How the Pandemic Has Changed the Way We Learn
The past two years have changed the way humans interact with others. Human interaction was and always will be an essential part of learning experience. Learning from pre-school to university has been reshaped from bottom up due to the global pandemic. When the pandemic hit, the world came to a halt so did everything associated with it. Markets? Closed. Community centers? Closed. Schools, Universities? Closed. But the world did not stop. We humans have a wonderful tendency to adapt to difficult situations and this time was no different. So we molded the new social distance norms in our lives. And learning was no different. Let us take a look at how learning continued when everything else stopped.
School through screens is the most obvious addition to the education system due to pandemic. The inability of humans to come in contact with each other during the initial stages of pandemic was a golden opportunity for remote meeting apps like Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Students could learn in the comfort of their homes by holding the source of all learning in their hands. Sounds perfect right? No need to wait for the bus, long commute times and maybe a little extra sleep. But like everything else, it had pros and cons. Let us take a look at some of the issues associated with purely remote learning.
Screens come with distractions, whether it’s a short YouTube break or a quick video game round, it became very easy to get distracted with no one to keep a constant eye on a student's attention; minutes can turn into hours.
Lack of Interaction
Sitting in a class has its perks of learning. The interactive session between the teacher and student helps the student better understand concepts of study. The online mode of study lacks this interactive environment.
Lack of Training
With the advent of new modes of learning, little or no training had been provided to teachers which led to long adaptation time resulting in confusion and wastage of time. Timely completion of syllabus was a major issue since the teachers and students needed time to get accustomed to the new mode of learning.
With things returning to normal, learning is not shifting completely back to what was previously considered normal. Rather the lessons we learned from remote learning led the world to consider a separate path of learning called the hybrid mode- a combination of remote and classroom learning. Some would call this the new normal. A number of advantages are associated with the new normal. Let’s take a look.
No More Missed Classes
Imagine that you really want to take today’s class but happen to be sick. In the old system you would have no choice but to miss the class. But with the new normal, chances are that the class is also recorded along with conducting it physically. If the teacher is not available any day for some reason, they can simply record the class and send it to students or take it online.
Although online mentoring existed before the pandemic, its demand really skyrocketed during the pandemic due to the problems associated with purely remote classes as mentioned previously. Say that you were not able to completely understand a concept in a remote class. Now you can simply hire a mentor who would assist you to gain a better understanding of the concept eluding you.
The world was moving towards digital classrooms even before the pandemic but the lack of training and motivation resulted in slow progress. After mastering remote learning, tackling a digital classroom is no more an issue for teachers. Moreover, digital classrooms are becoming a necessity for post-pandemic curriculum. You’ll see more and more projectors, digital boards and laptops in classrooms which aid not only in improved learning experience but also opens the students to a new realm of understanding with better visualization of concepts.
Better Homework Practices
With the trend of infusing digital media into the education system on the rise; better homework practices are on the rise. Whether you use a math chat site to confirm you homework answers or using digital platforms to make advance science projects, it is clear that newer homework practices are the new norm and help students gain a better insight on correlating their theoretical knowledge with practical life.
What’s In Store for the Future?
Now one can say for sure what lies in store for the learning system nest but one thing is for sure; once the genie is out of the bottle; there is no going back. The digital mode of education is here to stay. The pandemic has led us to a better mode of learning which is more inclusive, more efficient and flexible.