Technology and education. The terms are often used in the same sentence and have quickly become dependent on one another in the world of secondary and post-secondary schooling. More and more schools have adopted digital companions to support their curriculum. And during this COVID-19 crisis, new e-learning platforms are being introduced and utilized to an unprecedented extent. Students and teachers are adapting, and there is good reason to believe that when we emerge from this, technology will be even more integrated into education. Technology can offer this new norm:
Two results could be:
- A positive result. Students who require more time to complete work can do so in an environment that’s more deliberate without feeling social pressure. Have you ever noticed a classmate finish an assignment and suddenly you feel like you are working too slow?
- On the other hand, a negative outcome could be that some students increase procrastination. If coursework is assigned on Monday and due Friday at 3 pm, it is easy to put off the assignment until the last day. Likely, there is a good reason the instructor gave students all week to spread out the workload. Students may find themselves rushing through complicated material too quickly.
The world we have abruptly found ourselves in has mandated that we change our way of doing things. Fortunately, many districts across the country already have a student one-to-one technology program. One obstacle that we have yet to overcome is that many students still have limited access to the internet and/or devices. Thankfully, many internet providers such as Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T have pledged to not inflate prices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, non-profits have provided laptops to students.
Above all, online learning does not require students to be physically present for classes. During my university years, my teammate and I both needed one required class for graduation: a four-credit science course with a lab. We were able to enroll in an online chemistry course that included the lab. We ordered our textbook materials, sent away for the lab kit, and downloaded all of the lectures for the semester. The result was a surprisingly fun semester of doing at-home chemistry experiments, trying our best not to burn down our apartment!
In conclusion, the benefits of online education are numerous. Some say in the next decade that most education will be online. However, professionals like Rafael Reif, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), suggest that it may be a 50-50 mix of online and live instruction. Regardless, as technology continues to advance and become more efficient, the world of education will surely adapt and evolve too.
Connect and tell us how you’ve adjusted to online learning.