With students asked to socially distance themselves in order to avoid the spread of the deadly coronavirus through direct contact, education has been changed by COVID-19 forever.
So, it is important to discuss the future of elearning after the pandemic.
Students all over the globe are observing unprecedented closures the likes of the world has never seen, which is many educational institutions have come to adopt online classes and elearning methodologies. Education is absolutely necessary for the young generation, and this is why it must not stop.
According to a recent study by the United States Census Bureau, nearly 93% of household with school-age children have been observed to practice some form of distance learning during COVID-19.
While efforts are being made to re-open school if not fully then partially, UNESCO as of October 19, 2020, reports 34-country wide closures with over 577 million learners affected. This accounts for 33% of total enrolled students across the world.
There is no doubt that elearning, together with technology, has paved the way for continued learning for students. Let’s take a quick look at some of the reasons why it was successful and what the future holds for online classes after the pandemic.
The Success Of ELearning During Pandemic
With billions of learners across the globe impacted due to the pandemic, many schools went into closure as early as March this year. Many students, teachers, and families of especially those belonging from the underprivileged and disadvantaged part of society faced many serious concerns.
However, technology and online classes opened the doors for distance learning and proved to be successful in imparting knowledge and education even during these turbulent times. Here is how elearning triumphed over health and safety concerns during the pandemic. Later we will be discussing the future of elearning after pandemic.
1. Social Distancing Carried Out
Many of our schools have students participating and carrying out their learning in closed spaces. This posed a huge problem specifically for younger students who require closer supervision at times.
Coronavirus primarily spreads through direct contact with contaminated surfaces, so it was virtually impossible to keep students from coming into contact with the virus. Elearning after pandemic and during the pandemic allowed students to stay home and carry out social distancing while continuing their education through online classes.
This kept students safe within the comfort of their homes as well as allowing direct supervision of their elders, allowing them to carry out better safety and precautionary measures in a controlled environment.
2. Easy Access & Convenience
Online education, especially for urban students with internet facilities seemed a much convenient option. However, those living in underdeveloped nations did face trouble acquiring the technology needed for their child to participate and attend online learning sessions.
Apart from this basic hurdle, elearning turned out to be a great option as it turned out to be a fitting and appropriate response towards the pandemic.
In response to school closures, UNESCO recommended open educational applications and distance learning programs to be adopted. These platforms offered children with easy access to online learning resources and limit the overall disruption in education caused by the pandemic.
3. Young People & Technology
The world is becoming increasingly dependent on technology as smartphones and computing devices are progressively introduced into our personal and professional lives.
Online classes delivered an opportunity for younger generations to become familiar with such devices and understand how the technology around them can be operated to satisfy their needs.
This would indefinitely help them to become accustomed to using technological resources in the future and when they enter into a professional field or career as well in the later stages of their life. Teaching young kids about technology and its proper use is important considering the current digital ecosystem which our world thrives upon.
Hence they will be better equipped to become supporting members of the society in the future when they group up and mature into adults.
4. Record Sessions & Review
Perhaps one of the best features of online classes and elearning during the pandemic was that students who missed on their sessions could ask one of their representatives to record and keep a backup of their class.
The digital medium of elearning thus also allows students to review their classes and previously recorded sessions to keep a better track of the concepts taught and catch up on any aspects they missed during the initial live stream.
Hence students can revisit their previous classes and jot down learning notes whenever they felt the need for a better understanding of subjects and topics taught to them by their teachers.
5. Cut in Expenses & Cost Reduction
With distance learning and online classes, a lot of expenses related to the learning activity were reduced. Students didn’t have to travel to their schools which saved a lot of their traveling expense.
Schools, on the other hand, used fewer utilities and there was a huge cut in their expenditures related to the consumption of electricity. All in all, both students and schools were able to manage their activities with a substantial reduction in overhead costs and individual costs.
In comparison, educational institutes and students only required feasible internet connectivity as even the teleconferencing, and video calling software like Skype and Zoom are available to the public for free.
Future of eLearning after Pandemic
Here is a list of eleven points that perfectly indicates a bright future of elearning after the pandemic.
1. Building Greater Engagements & Interactions
We are living in a world where the Internet of Things has gradually flooded our personal and professional spaces. As more devices are being introduced, we are heading towards an ecosystem of digital devices that are interconnected with each other and establish communications channels through the power of the internet.
Teachers and school administrators can use this to their advantage to introduce new elements into their online teaching and learning experiences in order to create greater engagements and interactions between students and their peers.
The idea is to make classes more interactive through the use of technology for real-time engagements. Subsidiary applications, software, and tools can be introduced to allow children to participate.
Furthermore, audio and visual aids can be developed around certain subjects and topics to make learning experiences more enjoyable for students. Questionnaires, interviews, and even gaming aspects can be introduced to engage students as well as make them participate even more in the learning process.
2. Ample Space for Innovation
Both AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) are expected to leave a greater impact in the coming future. As technology progresses with time, we will be able to observe more resolute, sturdy, and complex applications revolving around AR and VR.
Critics speculate that both AR and VR will be merged together to form a new form of reality called MR (Mixed Reality). For online education, this is just the beginning.
There are millions of smartphone applications out there that can also be introduced to help students integrate their learning experiences. The room for innovation is, therefore, substantial enough to completely change how elearning after pandemic is being carried.
Gamification in the learning process would not only make learning enjoyable but also keep students indulged without any distractions. Class VR and VR Sync are some of the best options commercially available in the market that educational systems can use today.
