The public education system around the world is feeling the ripple effect of the novel coronavirus. With schools shut down due to the public health emergency. While health officials struggle to contain the outbreaks, the education systems get little time to adapt to these unforeseen circumstances. Even the United Nations has emphasized the unparalleled scale and speed of the educational disruption caused by the coronavirus.
However, with every crisis comes challenges and opportunities for transformation. The past crises have indicated. That it is possible to rebuild more robust public education systems once all this is over. But before that, it’s imperative to take the challenges into account as well. So let’s ponder over some of those challenges.
The lack of equity is prominent
In the last decade, there has been considerable progress. In terms of the accessibility of devices and connectivity among the students. This has made online learning feasible.
At the same time, not every student has access to digital devices or internet connectivity at home. In the wake of the pandemic, it has become crucial to ensure. That every student gets unfetter accessibility to learning resources. This means that learning resources need to be available for the students who don’t have access to the resources. We still have to think of ways to reach out to them.
In the US, virtually every student from a privileged background has a computer to work with. But nearly a quarter of those from disadvantaged backgrounds didn’t have access to technology. This divide is only going to worsen due to the loss of jobs and the recession.
Educators may be overwhelmed to do their jobs well
Initially, teachers and professors took little notice of their schools. Closing and shifting to online learning, making things challenging for anybody. Amid such a messy situation, it is normal for them to be overwhelmed while handling. All sorts of materials and resources. In such cases, educators tend to push back and often need help. Filtering through all the resources to find high-quality ones.
Also, teachers are like any of us. They are experiencing these new developments as mothers, fathers, aunts, and uncles. They are trying to deal with their lives, take care of the students under their aegis, and find new ways to make sure that learning continues.
Online learning may require teachers to adopt unfamiliar approaches
Many countries are shifting to online learning approaches, whether through distributing physical packets of materials for students or using technology to facilitate online learning. And there are real risks because many of these approaches can be tiresome when you’re just asking students to sit and quietly watch videos, read online documents, or click on presentations. This becomes quite dull for the students.
Online learning promotes the worst kind of learning, i.e., to sit passively and listen. Now, this is the form in which most students will receive the lessons during school closures. It doesn’t serve anyone well, especially those who already lagging in class.
Causing delays in the admission or examination processes
Admissions in public schools and colleges, as well as standardized testing, have been delayed across the US. Some states have even decided to cancel standardized testing altogether. Some states have also considered extending the school year due to many missed days of school.
Classes and semesters are being delayed as teachers and educators adapt to the new online platforms and switch to a new teaching style. This involves learning how to use various online resources, deciphering how to convert hands-on learning materials or discussion-based classes to new platforms. The teachers also need to change their lesson plan if it doesn’t comply with the online platform.
Concentration difficulties with out education.
Younger children with ADHD or other learning disabilities find it difficult to concentrate properly with online learning resources. Youngsters require the assistance of in-person interaction and may find it tough to focus in typical classes conducted through laptops or computers. Students with special needs, who are also dependent on in-person instructions, may find it particularly challenging to shift to online platforms.
These complexities may require a unique approach to online learning. It may also demand the extra assistance of parents as these students navigate a new educational paradigm.
So, does that mean that the public education system is all set to be an epic debacle due to the pandemic? Well, not really! While there are glaring concerns about the crises the public education system faces at the moment, it’d be wrong not to point out the silver lining.
Blended learning approaches will be popular by education
It’s no secret that engaging learning styles are interactive, and face-to-face learning is better than online interactions. It’s also not a secret that blended learning approaches bring the best of both worlds. It’s also known to provide a better learning experience than face-to-face learning.
Teachers will now be encouraged to innovate and experiment more with these online tools due to all this.
Collaboration among teachers will grow by education.
Instead of recording a video with instructions, a teacher could find someone who has done that already. One of the most vital things teachers can do now is to draw on what others are doing – create an online community of teachers, share the burden, and make things easier for each other.
That brings us to the most pressing question: How do we tip the scales to save the public education system? The education system can turn the tables by taking the following steps:
Customized learning experiences
One student might need online accounting assignment help, and another not because every student is dynamic and has a different learning pace. Schools should consider online customized teaching methodologies to give the students a learning experience aligned with their skills and knowledge. They can use devices, apps, and tools to teach students in a way that fits their pace of learning.
Normalize online learning
In this tech-driven world, everybody should know how to access resources using a computer and an internet connection.And this goes for both students and teachers. It is time we give virtual and online learning equal importance even after the pandemic fizzles out. In addition, public education systems need to capitalize on e-learning for better flexibility and availability.
To ensure efficient communication between teachers and learners, public schools must use automated communication systems. This will allow students to continue to learn even when attending classes from their homes. To eliminate the communication gaps, schools can set up virtual collaborative sessions for students and professors.
Learning made fun
Most teachers battle when it comes to retaining the attention of students – kids or young adults. To ensure that students do not get bored in class and stay motivated, educators can use videos, movies, or images to make classes more engaging. Educators can also use interactive learning interfaces for better interaction.
The COVID crisis has come as a deep and sudden shock, but it will be naïve to think this would be the last one. To develop a healthy, prosperous, and secure future for the young generation, we need to ensure that public school systems are adequately equipped to make optimal use of technology.