Remote Learning: The Post-COVID Emergence of Digital Education and Learning Platforms
Countries at this point have different statuses of the pandemic in terms of total affected, recovery rate, and casualty. Accordingly few nations have declared themselves as COVID-free, while the others have either loosened their lockdown protocols or extended it to contain the virus spread. However, the consequences faced by each nation and the sectors affected remain to be somewhat the same. The abrupt and unprecedented change has initiated a chain reaction across different sectors, where continuity in the current situation can only be guaranteed by the groundbreaking transformation.
One of the initial steps that governments took when the outbreak started, was to shut down schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions. Due to that, more than 1.8 billion students are out of their classrooms at the moment. Although lockdowns are gradually getting lifted, the authorities are cautious regarding resuming classes.
This has resulted in a landmark change in education norms, giving rise to smart digital education and learning platforms where teachers are taking classes and conducting lectures on digital platforms. Educational institutions all around the world are heavily investing in digitization of their study module for the benefit of both the learners and the educators. The education industry is seeking tech support from the global IT companies, who have risen to the occasion providing required support to the educators.
USA based HashCash Consultants is offering post-COVID smart digital education and learning platforms creating an ecosystem of digitally integrated virtual classrooms and collaboration channels with enhanced security protocols to conduct critical tasks like examinations and evaluations. IBM has initiated its very own remote learning starter kit for organizations to create an online educational environment through virtual assistance tools for teachers and the students. Walking along the same lines is Deloitte and many more IT and e-learning companies.
The Post-COVID Digital Education
For years educational institutions and policymakers have been debating the relevance or rather need to include online or remote education within the curriculum. Not being able to come to a unanimous decision the education sector was still stuck in the dilemma. Then COVID happened, left with no choice to maintain social distancing overnight schools, and colleges were forced to shift their classrooms online. An educational reformation that was dwindling between trial and error finally saw implementation due to the pandemic. That’s the basic COVID story of digital education.
Since the COVID status is yet unclear many institutions are still reluctant to open doors for the learners. Even though they do open up the classrooms the structure and the approach of learning will be completely different than it used to be in the old days. While campuses will still be in existence, the renewed impetus will be given to remote education in the years to come. Even a few days ago, before lockdown distance learning or online education was considered less effective than conventional learning. It took just a few months for that notion to change.
The Future of Education
Educators have realized, that what seemed like a temporary phase, is gradually becoming a transformation of the legacy education system which includes comprehensive teacher training and implementation of virtual student engagement tools. Most of the changes that have taken place during the lockdown are likely to stay and evolve into set-in-stone norms, with digital education emerging as a credible alternative form of education.
Things happened fast for the institutes to take strategic steps toward the remote transition, which led to them depending on third party video conferencing and virtual collaboration tools. Now, that they have had the time to think it through, collaborations are happening between institutes and IT and e-learning companies, with the former stressing on having their very own in-house system to keep all processes and communication within one platform. Textbooks will get replaced by interactive modules and learning programs that will enhance the education process.
Many universities conducted examinations online during the lockdown period. However, there were complaints regarding the discrepancy and credibility of the process. That can be addressed with a secured portal for online education where students will be able to login with their unique id and give an exam, within a given time frame without ant scope for unethical conduct.
This is just the initial phase, and the transition as of yet has been quite fragmented. As students and educators get familiarised with this new form of education, more well-strategized and constructive changes are expected within the sector. The growing relevance of post-COVID smart digital education and learning platforms attests to the ongoing evolution of global education.