The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many things, and education is no exception. Most schools shut down when the crisis swept across the globe in 2020.
The unfortunate event has also changed the way educators approach teaching and learning.
Many schools had to cope with unfamiliar technologies within a short time. Though this situation has been a challenge, it has also been a learning opportunity to improve educators’ skills in online teaching.
Technology Adoption in Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected half of the world’s student population because of the closure of most schools.
As a result of the world health crisis, over 100 million children are expected to fall below the minimum proficiency level in reading.
For this reason, many countries are trying to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on education. They are continuously adapting teaching methods to avoid generational catastrophe.
Many nations have also encouraged purposeful technology adoption in schools to address learning losses.
In Kazakhstan, for instance, the nation has provided resources through print and television broadcasts to help local students increase their access to learning.
Although technology integration is beneficial, Australian researchers found a lack of social interaction was a significant challenge for most online learners.
Many teachers in Australia recognized the problem and thus prioritized student engagement. These educators implemented teaching practices that encourage online interactions.
However, a study found that while learners engaged in online content, they still did not achieve other aspects of effective learning, such as cognitive, social, and teaching presence.
Online Education: A Panacea During the Pandemic?
Rapid technological developments have made distance education easy. Online learning is defined as an experience in either a synchronous or asynchronous environment using different devices with internet access.
The synchronous learning environment allows you to attend live lectures. Since there are real-time interactions between you and your teachers, instant feedback is possible.
For example, a video conference with at least 50 students is possible with a secured and reliable internet connection.
On the other hand, learning content is not available in live classes or lectures in an asynchronous learning environment. You cannot expect an immediate response under such an environment because there are no opportunities for social interaction.
An example of asynchronous learning is a downloadable pre-recorded lesson.
There are numerous resources on the internet. For example, aside from free and discounted ed-tech tools, you can also find digital marketing services and open libraries that can help you learn about the industry and new skills about this field. You can use different platforms to continue studying, even on lockdowns.
Problems Associated With Online Education
There are numerous technologies available for online teaching and learning. However, they may sometimes create challenges, such as:
- Downloading errors
- Issues with installation
- Login problems
- Problems with audio and video
Lack of Motivation
Personal attention may also be an issue. Since distractions are expected at home, it may be difficult for online learners to concentrate on their studies.
Researchers found that most students prefer two-way interactions. However, that is sometimes difficult to implement in an online class.
Also, since online content is primarily theoretical, it doesn’t allow students to practice and learn effectively. With this setup, they often feel demotivated.
Online learning may be new to many students. Unlike a traditional classroom setup, online classes provide flexible time that could be a challenge for some.
According to research, students often find it difficult to effectively balance their studies with their work, family, and social lives in an online learning environment.
Poor connectivity can impact online learning. With a slow network connection, you may find it difficult to attend live sessions and download relevant information about your subject.
To solve technical issues, you have to be equipped with a reliable internet connection. Therefore, ensure that you get technical support whenever needed. You may ask your internet provider for an upgrade to enjoy uninterrupted online study sessions.
If you feel demotivated, you may do the following to overcome such a challenge:
1. Involve Yourself
Make sure to participate in all activities during live sessions. Log in every day and join in all discussions. Connecting with your friends and teachers may also help you feel motivated.
2. Schedule Time for Learning
A scheduled study plan, including breaks, may improve learning. A well-planned program can help you develop genuine interest and enthusiasm towards learning.
Scheduling will also make your family and friends aware of your online class activities, helping you avoid or manage distractions.
During live sessions, ensure to restrict others from entering your study area so that you can focus on your studies.
3. Stay Positive
Always stay positive no matter what happens and focus on your goals. More importantly, celebrate small successes achieved during remote learning.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the change from in-school to online learning was quick and unexpected. Teachers and students had to train themselves to adapt to the new way of education.
Amid the pandemic, modern technology has been the only element connecting educators and learners. Therefore, it is expected to play a significant role in the educational landscape even after the global crisis.
Today, online education is not just an option. It is a necessity.
- Special issue: Covid-19 and the role of technology and pedagogy on school education during a pandemic
2. Education: From disruption to recovery
3. Online Learning: A Panacea in the Time of COVID-19 Crisis