Since the appearance of Covid-19 during the beginning of 2020, the world has had to face challenges that go beyond anything else our generation had experienced before. This unexpected change of life has had consequences in all industries.
It’s clear that the world is going to be drastically different from now on, and the changes that came from social distancing have come to shape our world. One of the most interesting processes of adaptation has been that of the education industry, one of the fundamental pillars of our society.
1.6 billion students around the world were affected by the closure of educational institutions due to Covid-19 safety measures. In such a dramatic scenario, learning centers of all levels had to make rapid and drastic moves to adapt to reality.
During these trying times, teachers and student counselors were particularly engaged, offering students support that went beyond practicalities. The lockdown quickly took a toll on the mental health of students, who suffered the effects of boredom, anxiety, and frustration. The support of professionals from their institutions through these difficult times proved to be key. The pandemic highlighted the importance of school support in the mental health of students, a very important lesson for institutions to learn and carry on in the future of education.
After the initial shock of lockdown, society settled into a Covid-19-adapted way of life. Students started demanding answers, and institutions rushed to prepare for the only alternative they had to offer: online learning.
Online learning has been used extensively since the beginning of the pandemic as a way for students to continue their education despite the social distancing measures. This has inspired the adoption of remote education in all learning institutions in the US.
While online learning platforms have been a very solid option for years, most traditional schools still resisted a comprehensive migration towards tech. This is why the early days of Covid-19 came as such a blow for institutions, who paid the price for resisting the inevitable new trends of the world.
What is now evident is that online learning has come to stay. We have been witnesses of how quickly techniques and tools have improved since the migration to these methods became so mainstream.
It’s undeniable that the education industry was not prepared for such a drastic need for change. Challenges are present every day that must be overcome if this new modality is to be kept in the future.
Equal access to the Internet and tech is a struggle that must be dealt with. The widespread use of tech in education could deepen the inequality gap between privileged and disadvantaged students if the process is not handled with care.
Some think that the unplanned transition to online learning is going to cause trouble in the long run. There is the worry that users will not know how to take full advantage of the available tools, and their learning will be stunted. On the other hand, less radical views look at the appearance of online learning as a part of a merging process.
It’s unclear still what the impact will be in the long run for education. It seems fair to say, though, that we will now view education as deeply integrated with tech. We are seeing how schools are finding unique ways to combine the curriculum with digital options.
The metamorphosis of education is happening in front of our eyes, and a sense of change is imminent. However, we are still too close to the thing itself to see clearly what consequences it will bring to the table in the future.
The pandemic has forced a never before seen change in the education industry. It has shaken up our beliefs of what education is. It has forced all people involved to rise to the challenge of participating in education during social distancing. What has been made clear is that, despite all difficulties, humans are still thirsty for knowledge and learning. The education industry has learned some hard lessons since the pandemic hit, but all are necessary and useful. With this knowledge, we are building the future of the world.
Artur Meyster is the founder and CTO of Career Karma, a Y Combinator-backed startup that helps people become software engineers through coding bootcamps. Additionally, Artur started the Breaking Into Startups podcast which features inspiring stories of people who broke into tech from non-traditional backgrounds.