The State of Education during the Pandemic

0
476

The COVID-19 pandemic is the century’s most significant worldwide health problem, which we are still coping with today. Due to physical and social interaction limits imposed by monitored health rules, virtually every sector of society was severely impacted, forcing businesses to transition to online operations.

online class

Among those directly hit by the pandemic was the educational sector. Around 1.2 billion students and teachers worldwide could no longer return to a face-to-face learning setup. Thus having to shift to an online learning mode like the rest of the world.

Keeping up with online meetings and discussions is not easy, especially with the average person only having an 8.25-second attention span. It has been a struggle in this learning setup to make adjustments and obtain resources to support these changes.

Educational institutions also had to recalibrate teaching methods, and study plans to provide continued education and learning to their students amid a pandemic.

Classes had to be conducted online.

Online classes in themselves are not a new concept. Universities flexibly offer many degrees even before for people too busy to attend indoor classes. Due to the pandemic, it has become the only alternative for all educators and students affected.

Classes had to be adjusted and designed to cater to an online audience due to having them in person instead. It was stressful for schools to gather all the needed resources to conduct online classes as no one was prepared for the sudden changes that had to be implemented.

Students who were not heavily reliant on gadgets and mobile devices to learn sought to avail of technologies and internet service providers that would allow them to keep up with the new online learning setup. Not tech-savvy teachers also had to go through an adjustment period to study how different school and video conferencing platforms work. Educational institutions themselves mainly initiated faculty and staff training on learning how to be online. They also had to learn to navigate technology with all its controls and settings.

Every student and teacher had to accustom themselves to learning remotely. Each has had to find their working and studying spaces at their current residences while getting used to long hours sitting in front and staring at a screen to complete their tasks.

Being introduced to the concept of asynchronous and synchronous classes

Each one of us has a different kind of home life. Some students are currently working, live with many people in the household, are in the presence of many children, are living alone, or are situated in homes that are not conducive to learning. There’s also the case of people living in rural areas or with fluctuating internet speeds. Nevertheless, everyone’s opportunities and resources in this current setup are different.

This is why educational institutions stick to a combination of asynchronous and synchronous classes. Asynchronous classes allow students to complete their tasks at their own pace since they can access learning materials at any time convenient. On the other hand, students in synchronous classes must attend live sessions in which their lecturers present a topic followed by a discussion forum. Both have advantages and disadvantages, depending on how quickly kids learn and how strong an internet connection they need to engage and do effectively.

Organizing pre-recorded educational and learning sessions.

Eventually, when travel restrictions had eased, people could go outside if they followed proper health protocols. This has led institutions to organize webinars and create video learning materials for their students. Working with companies and studios that specialize in setting up and running virtual events helped streamline the production process of learning content. They also used their expertise to host and conduct educational webinars and other school events when needed.

In the absence of these studios, however, the institution and students have a hand in organizing said events. It is a constant learning process in figuring out how to tailor an online program that is both engaging and educational.

Our current predicament has created many new online learning hubs and platforms. Some of these include YouTube and Khan Academy. It’s possible that switching to this new structure won’t be a one-time thing. It can potentially become a long-term fixture, fully incorporated into the educational system.