RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world forever. Healthcare, hospitality, and education sectors are among those that felt the impact of lockdowns the most. For obvious reasons, these industries have made a giant technology-based leap forward to mitigate risks and prevent losses in the future.
When it comes to education, it took less than five months for it to transform more than it had done in the entire decade. We must say, this industry indeed made a huge effort to cope with the challenges of the pandemic. And it definitely succeeded with little to no disruption to the learning process.
Students needed to keep studying so as not to lose an entire academic year. And schools have made it possible by enabling distance learning. Even those countries where technology-driven education was losing to traditional classroom instruction had to adapt to the situation.
This is obviously the biggest change, but it’s definitely far from being the only one. That’s why in this article, we decided to bring other COVID-caused trends in education to your attention.
The world’s best universities which cost dozens of thousands of dollars to study at have been transforming their instruction models to adopt the new hybrid model. It has proved to be not only low risk but also cost-effective for colleges and universities.
In other words, disciplines that can be studied online should be studied online. This refers to History, English, Literature, and so on. Chemistry, Biology, and Engineering, however, set the need for classroom instruction and laboratory use. Those disciplines are offered in the form of traditional instruction.
USE OF TECHNOLOGIES
Education is now impossible without technology. That’s a simple fact. Even if you surround yourself with libraries and scholarly papers, you won’t be able to survive as a student without a computer.
However, this dependency has only strengthened with the emergence of COVID. When half of the world’s population got locked in their homes, having a computer was not enough to connect with peers and colleagues. The need for video conferencing, collaboration, and other tools has significantly increased. All of that proves that in the future, we are going to get even more dependent on educational technologies.
Educational services experienced a boom because many students lacked both knowledge and skills to complete the tasks assigned to them. The situation has improved, but the use of educational services keeps growing.
The trend, however, is that students have become more conscious when it comes to online essay writing companies. They carefully select their counterpart, relying on feedback and professional reviews, like essay pro review, for example. Which leads to more intricate scam schemes emerging. So if you want to use an academic writing service, be sure you check it for legitimacy.
NEED FOR COMPUTER LITERACY
However, it’s not only students who were deeply touched by the problems caused by COVID in education. Faculty members were also unprepared, so they needed to learn how to use certain technologies and programs to stay competitive.
To some teachers, this knowledge came naturally. Others, however, had to spend extra time and put effort into studying those technologies. For some, it was a real problem to adapt to a new teaching model after years they spent relying on classroom instruction.
ACCESS TO EDUCATION
Surprisingly, more people now have got a chance to study. Since many universities started offering online degree programs, students have realized that they don’t have to relocate to get a first-class education. All they need is the internet and a working laptop.
It’s been proven that even in the poorest countries, the use of smartphones has been increasing over the years. Distance learning adopted worldwide gives people a chance to get a degree even if they live in rural areas with no proper school around.
The need to build stronger student communities existed a long time ago. COVID, however, has made it even more apparent. In-person communication has become risky, and, with more people staying in, team building has suffered a major change.
Online community building and virtual teamwork are new trends in schools today. It proves that sometimes people who’ve never met in person collaborate better than those who meet regularly.
Exams and tests used to be taken in person with the student ID being carefully checked. In 2020, this method of student knowledge control was made impossible.
However, IT teams have come up with lots of platforms offering all kinds of services to teachers and students and enabling exam monitoring and testing. The only thing, however, that is still an issue is the security of confidential information. This is something IT people will continue to work on.
The use of blockchain technologies in education has been discussed in professional settings for a while. However, it was perceived as something that will take years to implement. Today, however, its potential is quite obvious.
One of the possible scenarios is that blockchain technologies will be soon implemented to verify certification validity. Since many diplomas get falsified, blockchain can make such frauds impossible.
Virtual team-building activities were once perceived as something surreal. Many people would wonder why they are even needed if people can’t get together. However, today, such virtual extracurriculars are very much welcomed.
For example, students now may get together at dinner, each in their own home. Nevertheless, it still creates a feeling that there is a life behind studies that you all share together. And, surprisingly, there are quite a lot of activities that students can have together while being only virtually present.
FINAL WORDS: A HOPE THAT THINGS ARE GOING BACK TO NORMAL
One of the biggest trends that people getting an education are sharing today is their hope for a better future. By better many of them mean things how they used to be. People miss the freedom of choice of where to travel and how to study.
Since vaccination has given us this hope, it may take years for things to kick back to the way they were before. Yet, the fundamental changes that occurred over 2020 won’t make it happen. Education is irreversibly transformed and has entered a new era. We’ll be able to discuss its pros and cons only in several decades at best.