- The COVID-19 pandemic facilitated the introduction of new learning technologies into the mainstream
- Educators and students were forced to adapt to new edtech tools, which now have a permanent place in today’s classrooms
It goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic affected every aspect of our lives in one way or another. The world was forced to adapt to a new reality to overcome the numerous challenges and hardships brought by the virus.
The field of education was affected like no other. More specifically, online education saw massive changes and transformations that were accelerated by the pandemic. Without further ado, here’s how pre- and post-Covid education differs and how online classes changed.
Online education wasn’t introduced during the pandemic. In fact, online learning classes have been a thing for a while now. Two of the most well-known e-learning platforms – edX and Coursera – were both launched back in 2012 and were gaining new students every year. Traditional educational institutions generally weren’t offering online courses and preferred to stick to in-person teaching.
In most cases, taking online courses could only give you a certificate or diploma rather than a bachelor’s or other degree. Despite that, online education was becoming more acceptable, and even employers were hiring candidates with e-learning certificates and documents. Overall, there was a positive trend in the popularity of online education, mostly due to its accessibility.
Besides online courses, a lot of students also used various services related to academics, such as private tutoring. Students also started using the writing service Trust My Paper and other services of its kind to help with academic assignments. This helped more students catch up with their studies and keep up with their peers who weren’t experiencing as many difficulties throughout their studies.
Adapting to the pandemic
During the pandemic, the processes and trends that were already apparent in the sphere of education got accelerated. The popularity of e-learning grew, not only because in-person education became inaccessible, but also because traditional educational institutions were forced to adapt to the new state of society.
Schools, colleges, and universities started introducing online and blended learning methods because they could no longer teach students in classrooms. Obviously, some institutions were quite reluctant to make the transition. And it wasn’t just the institutions themselves – a lot of older educators who weren’t as familiar with technology as their students or more tech-savvy fellow educators, and they didn’t understand how they could deliver knowledge effectively through a computer screen.
Nevertheless, everyone in education who wanted to continue teaching (and, on the other hand, who wanted to continue studying) had to find a way to transition to online methods. At the same time, existing e-learning platforms were attracting more and more students who were eager to learn something new, whether it was sewing or biochemical engineering.
Likewise, a lot of online services used by students before the pandemic received a boost. More and more students started hiring private tutors online and using the best essays writing services to assist them with academic assignments and homework. Essentially, everything that was done online became more common and almost standard compared to what it was like prior to the pandemic.
Though Covid-19 is still considered to be an “established and ongoing health issue,” it is nowhere near what it used to be like. Most countries have returned to the state they were in before the pandemic, with most restrictions lifted. However, changes to the education system did not entirely appear.
For starters, e-learning has definitely become more widespread. You can learn about almost anything if you have an internet connection – enroll in online phlebotomy classes, take a course on woodcutting, or complete a program on financial analytics. Many educational resources are also available for free, which makes online learning even more accessible to those who can’t afford expensive tuition in traditional educational institutions.
A lot of universities and colleges that started offering online courses during the pandemic decided to continue offering them even now that restrictions have been lifted. Of course, most institutions transitioned back to in-person teaching, but there are still many more institutions now offering online learning options that never offered them before.
A not-so-obvious benefit of the adoption of e-learning by major educational institutions (albeit temporary in many cases) is the introduction of new technologies into the mainstream. Educators used apps like Zoom to organize online learning via video conferencing, so even those who never used such tools before were forced to master them. Other programs like Proctorio were adopted by institutions that wanted to ensure secure and fair examination setups.
When it comes to the future, it is uncertain, but there are some trends that experts predict will be shaping online and hybrid education in the next few years or even decades:
The number of students in online and hybrid learning will grow, as will the number of workers employed in online and hybrid setups.
Students will be seeking opportunities to upskill and reskill – and e-learning will be the primary method of education for many specialists.
AI will continue changing the educational system in many ways, both in e-learning and traditional education.
By being aware of these growing trends, leaders in education can tackle common challenges more effectively and adapt to the changing educational environment.
At the end of the day, it’s impossible to predict the future with complete accuracy. However, we can still see certain trends in education and possible developments. The pandemic simply sped up the rise of online learning as a more accessible form of education.
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