By March-end, 185 countries were affected by COVID-19 and went under lockdown of varying intensities without any notice, affecting almost 90% of the global student population. These overnight closures as school semesters were still in progress, necessitated a swift move to distance learning with hardly any time for planning. As the virus continues to spread, it has become more apparent that this lockdown is not going away anytime soon. This has highlighted potential risks to safeguard against and potential opportunities to leverage.
Growing trials, assessment and use of blended learning approaches
It is widely acceptable that “face to face” is the most interactive and engaging form of learning. However, social distancing will see the evolution of online learning/training. Eventually, blended learning will help balance the mix between face-to-face and online. Teaching methodologies and styles will see innovation as teachers experiment with online tools.
Growing respect and appreciation for teachers and schools
As parents struggle to home-school and cope with their children amid a lockdown, there is growing respect and appreciation for the hard work and efforts of teachers, as parents marvel at their patience and support to cope with kids and their tantrums. This will strengthen the belief that teachers are irreplaceable.
Materials will be better curated with extensive usage, leading to teacher collaboration
There will be a pooling of resources across the globe to better the quality of online training tools. Educators will reach out to other educators to help curate high-quality online learning tools.
Development of resource sharing platforms for teachers
In a bid to improve student learning experience, teaching methods will have to be reinvented as content shifts online. But the need to do it in a very short period of time so as to be better prepared when the next school term starts, will lead to global collaboration, development of resource-sharing platforms for teachers, online communities and forums
The world will become smaller as teachers collaborate across boundaries
The corona virus has been a great equalizer, as populations across every country seems to be going through the same emotional, social, psychological and cultural stresses and issues. A greater sense of empathy for each other prevails
This seems to be the right opportunity for the education sector to unite, forge connections and share what works in a global way as we fight together, work together.