Has the Pandemic Changed Education Forever?

While the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight, over 1 billion children in over 180 countries have been affected by COVID-19 related school closures in the past year. Because COVID-19 shut down in-person classes to protect student safety, schools needed to quickly adapt to a virtual environment and at-home learning. 

Now, the question remains as to how education will be shaped going forward. Will kids continue having the option to video call into a class, even post-pandemic? How will online tools be used as vaccines and herd immunity makes it possible for a safe return to in-person learning? 

While technology usage was already high pre-pandemic, now more students than ever before have access to technology following school investments. Language apps, video tutorials, conferencing applications, and online classroom spaces are only the start of the tools now at a teacher’s disposal. 

How will technology continue to shape classrooms following the pandemic? While the future is still to be decided, we can make an educated guess as to how the COVID-19 pandemic will forever reshape education. 

Online Learning Will Continue to Be Utilized, But Access Will Remain a Challenge for Some

While it’s true that the transition to online learning has been largely successful for students who already had solid organizational skills, students who need extra assistance in the classroom were put at a significant disadvantage. 

Online learning requires a lot of independent work ethic and also requires the student to have a lot more drive to succeed. Students who struggled to self-motivate and relied on the traditional K-12 school system structures were put at a significant disadvantage in these new online learning environments. 

In addition, there’s the question of equal access to the basic technology needed to participate in an online learning environment. The Internet is not still not widely considered an essential utility, so many households cannot acquire affordable internet to keep up with their student’s needs. 

Another important question is whether or not the student even has access to the hardware needed to thrive in an online environment. While many school districts could secure funding for students during the COVID-19 pandemic to use laptops or tablet devices, it’s unclear whether funding will continue to exist for students in future years beyond the pandemic to have access to those same resources. 

Online Learning Will Provide Accelerated Learning Opportunities 

On the flip side, students who thrive with independent work can utilize online learning to learn at an accelerated pace on their terms. Students who already find success in motivating themselves organizationally and in doing their course assignments have been shown to thrive online throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and could continue to do so post-pandemic as well. Giving students more opportunities to participate in online learning can help those with an independent mindset to thrive. 

Online learning opportunities may also provide schools with a way to give the students accommodations they otherwise would have been unable or unprepared to provide. Students who practice religions outside of Christianity may find their holidays are not days off on the school calendar. Online learning may allow students to participate in the classroom without their educational and religious needs conflicting. 

Practical Changes for Teachers Are Coming

As a result of a year of the sudden switch to online learning, there have been practical issues that have come up that teachers across the world have had to contend with. If virtual learning continues, there will likely be a slew of tweaks that will make teachers’ lives easier. 

Below are a few practical changes we can anticipate that would make your life as an educator much, much more manageable. Many of these things are already utilized in colleges all around the country, and will likely make their way into high schools as well.

  • Student cameras off: Teachers like you will soon find that there’s more to participation than a video screen.
  • Recorded video: You’ll be able to focus more on the many-to-one ratio of how many students you have in a class if you can show pre-made material. It’s no different than a lesson plan! 
  • Image usage: You’ll be less reliant on walls of text and instead focus on images to convey meaning. This helps a lot with students who speak English as a second language or are just learning a language.

What Does This Mean For Me? 

Did you know there are programs that teachers can take part in to assist their own knowledge of online learning spaces? At De Alba Math Center, we provide tools for teachers to prepare their classes for examinations in the online classroom. 

Our solutions allow access through Microsoft Teams, Summit Learning, and Google Classroom, where students can access our instructional videos and print De Alba Math-handouts and foldables. We also provide printed resources like workbooks for students to use as consumables.

Contact us today and find out how we can support your classroom learning experience, no matter where it takes you.


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