Shaping The Future Of Education In A Post-COVID World
The future of education and the coronavirus epidemic has greatly changed our world, particularly the education system. Find out what to expect in the future and how to get an education using modern technology.
2020 has become one of the most unique in modern human history. The global pandemic has affected almost all countries, forcing them to declare quarantine for all public institutions.
The COVID-19 pandemic affected most countries and almost all spheres of public life, and the education system was no exception. One of the ways to contain coronavirus infection is still social exclusion; its measures require the partial or complete closure of educational institutions and the associated infrastructure.
As a result, more than 1.5 billion students worldwide (91.3%) are cut off from their schools and universities. In these circumstances, government authorities, heads of educational institutions, teachers, students, and their parents quickly adapt to new learning conditions, mastering various remote interaction formats.
Major Changes to the Education System
Modern technology will make our insulation easier and more enjoyable. The Internet allows us to play video games, enjoy communication, and meet new people.
The network has many professional sites where lonely hearts can find the perfect match, for example, singlehearts.org. But the main thing is that modern technologies will allow us to continue socializing even in a pandemic and self-isolation.
More recently, experts argued about how and when digital technologies will change the face of modern education, how they will affect the general understanding of education, and how the current education system will respond to a digital challenge.
It has become apparent that answers to some questions can be received faster than expected. The pandemic has already become a catalyst for rapid change in this area.
Education managers in various parts of the Earth almost immediately faced a difficult choice: to try to transfer educational processes to the online environment or put education on hold, temporarily stopping institutions’ activities.
Having followed the first path, countries, in most cases, encounter some common problems – differences in the availability of communication channels, lack of equipment and software, and the high cost of telecommunication services.
In these conditions, governments, professional organizations, and business community representatives join forces to build the educational process using all available means to create the most comfortable and productive distance learning system.
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The emerging practice of transferring full-time studies to the online environment or distance learning formats can be reduced to several areas:
- organization of training using online educational platforms;
- transmission of educational content on television and radio channels;
- conducting classes using social networks, instant messengers, and email;
- Replication of “hard” copies of educational materials and their delivery to students’ homes.
To ensure the educational process, specialized infrastructure, and some “every day” digital services are used, which have become widespread in recent years. UNESCO specialists in this regard offer the following classification of distance learning tools:
- resources providing psychosocial support to participants in educational relationships during a pandemic;
- digital learning management systems (Google Classroom, Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas);
- training applications based on mobile devices;
- programs with advanced offline functionality;
- massive open online courses;
- self-learning services;
- electronic readers;
- programs that provide the ability to work together online (Skype, Zoom, WebEx);
- tools for creating digital educational content and numerous electronic databases of educational materials;
Despite the full range of available technologies, even the leading countries in digitalizing the economy (USA, China, Japan) experience significant difficulties organizing online training.
Simultaneously, the most considerable difficulty is not so much the lack of infrastructure or the teachers’ unpreparedness to master certain digital learning technologies. Still, the current situation radically changes the established models of social interaction.
Existing social ties are broken between people of different generations, communication between students and teachers goes into a new format, in some cases in families, where all their members are often forced to connect to the learning process, and an increase in tension is recorded.
For many families, depriving children of lessons, and school communication become a real-life problem.
Considering the complexity and dramatic nature of the situation, it should be noted that for the education system of any state today, there is a unique opportunity for self-diagnosis in “combat” conditions.
Educational institutions can test the effectiveness of the proposed digital solutions, determine their needs for technological modernization, and, if necessary, think over the organization of retraining and additional training for teachers.
Besides, forced self-isolation contributes to some positive social changes. There is a growing interest in self-education through online services, and large publishers note an increase in demand for educational materials in digital format.
Discussions about the new digital reality and transformations of the social sphere have been going on for quite some time; however, these changes are felt most acutely. Literally, before our eyes, there is a rethinking of learning as an important social practice.
Accelerated digitalization becomes a test for the strength of teachers, educational institutions, national educational systems, and, most importantly, the ability of humankind to cooperate in the face of significant challenges.
