It will take more than a pandemic to stop teachers from delivering the best education they can to their students. Teachers are some of the hardest working and passionate professionals on the planet. That said, Covid-19 will have some immediate and lasting impacts on the educational industry. Online classes aren’t a new phenomenon, but students who are used to learning in a classroom find the transition difficult. Teachers are rising to the challenges Covid-19 has placed in front of them. They are adapting the structures of their classrooms to fit the needs of all students, pre-K through post-grad.
Teachers and students remain agile as decisions regarding in-person and online education continually change. One of the major concerns of Covid-19 is students falling behind in learning. Students in low-income areas will experience greater difficulties transitioning to remote learning. The adverse situations caused by Covid-19 are affecting students of every level as some may need to find work after a parent has lost their job to Covid-19.
Teachers Will Learn to Optimize Remote Learning
Teachers are learning the best practices of teaching remotely and accommodating to the needs of their learners. While school is historically a live, in-person event, teachers are recording lessons to allow students to loop back and review lessons after classes end. This is an incredible tool for students who need more time to process new material or who have children or loved ones to take care of during the day.
Teachers are always looking to involve their students in the learning process rather than simply lecture the whole time. Group projects, even bachelor’s degree level classes, are a great way for students to take an active role in current lessons and apply their learnings. It takes more work for a teacher to set up groups during a virtual classroom, but they are working through the technical difficulties to keep students on the learning path. Teachers can either have peers grade each other or record group sessions to grade later.
Convey Online Class Expectations Directly
Online learning is new to a lot of people. Don’t expect all students and teachers to understand the best practices of online learning. It may seem demeaning, but teachers and students must collaborate to create classroom norms to get on the same page. While this may seem obvious for younger learners, even master’s degree students won’t know all of the software programs a teacher might use. It’s important to preview common actions, so students don’t spend hours trying to figure out how to submit their latest assignment. Teachers especially need to be well versed in new programs to avoid the embarrassment of not knowing how to end a call or share their screen.
Schools Will Keep the Productive Elements of Online Learning
When the Covid-19 epidemic is in our rearview mirror, the positive results of online learning will continue to remain. Some learners definitely benefit from in-person teaching, while online learning is a preferred method for others. Teachers can add to their repertoire of in-person teaching habits by supplementing lessons with online activities. No matter the degree level, recorded lessons can help students get more out of independent study time by reviewing the day’s lessons.
Students learn new tasks at different paces. Teachers and society tend to praise students who understand new material faster. Learning at a slower pace is not an indication of a student’s intelligence. Self-paced learning is a great tool to help learners figure things out for themselves instead of relying on being told the answers to speed up the class.
EdTech Will Increase Its Influence
Zoom and other web conferencing software are the saviors of schools during the Covid-19 crisis. While not specifically EdTech companies, these companies integrated themselves as part of the fabric of online learning. Software specific for schools is a growing industry. Apple, Google, and Microsoft offer technology specifically for schools.
EdTech companies are raising vast amounts of capital. In 2018, EdTech companies nearly raised $1.5 billion. The usefulness of technology in the classroom will increase the impact teachers have during the semester. These companies will develop tools specific to improve the effectiveness of remote learning.
Covid-19 changed the way we approach learning. While in-person learning is the gold standard, we learned that learning remotely is just as effective. Online learning is advantageous for those in unique situations or who want a degree from the top universities but can’t travel to their campuses.