The COVID 19 pandemic has changed the way students learn significantly. While the most obvious change is that students have started learning online and accessing information on digital platforms, there are a lot of other more nuanced ways learning has been altered. Here are three things that you may not have thought about.
First, the pandemic has created a wider educational gap between the rich and the poor. Unfortunately, the suspension of in-person learning has meant that children considered disadvantaged may well have had little access to education, when they have had to be indoors throughout much of the last school year. Their parents may not have the right resources to access e-learning platforms and software which are necessarily to support their children’s education. Some families from less advantageous homes may lack access to the Internet, which means that their education will be deeply affected. As a result, some students may be unable to catch up to their peers and fall further behind on their learning. The gap between the advantaged and disadvantaged has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
Secondly, the pandemic has impacted students studying for professional qualifications and degrees much more severely. For example, the combination of cancelled in-person training and exposure to clinical lessons have led to sectors such as medical education being disrupted. Law students were not able to practice their oral advocacy skills in classrooms that mimic a courtroom. This is another major challenge that certain education sectors have to face over the coming months and years. Providers have to think of new ways to provide training in alternative and innovative ways.
Thirdly, more positively, teachers and students have become more adaptable and flexible when it comes to learning. Because the pandemic has forced schools to adopt a mixed educational model comprising of online and in-person learning, lots of new innovations have been born. Teachers have come up with more creative ways to engage with students online and are showing some of the incredible things that e-learning can achieve.
Perhaps no other sector has been harder hit than that of education. And whilst adaption has arrived, it has been a painful journey for many. The pandemic has impacted learning in a huge variety of ways. These are just some of them. We can hope, though, that sooner rather later, improvement follows experience.