a full swing, and the education industry has adapted to the new normal, it is easier to analyze past mistakes and make predictions for the future. Many modifications and innovations are still to come; however, one thing is clear: the traditional classroom setting, sadly, has become a thing of the past.
Let’s look at some of the positive new norms the global pandemic brought with it.
The Rise of E-Learning
E-learning is not something new and unfamiliar. However, until COVID-19 it was not widely used and incorporated in school systems worldwide. With the spread of the virus came the rise of e-learning technologies, universities and schools were forced to quickly adapt and embrace this new kind of e-learning. COVID-19 became a catalyst for educational institutions worldwide to search for innovative solutions in a relatively short span of time. While the allure of the traditional classroom and human interaction is sorely missed by many, there are many of those who are excited about being able to achieve their intended learning goals with the help of technology. Many students around the world have already tried our one-on-one online tutoring sessions. Every learner gets two classes for free. By learning to creatively use technology in the online classroom, traditional education will be forever changed for the better.
Education and Tech Industry
Even though most of the aspects of life were hit by the global pandemic, some industries ended up in a more favorable situation than others. Within the education industry, for instance, cybersecurity teachers and students are more computer savvy than most and will likely adapt more readily to remote learning. Those who had experience with online teaching and tools adapted their course faster. This is also an exciting time for students learning cybersecurity, because e-learning shifts from basic training on tools to more advanced training with hands-on experience. Students will be forced to learn how to solve technology-related teaching challenges in real life. However, many are still concerned about being able to achieve their intended learning goals.
On the flip side, some serious drawbacks accompany all the benefits of the “new normal.”
Online technology makes it easy to stay connected with your peers and teachers. Moreover, it gives learners access to resources and people that they would not be able to reach otherwise. It’s due to technology that most of the world was able to transition to new realities quickly and adapt to this shift. However, many learners miss the social aspect, human interaction with their peers and teachers. Others are concerned about the quality of the classes conducted online. They don’t find online classes as effective as in-person ones.
The Digital Gap Could Increase
Many educational institutions are finding ways to continue teaching, but the quality of learning is heavily dependent on the level and quality of digital access. Given that not all countries have the same level of development, access to the Internet and technologies, even the schools within the same country are equipped differently, the technology gap around the world increases segregating thousands of students around the world even more.
The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of building resilience to face various threats within different industries. At the same time, it is also an opportunity to remind ourselves of the soft skills students and educators need in this unpredictable time, such as flexibility, informed decision making, creative problem solving, and adaptability.