7 Ways in Which the Education Sector Changed During Lockdown

COVID-19 has been out of the news for a while now. Since the global vaccine rollout, the risk of major lockdowns is much lower. But the effects it had on our daily life might be here to stay for long. This particularly applies to education that has been massively disrupted in 2020.

It is clear now that the lessons learned during this period are affecting the sector now. Here are the main ways the pandemic has changed learning.

Boost of Online Platforms

Surely, online platforms for self-learning or collaboration existed before. But 2020 gave them a major push to grow even further. As the demand for more opportunities appeared, businesses and organizations hopped on the trend.

Kids and students had complications adjusting to a new environment and often needed help. Today it is quite easy for them to get professional college paper writing service online with little to no effort, for example. There is a huge number of websites, channels, and various resources that provide advice and assistance.

It is safe to say that this industry will continue to grow. Apps or web applications and platforms offer major benefits for learners of different ages, such as:

  • The flexibility of use;
  • Self-paced learning;
  • Easy access;
  • 24/7 availability;
  • Gamification;
  • Affordable educational opportunities.

All of that can be summed up as technology and education continue to transform each other.

Quality Distance Learning

Distance learning was also available before, but it has never been as widespread as now. For example, a person can get a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree fully online today.

This is especially valuable for higher education as it increases its accessibility to a wider public. Distance learning is usually significantly cheaper than traditional college experience. It also eliminates disbursements on relocation or rent.

Another major benefit is that it is more comfortable for different age groups, particularly professionals. People have the opportunity to further their higher education while working. It might be difficult in terms of time management, but it allows not losing job experience for studies.

Technology Accessibility

One of the worrying lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic was the highlighted inequality in education. The already underprivileged communities were also more vulnerable during this time.

The major reason is the accessibility of technology. Unfortunately, not every learner has access to a personal laptop or tablet to follow lectures, do the tasks, or even visit classes online.

In some areas, girls were particularly affected. For many of them, going home meant doing more household chores instead of learning.

How did it affect the educational sector? It highlighted the problem that needs to be addressed. Professionals are already working on that. Several things can be done, namely:

  • Adjustment of curriculum to the new risks;
  • Provision of more accessible technology;
  • Incorporation of technology in classrooms and schools;
  • Special focus on underprivileged groups;
  • Implementation of programs to overcome the gaps from the lockdown times.

New Educational Objectives

The changes happened not only in terms of technology. A new education imperative was formed. Some traditional objectives were irrelevant for some time. And the pandemic made it even more obvious.

For example, many curriculums are based on traditional and specific skills like rote learning. A new objective is to endorse critical thinking and adaptability. These are much more important skills in the modern world. It is not so much about what you learn but how you learn it and what you can do with this knowledge.

There is a shift to a more practical curriculum with a lot of attention to analytical thinking among students. They need to be ready to adjust and work with information instead of learning it by heart.

Demand for Digital Literacy

Another issue that became visible is the question of digital literacy. The level of it fluctuates hugely among different countries, regions, and communities.

Of course, more privileged groups have great digital literacy skills. But underprivileged groups didn’t have such an opportunity.

It is clear that in the modern labor market and the world in general digital literacy is a crucial skill. It helps to work effectively, get better career options, and be more independent. Even 10-15 years ago, people used to include “Microsoft Office” among various skills in their resumes. Nowadays, no one does that because it is a given.

The criteria for what is considered a basis of digital literacy change as fast as technological progress. For educators, it means that the curriculum needs to be adjusted accordingly. It has to incorporate necessary programs, tasks, and assignments to prepare learners for life.

Teachers Are in the Center

Regardless of new technologies, apps, and tools, the crucial part belongs to educators. There is nothing that can substitute communication between a teacher and a student. Even if it happens online, it is the foundation of the study process.

Teachers and professors also have to face new changes. They need to work on their digital skills and prepare new programs that work effectively in various environments.

Some of the traditional methods are not effective when applied distantly. So there is a need for innovation in pedagogical tools as well.

Healthcare Protocols Will Stay

One of the major results of the COVID-19 pandemic is a higher awareness of the risks such viruses possess. In many cases, people were glad to take their masks off. However, some hygienic and healthcare measures and protocols should stay in place.

It includes more precision when it comes to cleaning and disinfection of public spaces like schools and colleges. It also means a more conscious approach to personal well-being. Educational institutions are more prepared for similar risks now.

Even such simple things as using antiseptics and washing hands regularly are welcome to stay as they have proven effective and useful.

In Summary

During these two years, the educational sector had to get used to dramatic changes. It highlighted the existing problems like inequality and put the new meaning into the right to education. Also, technology and innovation became essential for the learning process. There are much more distance and online opportunities as well as software solutions for various needs now.

The imperative of learning has also shifted into more relevant objectives, such as preparing students for the real world.

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