The COVID-19 pandemic has hit every sphere of life and education is among one of them. The strict enforcement of quarantine called for the shutdown of all public places irrespective of the crowd they attracted. Though all other places kept opening on and off in the past one year, what remained constantly closed were schools and educational institutions across the world. Hence, driving millions of students away from the live classroom exposure.
The resulting impact has dramatically changed the face of the education sector. Though it came with its limitations, the shutdown opened up new avenues in the form of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken on digital platforms often termed as online classes or education. Not only did the schools and educational institutions adopt this shift but other learning activities also got upgraded in sync with the digital era.
Ever since its introduction last year, the mode of education online has now become the new normal, changing the initially apprehensive approach of parents towards its utility. However, it is still hard to predict whether this trend will continue to persist post-pandemic, and the impact it will have on the worldwide education market.
Much before COVID-19 struck us, the online education sector was already witnessing high growth, with the overall market being projected to reach $350 Billion by 2025. The arrival of the pandemic added to the existing usage and market share for it by bringing a significant surge in the usage of learning platforms and websites. Apps and softwares related to video conferencing, live streaming and others were downloaded in million numbers to conduct online classes.
Responding to this significant rise in demand, many online learning platforms started offering free access to their services and live class streaming facilities, giving a more than 100% hike to their earnings.
The idea of providing a one-stop place for teachers and students with features like unlimited video conferencing time, real-time co-editing, auto-translation and smart calendar became the highest selling points of the platform. These things weren’t much in demand and even lesser in supply before the enforcement of a lockdown.
Most parents thought that e-platforms were just for playing games and entertainment sources, but the pandemic showcased the possibility and potential efficacy of online learning. Today, we know that education can be imparted online, just the way it was done offline with upgraded techniques, making it more interesting to grasp.
Apart from this online learning has the following advantages:
The major change that the online shift of education saw was the flexibility of conducting classes in terms of time. While offline, schools and institutions were bound by a specific time, online education brought about convenience tof shifting the standard schedule to preferable hours.
If you think knowledge imparted online may be short-lasting, you are in for a surprise. A study suggests that education gained through online platforms can significantly remain in the child’s brain as new and effective methods make use of engaging content like slides, pictures and other tools to prevent the students from getting distracted and making learning fun and informative. When the students get completely engrossed in their class, they tend to grab things faster and retain them for longer periods. The traditional textbooks sometimes lack the basic graphics which can be easily covered in online sessions.
Before the pandemic, distance education was seen as a compulsion for those who couldn’t access the desired courses from their remote location. Contrary to it, online distance learning is now seen as an opportunity to take up multiple courses and study different disciplines at a time by managing the schedule of different classes, something that offline learning systems lacked.
Online learning saves the time of travelling to the location of learning centres, since it can be easily accessed anywhere in the comfort of one’s own space. All you need is access to the right technology and a reliable internet connection to make the process simple and smooth. Learning online is also less time consuming as students can learn at their own pace and reduce the duration of course according to their grasping ability.
Online classrooms have changed the way of teaching and communication. It enables teachers to reach out to their students more efficiently through chat groups,video meetings and recordings of live classrooms. These features give the students an opportunity to re-read or listen to the class session and clear their doubts without having to approach the teacher time and again if they missed out on something.
Whether the same form of learning is adopted by schools after the lockdown is lifted can't be foreseen, but with the numerous benefits of online classes it is sure to become a part of the school curriculum in one or the other way making traditional offline learning and e-learning go hand in hand in the future.
For those who think out of the box and want to be educated in areas outside traditional textbook coverage, SwitchED is the best platform to engage in different learning fields through our interactive live sessions precisely impactful on the young minds. Let your kids pick their choice of course and fall in love with learning for eternity.