One of the first areas that governments all around the world agreed upon closing was educational institutes. After a period of approximately one month of lockdown and hopes of life returning to normal, it was decided that education will be resumed on online platforms. This was decided when people realized that the COVID-19-enforced lockdowns were much more than a month-long vacation and that the education sector will suffer greatly if studies weren’t resumed. So, the wave of online classes and e-learning began and it brought forward many challenges and opportunities. Israel Figa talks about how COVID-19 impacted the education sector all over the world.
COVID-19 Impact On Education
Many teachers of traditional classrooms and older age groups found it difficult and challenging to learn how to use e-learning technologies. When at first zoom classes were considered as a difficult task, the same teachers are now efficiently using special portals and arranging meetings with their students. Students also had to adjust to the new learning method where they had to take responsibility and pay attention in class. Now, developers are focusing on creating e-learning software and technologies that can bring online classes and e-learning to the next level.
During regular schooling, students would take all their classes from 7 am and be done by 3 pm at the latest. Now, with online classes, the class timings have been adjusted and modified to lessen the burden on teachers as well as students. The downside of this is that university students, who had to go back to their countries, had to adjust to classes at odd hours. Moreover, teachers also had to set aside a huge portion of their day to prepare the materials for online lectures and take back-to-back classes. Both parties had to work hard to adjust to the different and demanding hours for online classes.
Quality Of Learning
Many students have talked about the difficulty they face when it comes to paying attention in class. The materials that the teachers cover are not as engaging as they have the potential to be because some things are just better learned in the classroom. Often, students have expressed that attending online lectures feels like they are watching a boring video because it feels like every other educational video on the internet.
University students say that they don’t actually learn anything during the classes because they know that the slides for the topic will be available after the class ends. Students are losing the motivation to complete their degrees even if they were enrolled in a subject that they enjoy because of the lack of interaction. Overall, while there are many tools and services that online classes, students are not satisfied with the overall quality of learning.
Personality Development & Peer Interactions
Online classes have reduced peer interaction to almost nothing which will lead to a lack of social skills among the younger generation. This is especially true for students from the primary to high school stages as they pick up things and develop their personalities through peer interactions. However, technology advancements allow teachers to create private rooms for group discussions where students get the chance to get to know their peers better.
After the initial worries and uncertainty, online classes and e-learning are in the bloom as teachers and students both have gotten used to the new way of learning. The swift shift from traditional classrooms to virtual ones required a sense of responsibility from both parties, including the teachers as well as the students. Israel Figa states that this shift in educational styles created a sense of awareness among the students of active learning. Where in traditional classrooms students had to sit and listen to the teacher without a choice, they now have to be responsible for how much attention they pay in class as the teacher cannot force them to.