The school year ended for some students with quiet sign-offs in dining rooms and living rooms across districts. Others may have celebrated with neighborhood car parades, while others are still logging on each day until mid-June.
With the global spread of COVID-19, educators and students abruptly shifted to online and at-home learning, scrambling to ensure devices and internet connections were in place.
Student mental health and educator burn-out received more attention, too, as students struggled to balance anxiety and worry with school assignments. Teachers and administrators did the best they could with emergency preparedness plans that in most cases didn’t include plans for sustaining learning after a global health pandemic shuttered physical operations.
One this is certain: post-COVID learning is sure to look a lot different from here on out.
Brainly‘s Chief Business Officer, Eric Oldfield, is well-versed in online education trends and has compiled five predictions for the future of learning in a post-COVID world.
“To say that these are unprecedented times is an understatement,” Oldfield says. “Even as we all grapple with the only constant in this environment being change, there are some very clear trends that have the potential to fundamentally shift the way we educate people of all ages around the world.”
1. Online learning is here to stay: Already seen as a major trend even before the pandemic, online learning tools and tactics, while not perfectly operationalized yet, have shown to be effective at increasing lesson retention and to provide flexibility for students to learn at a pace more efficient for them on an individual basis. Look to see these practices integrated into traditional in-classroom learning in a bigger way than ever before.
2. Self-directed learning: A byproduct of remote education, self-directed learning will provide students the ability to guide their own educational journeys, work at their own pace, go back and better absorb previous material, and accelerating past material they already understand well.
3. Gamification of learning will increase: The challenges of maintaining a student’s attention grow significantly in a remote education setting. In order to keep students engaged, online lessons will become more interactive or gamified. This has already shown to increase engagement and motivate learning and will become more prevalent as traditional classes move online.
4. Use of non-classroom resources: Embracing a hybrid on-and-offline education programs will mean introducing educational resources not available in the classroom. Online tools that offer supplemental instruction options will work hand-in-hand with traditional classroom curriculum.
5. Digital citizenship will become a priority subject: To fully embrace online learning, students must also learn to become good digital citizens. Much in the way we currently teach civics and social studies lessons to inform children how to be engaged citizens in the real world, so to will we have to teach them how to be engaged citizens in the digital world.