COVID-19 is proving to be a blessing and a curse at the same time. The educational landscape across the globe has seen unprecedented transformation and evolution via online learning. This global emergency has forced modern society to inevitably embrace technology and keep up with these tough times.
Technological processes and underlying thought patterns that were previously considered impossible to adopt in times of peace have been fast-forwarded to wide-scale implementation. As they say, ‘desperate times call for desperate measures,’ COVID-19 has forced educational systems of all sizes and strengths to move to online learning.
These trying times have convinced educational institutions to rely on and trust the viability of virtual learning across the entire continuum of teaching, including hands-on learning, extracurricular activities, and campus life.
COVID-19 is revolutionizing the traditional way of teaching to resorting to one that is highly scalable and technology-driven. Now, more than ever, we have come to realize the value of online classes. Its pivotal role has other benefits too.
The Learning Never Has to Stop
Before the pandemic, our learning years were limited and confined to a certain time during our lives. Almost mechanically, we’d adopt an inflexible timetable. What’s more, once your education years end, you have to start earning.
Even before the pandemic hit us, e-learning was greatly diversifying our learning experiences. Whether it was trying out a new recipe or operating new machinery, we were within reach of an endless pool of knowledge.
Now, many people — from various age groups — are taking the opportunity to leverage taking full-fledged online courses, such as complex as artificial intelligence and software engineering.
Students Can Receive an Education without the Physical Barriers
Unfavorable circumstances often keep many interested students from receiving an education. Many students will give up pursuing a career because they can’t afford traditional education. Others couldn’t achieve their dreams while balancing a part-time job that clashed with their classes.
For such students, online learning has been a blessing in disguise. The pandemic saves them the effort of traveling too. It also allows them to support their family all at the same time. They can educate themselves according to the availability of time and resources.
A concern that may arise, though, is that many poverty-stricken students or those living in rural areas may not even possess an electronic device — let alone internet access. However, we must realize that we live in a technological era where nothing is inaccessible. There are low-cost devices that suffice for simple video streaming and basic educational applications.
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Older People Can Contribute To Society from the Comforts of Their Homes
The pandemic has set the trend for online learning. This presents numerous opportunities to not only students but teachers as well. The elderly members of our population, for instance, are a repertoire of valuable life lessons. However, the generation gap and general immobility often deprive us of benefitting from their knowledge. Online learning platforms provide such retirees and life teachers with ways to pass it on to the next generation.
Breaking Gender Stereotypes
In many parts of the world that aren’t as socially affluent or well-read, girls are deprived of their right to study. The ban can be a result of various reasons, like having to leave home, doing household chores, etc. Now online learning is advancing more quickly because of the pandemic. We can hope that things will change after the pandemic.
With an uncertain deadline for when the lockdown will end, females can fully capitalize on the online learning experience. They have the chance to educate themselves without having to leave their homes. The disparity in global literacy may never be the same after this!
Learning and Teaching Sees No Age
Online learning does not limit one’s potential. This means that the passage of knowledge is not one way. Everyone can be a teacher, and anyone can become a student. Unlike in a physical classroom where the usual age group consists of similar-aged students, online learning attracts people of all age groups.
On the flip side, teachers can be younger. The Z generation is much quicker at grasping how computers or software work from a very tender age. Such diverse sharing of knowledge can create meaningful learning experiences through online learning. Imagine the chances that such an approach would be in use in a traditional educational setting.
Online Learning Complements Traditional Educational Institutes
In such turbulent times, when everyone fears physical interaction, online learning is an excellent alternative. However, it may not necessarily put the traditional education system out to pasture! Instead, online classes can significantly complement the conventional method.
Even before the pandemic, many high-end universities, like Harvard and MIT, were using this approach. They successfully brought learning to millions around the world. Now, with a better idea about the potential of online learning, education experts can turn it into a norm for universities and facilitate their students.
Needless to say, that pandemic is one of the greatest hurdles in the 21st century. And, sure, online learning has its fair share of challenges as well. Still, in the long run, it is revolutionizing and refining education.
Regardless, challenges are a part of any success story. Although it may not be easy, with will and determination, we can overcome such problems. To take full advantage of online learning, our first step should be to create an environment conducive to learning.
The next is to be consistent towards learning. In short, make the best use of technology and alter the education system for the better with us.