The influence of COVID-19 has permeated through most aspects of daily life, from the way we live, communicate, work, and for many, the way we learn. As schools must remain closed for now, that is not to say that the learning process will necessarily be suspended for all. Many institutions already have the necessary tools in place to continue their students’ education in the form of remote learning, but for many, this is uncharted territory.
Today, we wanted to examine the situation at hand and some of the ways that modern educational tools could help resolve this situation.
Thanks to the Internet and the tools that it facilitates, technology isn’t strictly for improving the in-classroom learning experience. While many classrooms have seen the benefits of improved presentations and interactions from students by boosting engagement and adding a level of customization to their learning experience, other tools allow students to shift the balance of where the most learning is done. With online resources allowing students to instruct themselves, school becomes a place of charting progress and receiving additional, customized assistance based on their individual development.
Of course, educational technology can assist on a smaller scale as well. A teacher who wishes to preserve a more customary classroom dynamic can use technology to become more mobile themselves. One small example: instead of needing to be constrained to a desk or an overhead projector to guide students through a lesson, a teacher can use newer methods to present their information and roam around the class. This opens the possibility of a more immersive learning experience for students, as mistakes and errors can be individually caught before they take hold in their minds.
Of course, this isn’t totally applicable today, simply due to the social distancing guidelines that everyone should be following. Nevertheless, technology can still prove to be an asset: the aforementioned online resources help to continue a child’s education from home, and teachers can use conferencing tools to present their lessons to their students from a distance. However, these options aren’t perfect substitutions, as many families in the United States still don’t have Internet access at home in order to view their lessons, and with libraries shutting their doors for the time being, even public computers are no longer an option. Additionally, many schools lack the resources, motivation, or some combination of these factors to implement these capabilities in the first place.
It is also important to consider that not everyone trying to educate themselves is a child, either. Many adults who are trying to continue their education are finding their efforts stymied by these challenges.
With any luck, the need for education will help encourage the societal changes and reconsiderations of how learning is done, leading to a brighter tomorrow once we aren’t all home sick.
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