COVID 19 is that harsh reality of life which is compelling the government to impose lockdowns and other restrictions. Education institutes too are forced to remain closed  and students to remain home. The education stakeholders have come up with alternative solutions like using online platforms, e-learning, and ICTs, etc. to ensure that education never stops. With institutes offering online courses, whether it is school curriculum, language apps, virtual tutoring, video conferencing tools, or online learning software, the edtech sector has seen a tremendous growth in the past few months. 

So how COVID-19 has fundamentally changed education, and what the future holds?

Adversity is the mother of inventions!! The forthcoming days will see some inevitable changes in the modus operandi of imparting education to children. 

Online learning to become an integral part of school education

Digital learning is the new norm these days in education. The question is will the adoption of online learning prevail post the pandemic? According to Wang Tao, Vice President of Tencent Cloud and Tencent Education integration, IT will eventually become an integral part of school education

Reports indicate that many universities including Zhejiang University and Imperial College of London have already successfully transited.

Blended learning to become a reality

Post the pandemic there will be a paradigm shift to blended learning i.e. a mix of digital and face-to-face teaching. Online learning resources will need to be re-designed so that we are prepared for such outbreaks in the future. 

Role of educators will need to be redefined

With information available at a click of a mouse, the role of the educator will be redefined to facilitate learner’s development than actually being the whole and sole knowledge imparter. 

Training of teachers to be qualitatively different

The pandemic has caught the teachers unaware. They were not prepared for remote learning. This situation has brought to light that the education community needs to up their scales and train teachers in the field of technology so that there can be a seamless switch between online and offline teaching. 

Integration of technology to be further accelerated

Teachers have first hand experienced the benefits of integrating technology in education which has reduced the time spent by them on mundane tasks like paper setting, evaluating, grading etc and were able to focus more effectively on teaching and course improvement. The schools will now need to invest more in teaching and learning technology like AR and VR to help students solidify and retain knowledge. 

Interactivity and engagement to be built into online learning programs

Physical classrooms have a high degree of interaction between students and teachers. With online/blended learning becoming an integral part of education in future also,  educators will have to be really innovative to bring the element of interactivity and collaboration in e-learning modules. 

As educators across the globe are grappling with new ways of communicating remotely with students, we should take this opportunity to reflect as to how learning should look like for future generations.