By Rahul Jethani
The pandemic has almost hit every industry possible. It has changed how people work, how people communicate and how people study. Universities and schools have gone entirely remotely. Something that was far ahead of its time had to adapt to this situation. In the new normality, things are not going backwards. However, in almost every cases, there are cons and pros to how this will affect education.
PROS OF ONLINE STUDIES
A global community
There are also several positive aspects to the virtuality of studies. It has become more global than ever. The lockdown has put many jobs on hold with which people of all ages have had time to learn. Theater, university classes, talks, and conferences have become online, reaching a broader audience that is all over the world. In many cases, the material is recorded and does not depend on specific times or places to access it.
Due to the lockdown, the value in the community is more present than ever and can be seen in statistics. This value in the community is making people look for a place to learn or to meet virtually. We have observed this during the numerous protests throughout 2020, making us question aspects such as structural racism in the case of George Floyd. This is a benefit for education and for society in general since to make a change, you need criticism and learning,
CONS OF ONLINE STUDIES
The Lack of Communication.
Communication with peers and tutors is essential for developing knowledge and practising to work in a team. The problem with online studies is that people who suffer from any vulnerable situation such as anxiety or issues at home will have a significant problem focusing on their studies. For example, children need to ask any doubts regarding their studies to their tutors. In these cases, the people who participate are the ones who need it the least.
Due to global lockdown, many people have opted not to go to university in 2020 to avoid online studies. Other graduates have had to find jobs that aren’t what they studied as they did not have any other options. And students doing practice-based courses like medicine or art will have a rough time looking for an internship or a job as these careers require a lot of experience in their industry.
Motivation in students has decreased because everything is online; students spend many hours in front of their computer and their phones, plus self-independent studies. Motivation is affected by the way that students approach their studies. The consequence of this is that while everything does back to normality, students will have to make a double effort in their investigations.
Some students cannot access Wi-Fi or have problems accessing it, which becomes a considerable consequence in the lives of these people after the pandemic causing more poverty and affirming that the pandemic does not affect everyone equally and affects more vulnerable people. For those who have access to the right technology, such as sound connectivity, there is evidence that online learning can be even more effective than face-to-face. Some research published by the WEF shows that students retain 25-60% more material when learning online than just 8-10% in a classroom. This is mainly because students can learn faster online. E-learning takes 40-60% less time than in a traditional classroom because students can learn at their own pace, backing up and rereading, skipping or speeding through the concepts of their choice.
The new digital reality has revealed that the potential is limitless. Education has perhaps never seen such a good time. What has become clear through this pandemic is the importance of spreading knowledge across borders, businesses, and all parts of society. If e-learning technology can play a role here, it is up to all of us to explore its full potential. The American philosopher Nel Noddings says that “the student is infinitely more important than the subject matter.” That is, “the student is infinitely more important than the subject to study.” Hopefully this pandemic has managed to change our perspective on Education and manage to educate our students to be increasingly happy and not the other way around.