Summary: When in-person education resumes, online learning tools and methods will be entrenched in the system
Original author and publication date: Alex Hicks – March 25, 2020
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Not only there is no going back in education, but there is no going back in (almost) everything else, unless the social field of negativity regains control after the crisis.
From the article:
As I write this, around 30 million U.S. kids are out of school, more than 200 college campuses have closed, and millions of Americans are working from home (with many of them also trying to juggle home-schooling).
It’s a situation that was unthinkable just a few weeks ago, before the coronavirus morphed into the biggest health and economic shock to our system in memory.
The near grounding of the whole country is tough and uncomfortable right now, but the education sector may look back on this as a paradigm-shifting moment for moving learning environments to completely online.
The hope is life will return to normal, but not before educators, students and workers are exposed to a prolonged period of using online education tools and technology.
Foot in the door
When in-person education resumes, online learning tools and methods will be far more entrenched, becoming an essential and highly valued part of schools’ offerings rather than a nice-to-have capability.
As a glimmer of hope, educators and learners are likely to find that the online experience is vastly superior to what it was just a couple of years ago thanks to advances in the provider ecosystem, cloud-based technology and improvements in broadband speed.
As the CEO of college e-learning provider 2U Inc. was reported as saying, schools will be more inclined post-coronavirus to opt for “blended” educational methods that more prominently mix physical classes with online learning.
What impact such blending will have on higher education is unknown, but online education programs can be a third or more cheaper than traditional in-person education. Already, institutions forced to move online have offered room and board refunds and face pressure to give back some tuition dollars.
No other option
Until now, many colleges and schools tended to pay lip service to embracing online learning but had been reluctant to commit many resources to it. Even as students have demanded more options, there’s been a feeling among education leaders that it might result in a substandard student experience or cheapen the brand of the institution.