Guest post by David Torrealba
The Covid-19 pandemic took 1.5 billion students out of the classroom, according to UNESCO reports. We are now experiencing what will one day be the reference point for structured learning. The shift has impacted every aspect of the education industry, from finances to logistics.
While the changes imposed took everybody by surprise, we have now reached a certain stability that allows us to analyze what all these changes mean, and how they will affect the industry in the future. Here are some things to consider:
There’s No Going Back
While a lot of people in education were reticent and skeptical about online learning, there’s a lot to say about its benefits. And this is exactly what those skeptics realized when they were faced with the benefits of online learning.
Remote learning, done right, can be as effective as traditional classroom learning, and very entertaining. It can also help to fight educational inequality, and allow students to set their learning schedules. Digitized education also allows for more customization in a world that is finally accepting everybody’s differences.
Yes, the method is not perfect. This is the first time in history that traditional schools are engaging in fully online learning. But it has not taken long to see that this is the future of education, and institutions will have to adapt or perish.
Survival of the Fittest
The one element that determined the success of schools during the pandemic was preparation. Forward-thinking institutions, sensing an imminent change, had already dipped their toes in the waters of tech. Naturally, their transition was smooth. Online learning institutions were already comfortable with the system, it was nothing new. If anything, they thrived in a time of crisis for education, for they were offering their services online way before it was the only option.
On the other hand, it was those reticent institutions, too stuck in their old ways, that struggled to grasp the new reality. The truth is that remote education is an umbrella term for a wide group of methods, techniques, and dynamics, so adaptation doesn’t happen overnight.
For quality remote education, each institution must find the delivery methods that best fit their content and teaching philosophy. It’s a complex process and those who were already engaged in it before the pandemic got the upper hand. Adaptability became paramount.
Welcome New Dynamics
The mass implementation of remote learning will have lasting effects on education. We can already see that the role of the teacher is evolving. While traditional education is based around the design and plan of the educator, remote learning allows for students to diverge from the established path. This customization of study seems to benefit students, as it caters to their different learning paces. However, we’re still not sure of the long term effects of such freedom.
In this new era of possibilities, teachers will also serve as guides to their students, helping them determine the paths they want to pursue and what is available to them. Educators will be as important as ever, but their roles will transform as students become more active players in their education.
How It’s Cost Efficient
In practical terms, remote learning has lots of financial benefits for students. The main one is that it is often less expensive. In-person schooling requires a lot of resources that are not necessary online, so costs are higher. The lower cost of online learning is a very compelling benefit in a country like the US, where college tuitions are among the highest in the world.
Remote learning also allows students to learn from wherever they are. Having no geographical limitations, they have more freedom around decisions about work and living space. There’s no denying that it’s cost efficient.
Schools have closed and remote learning has arrived to stay. The Covid-19 pandemic has put the education industry at a crossroads, with only one viable path. With all the changes we have seen in the world, and the domination of tech, it’s safe to say that there is no going back to our old ways. Institutions have understood that, and they are working hard to adapt. Not everything is going to be good; not everything is going to be bad either. But this is the future—that is certain.
David Torrealba is a Venezuelan journalist, illustrator, and SEO writer. He has been creating content for blogs, social media, newspapers, and websites since 2016.