Table of Contents Hide
The future of education is no longer a mystery and there are many predictions on what the classroom of the future looks like. The pandemic ushered in a new era of learning that does not rely on the traditional staples of education like textbooks, a lone teacher, students, or even a physical classroom. It brought out the possibilities of automation and virtual, futuristic classrooms that can exist online without a physical location or the physical presence of students and teachers. Future education will be much different from the education that preceded it.
Distance Education Before Covid-19
Distance education was a common form of education even before the pandemic. But it was reserved for a specific cohort of students who could handle the demands of distance education. University, college, and older students were the main demographic involved in distance learning for a variety of reasons, mostly because of the flexibility and convenience of distance learning.
But the pandemic forced students from all grades to go virtual, which was an unexpected shift for everyone involved. It was not an easy transition to make for students used to in-person learning, but it was necessary and educators took note of what aspects of future education could look like given the example of the pandemic.
The COVID-19 Transformation of Distance Learning
Covid-19 was a life-changing event for the entire globe. No sector of society was left untouched by the monumental changes the pandemic wrought. Education was especially hard hit since school closures forced young students into the unfamiliar realm of online and distance learning, which they were not prepared for.
Teachers were also confronted with challenges. They had to rely on an increasing array of new, digital tools that were buggy, often ineffective, and frustrating to use. Aside from the fact that teachers needed to learn a new way to teach, many students suffered from structural inequalities that revealed a significant digital divide.
The Digital Divide and Students’ Educational Needs
The reasoning behind online learning was to keep students and teachers safe from Covid-19 but also to continue the education of millions of young people. It was assumed that all students would have the basic requirements to continue learning online like high-speed internet, laptops, and Chromebooks.
But these vital technologies were not spread out equally. The pandemic forced a reckoning among different school boards that not all of their students could learn online because of a lack of infrastructure. High-speed internet was a luxury for some and its absence meant disadvantaged students could not learn or were disinterested in learning.
Distance Education and Navigating Future Global Issues
The revelation that a digital divide exists between advantaged and disadvantaged students left educators wondering if there could be anything done to bridge that gap. Educators, programmers, and educational software designers began to wonder whether the future of education necessitated a complete restructuring.
No one was certain about the future of learning before the pandemic. But the pandemic put in focus the areas that needed to be addressed to make the future of education more fair and equitable. With a population boom creating more young people, investing more in education is already a top priority.
Governments around the world, as well as private organizations, have already pledged to make any future education system attentive and responsive to the needs of all students, regardless of their income level. It seems that the lessons learned from the pandemic have affected the people who will decide the future of online education.
Opportunity for Major Advances in Distance Education
With this new commitment from governments and other funding sources, school boards will have the resources necessary to make the classroom of the future a fair place for all students. New learning platforms, like Udemy and Revision Village, along with a bevy of reworked software will help usher in a more equal, future education system.
Teachers and students will be able to seamlessly connect over messaging apps, virtual classrooms, and document creation programs. They will be able to receive, send, and share PDF files or even merge PDFs to create new documents from individual texts. All this will be possible because of the effects the worldwide pandemic had on the futuristic classroom.