Posted by ICON School on Jul 1, 2021 4:04:34 PM
COVID-19 had a huge impact on the way we view and take advantage of online learning, but are these changes here to stay? And what is the future of online learning, post COVID-19?
In the early months of 2020, brick and mortar classrooms were abruptly closed as a part of the response to COVID-19. These closures forced millions of students to suddenly become reliant on online learning, overnight.
The rush to provide access to online learning last year with sometimes only a few days worth of notice enabled educators, families, and students alike with the opportunity to innovate, adapt, improve and vet online learning programs and platforms like never before, and that provides us all with an immense amount of data and opportunities for learning.
Post-COVID Online Learning: What Will Stick
Here are some of the long-term trends that we continue to see with online learning, after COVID.
While this was already known before COVID, it is essential to have access to a reliable internet connection in this modern world. The disparity between those who had, and those who did not have access to the internet became very evident as soon as the school closures began, and many public and private organizations and agencies took note. Across the world, region to region and state to state, more is being invested to expand and solidify access to the internet so that millions of students are left behind academically.
Progressive Reliance on Online Learning Platforms.
Even as students return to face-to-face learning, online learning will continue to have and enjoy a greater role in education. Hybrid options are increasingly important and are playing a bigger part in education from K-12 and beyond, and the demand is only expected to increase, not decrease. With the lessons that we have learned from the COVID shutdowns, educational institutions are better equipped now than ever to provide online learning modalities that are more effective and reliable than ever before.
Increasing Respect and Trust for Online Learning.
Prior to COVID, many students and organizations had not used online learning as a component of their education delivery or had only used it sparingly. Now, every organization and agency from private schools, universities, and companies, and beyond have become familiar with and accustomed to remote learning and education products and programs, they have become more respectable and accepted than ever before.
The Need to Address the Digital Divide.
Now, much like before, one’s socioeconomic status has a big impact on the quality of the education that a child receives, and how they can ultimately use it. Access to devices became an acute crisis as schools shut down, prompting both the private and public sectors to respond with grants and donations to help lessen the disparity between children with wealthy parents, and those from less privileged households and school districts. Sharing the family cell phone or smart tv in the living room isn’t a sustainable education model, so innovations in this area will continue to come out moving forward.
EdTech Investment and Security.
With more and more students logging on and sharing sensitive information online, the need to invest and innovate in the area of EdTech and data security is a number one priority. How the private and public sectors respond to this need remains to be seen, but necessity will continue to drive innovation in this area, and create greater opportunities for all.
Online Learning was a perfect solution for many students prior to COVID, and it will continue to be, long after. If you have been looking at online learning options for yourself or your child, now is one of the best times to start!