What Education Will Be After a Pandemic
91% of pupils and students around the world are in quarantine, according to UNESCO. This is the first global closure of schools and universities since World War II. When children and students return to classrooms, education can no longer be the same as before the pandemic.
How will the teaching and role of the teacher in the world change after the coronavirus? We can offer you several options for the development of the situation. So where is the future of education headed?
Education for Life Skills
The World Economic Forum lists four major changes awaiting education after quarantine. Pupils and students who are most affected today by the pandemic consequences are generation Z: the oldest of them are now 25 years old, for many of the final exams have been canceled, and entrance exams have been postponed.
Two abbreviations describe this generation: FOBA (Fear of Being Alone) – fear of being alone and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) – fear of missing something. They never saw the world without technology, so they always strive to get instant answers to questions or comments about their work through various instant messengers and applications.
The Alpha generation has also fallen into the quarantine trap: technology is an extension of their consciousness, and social networks are a way of life. To meet the needs and expectations of this audience, education should teach people resilience and adaptability.
It is these skills, experts say, that will become key in the post-pandemic world because they help to deal with crises effectively. In addition to creativity, communication, and collaboration, education should also pay more attention to empathy and emotional intelligence and teach people how to work in intercultural and diverse teams and combine the strengths and talents of different people.
School Will Be Hybrid
Jacob Geht, the founder of the Democratic Schools Network and Advisor to the Israeli Education Ministers, shared his predictions regarding education after the pandemic during the EdCamp online conference. He said that the coronavirus shows the flaws of a traditional, classical school and offers educators opportunities to take advantage of immediately.
“I predict two major school changes after the coronavirus. Firstly, the school will become hybrid: part of the time, children will study face-to-face format in the classroom with a teacher, and the rest of the time, they will learn online.
This combination of offline and online education will make the school very flexible in such crises and open new opportunities. Secondly, the budgets of countries for education will be reduced. Therefore, educators must work with fewer financial resources than before.”
Therefore, schools must change their paradigm – from the “school of teaching” to the “school of instruction.” This means we must forget about the usual school schedule, which indicates when this teacher reads his lesson.
The schedule of the new school should show what the student is studying now. This new schedule will also be very flexible: for some time, the student can join the traditional lesson and take what he needs from it, and the rest of the time, he will study with the computer, with his friends, with his family, with the teacher from the other end light, etc.
Such flexibility in the schedule will significantly relieve teachers and make their work more efficient and personalized: the teacher will have more time for personal contact with each student and focused work with him.
Teacher’s Role Will Change in the Future of Education
After quarantine, the teacher’s profession will not disappear but should change significantly, experts say. By 2025, the global market for online education will cost about 325 billion dollars, which inevitably calls into question the work of a teacher in the global virtual learning space.
Of course, the teacher’s importance will remain decisive, but his role should change.
A teacher can no longer afford to be just an expert on his subject. Now he should become a facilitator who encourages and coordinates teamwork. In addition, teachers will have to undergo thorough training on digital technologies so that their virtual lessons are as interactive as possible and attract everyone to work.
The methods of testing and checking students will also change: with online tools, the teacher will have much more freedom in choosing forms for monitoring skills and evaluating students.
Homeschooling and M-training Will be in Trend for the Future of Education
In the United States, about 1.7 million students study at home; they were home students before the pandemic.
However, now the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) is positively evaluating the trend of online learning and predicts that many governments will reconsider their perceptions of school education.
Experts predict that many families will choose such a learning format for their children. Ukrainian parents also half-jokingly say that they perceive quarantine as a demo version of homeschooling, so this forecast may come true.
Another trend that can change education is the so-called M-learning: by analogy with e-learning, this is M-learning – mobile learning. Modern learning platforms today focus on tailoring their content for M-learning.
Education Will Be Global for the Future of Education
Global education should become a global education. The sharp reduction in travel and tourism showed us all what a significant and noticeable trace people leave behind in their wanderings: the clear water in the canals of Venice and the clean air in the most polluted cities of the world have opened our eyes to the damage that we cause by our extensive movements.
