COVID-19 has changed the educational landscape across the world, and its impact is likely to stay even if the pandemic recedes. Now that the value of sanitation has been ingrained in the people’s collective consciousness and that schools have been forced to migrate to distance learning, the post-pandemic academe would be facing unique challenges.
But the good news is that the academe has been, so far, presenting novel solutions to deliver education to the youth. Here’s how the pandemic changed education and how institutions are responding to these drastic changes. ;
Migration to Online Classes
Since schools have been forced to shut down, teachers had to deliver classes through online platforms. This meant training teachers for digital classes, investing in digital tools, and re-calibrating courses to fit an online delivery mode.
Virtual learning was met with mixed responses from students. While it was integral to protect children from COVID-19, some students claimed that they didn’t learn as much as they do in face-to-face classes. The number of assessment methods was reduced to make the most of online time, and Zoom fatigue took a toll on both the students and the educators. More importantly, the social aspect of schooling was all but eliminated, as interactions were limited to small screens and one-hour intervals.
In some grade levels, virtual learning was a complete challenge. For instance, young children have a hard time focusing on the screen, while kindergarten teachers couldn’t use toys, dice, or fraction bars.
However, some also prefer online learning over face-to-face classes. For instance, such students want to study in the comfort of their own homes. They don’t have to wake up as early, prepare to leave, and spend a lot of time commuting. ;
Redefining the Role of the Educator
In the past, the school served as the main means through which students obtain educational information. The educator served as an information conduit. However, today’s students have complete access to a vast body of knowledge through the internet. The pandemic has stressed this fact: during online classes, it doesn’t make much sense to discuss things that can be easily found in the online textbook. In the interest of time, much of the class is dedicated to explaining and answering any of the children’s questions.
As such, the role of the educator has evolved. Instead of functioning as an information conduit, teachers move towards teaching children digital literacy and determining the authenticity of the information they find online. Educators don’t just inform; they clarify and explain things that a simple internet article can’t. ;
As some cities reopen, so did the schools in their territory. These institutions follow sanitation guidelines and isolation protocols to make sure that students are protected. Gone are the days of freely joining a group of students seated on the green lawns. Instead, children are expected to follow signs of physical distancing on the floor. The chairs in classrooms are about a meter apart and, in some cases, separated by protective acrylic barriers.
Schools also invest in upgraded sanitation devices. Elakeside, a COVID-19 support device manufacturer, notes that with the need to wash hands, learning areas must install hand-washing stations. These hand-washing stations cater to students and the faculty, staff, and parents on the premises.
Lastly, many schools require their students to wear masks, which can help lessen the virus’s spread. ;
COVID-19 has forced educators to change, and institutions have responded brilliantly. Even if the times called for serious adjustments, the academe could pull it off, proving that nothing can and should come in the way of education.