3. Combining Multiple Platforms
Social media, user-generated content websites, digital encyclopedias, newspaper/magazines, and various other forms of media are already available online. Educational institutions must develop a strategy focused on combining such invigorating platforms to deliver a larger than life experience for their young learners.
In fact for major subjects like mathematics, science, history, and literature schools can develop their own proprietor resources that can be combined to form a single platform and one-stop domain for their students, teachers, staff, and administrators. Call it the technological magic which Hogwarts never had.
All teaching and learning resources can be brought together to form a school management system that takes into account all activities of students in their respective classes and deliver learning experiences like never before.
4. E-Labs, Libraries, Field Trips, & More
Programs and applications can be developed to deliver virtual based laboratories for students to work in a controlled and closely monitored environment while providing stimulus and feedback close to that of actual physical ones.
Library resources can be further extended and include a greater number of books related to students and their curriculums. Additional reading material could also be made available, so students simply have to log into a virtual library and get access to thousands of study papers and journal entries in order to get access to tremendous information in order to conduct their own research.
Camera and visual technology can be used to provide students with virtual tours of the outdoors and as well as 360-degree views of landmarks and other venues related to their subjects and topics.
5. A Suggestion for Hands-on Learning Experience!
Nothing beats hands-on learning experiences, so how can online classes compare? I have got a suggestion, and though it is not perfect, I hope one day it could be refined actually to deliver a working example.
Let’s say in a science class where students are required to observe objects, hold them in their hands, measure them, and evaluate their properties in order to pass their final judgments. How can this be carried out in an elearning scenario?
Here is what I suggest:
- Teachers identify the needs and requirements for every student to partake in such an activity.
- A package of all necessary items is collected, packed and shipped to the doorsteps safely to all students.
- Delivery has to be planned in advance so that when the actual activity takes place, everyone is ready to simply follow instructions.
- Confirmation of the package’s arrival and safety of the content contained within it are acknowledged.
- Now when the actual online class session begins, students are asked to place the contents in the front of them, and the teacher provides a complete tutorial about the entire activity to be carried out.
- After the activity is over, students may be requested to share the information they collected digitally or send their feedback forms back with the package to the school’s address.
I know I am not a teacher, but there are just so many possibilities out there that the mind touches upon. Surely there is going to be an additional expense incurred by the school to carry out such a grand activity, such as procuring materials, packaging, and getting them shipped will all increase the cost.
However, it is not something impossible, but pretty much workable.
6. Make Students Work in Teams & Groups
One of the best facets of physically attending schools for children was their direct interactions with their school buddies and pals. However, this let down can be overcome through online learning by finding ways to make students work in teams and groups.
This one on one interaction will help keep their interest levels high and nurture their close friendships with their friends as well. Furthermore, it will also teach them important values like teamwork and supporting their friends so that they can achieve a goal or an objective by working together and in cohesion.
7. Individual Attention & Needs
Students with disabilities or special learning needs can be accommodated through separate learning environments created digitally for them in customized and personalized manner.
For instance, we already have a software called Proloquo2Go that is built around offering support for autistic students. Then there is iComm, which offers assistance for special education purposes and is made available through a mobile phone application.
8. Online Competitions & Presentations
Consider a digital expo or a science exhibition where each child is asked to represent their school project using the medium of technology. Since award ceremonies like the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards can be held online.
In that case, there is no point in complaining that schools with their online sessions do not stand a chance to hold exhibitions or host other co-curriculum events.
9. Personalized Experiences
Every teacher has their own style, teaching methodology, and persona. This adds to the learning experience of students as they slowly and gradually begin to decipher the approach of their mentor and the different angles they introduce to a particular subject or topic.
Technology can further be used to facilitate professors and instructors to construct digital environments that support their styles and methodologies. This would help in creating an ambiance for every classroom and learning session.
10. Parents & Teachers Collaboration
Since elearning is primarily offered to students located in remote places, schools and learning institutions can use this opportunity to collaborate with each other in order to make sure that young kids especially are able to grasp new ideas and notions taught to them.
Activities and learning opportunities can be planned and created in such a manner that a child can be assessed through the combined knowledge of teachers and their guardians.
11. Improved Monitoring & Evaluations
There is various software available for remote working employees that organizations nowadays are using to evaluate and monitor their performance.
Tools like Time Doctor, ActivTrak, Teramind, and VeriClock are some of the few that are readily being used to examine employee performances and integrated to the system to keep a tight check on their daily activities.
School and learning institutions can also develop or use such kinds of tools and software to help them in monitoring and evaluating student performance and progress. Pupils who buy research papers can also be introduced to applications that record their related academic activities in real-time for further analysis by their teachers.
The world is quickly adapting to the need for education for young students, and during the course of this pandemic, a lot of new avenues have emerged and hotly contested amongst educators across the globe.
I sincerely wish all the students affected by the COVID-19 the best of health and may technology help them to overcome the hurdles which they are currently facing. We can only expect betterments and improvements while moving forward.
Learning is a never-ending journey, and this pandemic has taught us some really hard lessons.
Here is a glance into the general e-learning statistics that may also be of interest to you. This article will provide a lot of value – why not have a look before you move on.
Samantha Kaylee is currently involved in fulfilling her duties and responsibilities as an Assistant Editor at Crowd Writer. This is where college and university student can acquire professional essay help UK from experts. She is fond of reading sci-fi novels and during her leisure time she surfs the World Wide Web for latest tech developments across the globe.