Uncertainty is the contemporaneous norm, but we can be hopeful that these baleful days will come to an end. But until then, we must preserve and not let this crisis stop us from gaining educationally. Learning should be a continuous process, and this has become all the more relevant at a time when we can no longer resort to conventional means of education. The education sector is bracing itself for the future and is on its way to overhaul itself.
Being a part of academia, I have understood one thing that COVID-19, whether or not it stays with us, would leave behind a different education sector. Higher Education will take up a new form, more robust and responsive to unforeseeable changes like these. I have covered a bit in this area here, and it will be great if you give it a few minutes of your life. Let us know how COVID-19 has changed and will continue to change Higher Education.
- Cultivating a Study-From-Home Culture
This is an obvious outcome of this crisis. Students and teachers have been pushed back to the protective walls of their homes. Social distancing and self-isolation are crucial to fighting this protracted battle leaving us with no other option but to cultivate certain habits. Home is where comfort is, and it is absolutely fine if you are unable to focus much while at home. But, considering the present situation, you are not in a position to choose. You have to develop a habit to study at home—and many already have or eventually will.
Having first-hand experience with online education, I can say that it may have hiccups in the beginning because the learning environment is different. But, given some time, we shall be able to overcome that challenge. For us to overcome this challenge, we must encourage this habit.
- Changing Priorities
Tertiary level institutions have understood that they have to take everything up on the Internet. This is not being perceived as a temporary measure. In fact, universities and colleges have already started planning to develop better software to ensure that education continues uninterrupted regardless of what may come.
Investments in the creation of an online classroom environment have become a priority among institutions, and they are already drawing up plans to implement e-learning as soon as they can. A long-overdue overhaul is beginning to take effect in the world.
- Increased Stress on learning e-learning tools
This is, especially, true in third world countries where e-learning did not assume much importance until the corona crisis. Countries have begun raising awareness about the use of digital education platforms and are starting many new ones to ensure that people are incentivized to pick up online education.
To effectively participant online, it is necessary that we are able to use the digital platforms properly, and therefore, you can see countries, even the most developed ones, promoting the use of digital platforms over conventional, classroom-based platforms.
- Reducing Costs
Institutions have realized that taking things online would mean that they can save a ton on things that were costing a lot of cash. For example, preparing e-modules and maintaining electronic attendance records will save the cost involved in the production of the hard copies of the study materials and attendance sheets.
Fixing a day or two solely for online learning would mean that students would have to travel less and can curtail expenses. In fact, institutions are mulling over the possibility of completely replacing paper-based exams with digital exams. Of course, standards of procedures have to be determined before any of this could be implemented. But, the future is online.
- Exploring more and learning more
As time passes by, all of us will get connected to even a bigger network of educational resources. Universities from all over the world will pool their e-resources and can make them available to students from all over the world.
This will have several benefits. For example, a student from India would be able to have a real-time learning experience with professors in other countries more frequently. It is not that we do not have anything like this in operation. But, things will become bigger and better.
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