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Digging deeper: classrooms go virtual

Manuel Jantos

20 Mar 2022

How Education has Responded to COVID

How Education has Responded to COVID

Teachers are among the many professionals who have had to quickly pivot in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and come up with creative and engaging ways to continue their craft. Educators across the globe have become overnight experts at using digital platforms and technology to deliver lessons and learning. On the tail end of the pandemic in some places and resurgences and second, third, and further waves of variants, we're also learning to integrate a face to face approach with online learning.

These times are rife with lessons not only for students, but everyone else involved in supporting both online and offline schools. It is far clearer now that certain approaches work and others don't. A blended approach to learning allows flexibility for those who have disjointed time due to their life commitments such as work, part-time work, and personal development activities. The pandemic has made it much easier for students to 'do' more because they didn't have to travel to school. Similarly, using some materials such as digital resources like a video that students would analyse and write an outline about, or an audio recording they would take notes on becomes much easier when they can access this on their own device.

On the other hand, many teachers have also learned that some things don't work as well. Students are sometimes more distracted on those devices they access materials on. It's an obvious point, but the same places students access videos for school can also be the source of distractions such as cat videos or TikTok segments. Multimedia aside, the wealth of social messaging apps that are at a students disposal online and on their devices adds another hurdle to that online learning has to overcome to be as effective as face to face in classroom lessons.

So, in 2022 we're now at a point where we have a lot of learning behind us already, but we're also looking forward and spot many new challenges on the horizon. How do we engage students best? What forms of assessment work and what don't? Over time and with proper attention, these questions will be answered by those in the education community and best practice standards will reveal themselves through research, forums, and discussions and then disseminated through work emails and professional development seminars. Until then, we wait with bated breath as if we're about to sit an entrance test that determines the future of our life.

The times are uncertain, but what students need to know and their quest for academic and personal development is the prominent feature that most in the education industry use as a beacon to guide them through it all.

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