The State of Education during the Pandemic
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.
Among those directly hit by the pandemic was the educational sector. Around 1.2 billion students and teachers worldwide could no longer go back to a face-to-face setup of learning. Thus, having to shift to an online mode of learning like the rest of the world.
Especially with the average person only having an 8.25-second attention span, keeping up with online meetings and discussions are not that easy. 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 are flexibly offering many degrees even before for the people who are 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. Teachers who were not tech-savvy 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 when it comes to learning how to be online. They also had to learn how to navigate the use of 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 just not conducive for learning. There’s also the case of people living in rural areas or who have fluctuating internet speeds. Nevertheless, everyone’s opportunities and resources in this current setup are not the same.
This is why educational institutions stick to a combination of having asynchronous and synchronous classes. Asynchronous classes allow students to complete their tasks at their own pace since they can access learning materials at whatever time is convenient for them. 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 their 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 as long as 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 in hosting and conducting educational webinars and other school events when need be.
In the absence of these studios, however, both the institution and students themselves have a hand at 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 given rise to a slew of 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 has the potential to become a long-term fixture, fully incorporated into the educational system.