Every student studying in another country, and every curriculum inviting international students, should develop environmental awareness and consider reducing each person’s crushing trail from global travel.
Experts say international training programs will likely take two forms – full-time and online/distance. The world after the pandemic needs people who will be globally educated – they will deeply understand the interconnectedness of everything in the world, the conventionality of borders, and the vulnerability of everyone.
The Importance of Motivation
Of course, distance learning online can be convenient and productive. But it is worth saying that this approach has several disadvantages.
Perhaps the biggest is the lack of social contact and student motivation. Obviously, concentration and motivation are no longer incentives without the ability to compare their successes and gain recognition.
Intrinsic motivation is an acquired meta-skill. It can be improved in the same way as emotional intelligence or time management ability.
But in the first stages, it isn’t easy to do it yourself. For this, innovative educational methods require the participation of a large support team: tutors, coaches, game technicians, psychologists, and methodologists.
In such a system, schools, universities, and online platforms encourage student interaction. Students are united by interest and enthusiasm. They are jointly looking for tools to know themselves and the world comfortably and interestingly.
And on this basis, students become like-minded people. It doesn’t matter which teachers they work with and what subjects they study. They are united not by the educational content itself but by the approach.
To have access to a community of like-minded people, studying at school or university is unnecessary. You can be self-taught but refer to coaches, mentors, and senior teachers. They help people who have abandoned the standard “tunnel” trajectory feel confident in their path, which society is still skeptical about.
For training in any educational program, especially in business courses, self-motivation, which depends on some factors, is critical.
For example, how much a person is passionate about the subject and understands the importance of learning. No less important is the methodology of the course and its convenience.
Few Lifehacks for Motivation and Distance Learning and the Future of Education
High-quality education and the future of education allow us to improve our lives and gain new knowledge and skills useful for future careers. Therefore, it is important to find strength and motivation despite the complexity of distance learning. To do this, we will give you some useful tips.
- For homeschooling in a pandemic to be productive, you must agree with yourself and set aside specific times for class during the day. But it would be best if you did not allow too much workload – it is better to start with 30 minutes or 1 hour and not try to complete all the tasks in half a day.
- You can lighten the atmosphere and create a comfortable “workplace.” Other rituals help: you can create a calendar, a bulletin magazine, or hang a poster over your desktop – there are many options. This will help not to postpone studies.
- Separately, it is worth conducting an “internal inventory.” It is best to ask yourself, “What do I want from life and career?” Find in the subject of study points of contact with a previous examination or specialty. It’s hard to learn how to be an artist if you have never held a brush in your hands. But an economist can become a programmer as he has developed systemic thinking. The most important thing here is sincere desire and curiosity, and better, both.
- Short iterations work best. The ideal option is when a person watches a lecture in the subway in five minutes and then undergoes testing or performs an interactive task. So you can gradually immerse yourself in the subject but not lose quality.
- Equally important is the choice of providers/sources of training. The main selection criteria are reviews on the Internet and personal feelings. Good educational programs are focused on mobility, compactness, and cross-platform.
Conclusion on The Future of Education after COVID-19
The modern world is changing – this is normal. Sometimes these changes occur suddenly, and we need to adapt. But it would be best if you kept up with these changes.
This information will help you understand what will happen to the education system, how to get a profession, and find a motivation to learn. And an active person can achieve the highest peaks and build an excellent career.
What is homeschooling and the future of education?
What Is Homeschool? At its core, homeschooling is quite simple: Parents accept total responsibility for their children’s education.
What is COVID-19?
On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that caused the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan, China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for the disease. Formerly, this disease was called the “2019 novel coronavirus.”
What are life skills?
‘Life Skills’ refers to the skills you need to make the most out of life. Any skill that is useful in your life can be considered a life skill. The term ‘life skills’ is usually used for any skills needed to deal competently and effectively with life’s challenges.
What is M–learning or mobile learning?
M–learning or mobile learning is “learning across multiple contexts, through social and content interactions, using personal electronic devices.” M–learning focuses on the mobility of the learner, interacting with portable technologies.