How Will CO-VID19 Impact Education?
The CO-VID19 situation has presented unparalleled pressures on our education system. But, while the challenge is colossal for everybody within the education sector, perhaps not all impacts will be wholly negative.
Of course, it doesn’t deny the reality that education wasn’t ready to change. But life has a way of surprising us, doesn’t it?
Think about it: we’ve been working institutionally year-on-year, ensuring that each cohort squeezes its way through the mangle. Our caring profession has been transformed into an industry; churning out students because of necessity, and with fewer and fewer resources to do so.
Perhaps, the challenges we face from this public-health situation could force us as educationalists to take stock, and recognise that we can do things differently. And maybe we should consider how confinement to the physical classroom may – in the future – set an unrealistic environmental obstacle to the teaching and learning of our students.
Online education is about to see its kairos, creating an opportunity that – once we’ve overcome this massive public health situation – can help us transform teaching and learning for the better.
The Impact on Exam Season 2020
As many will already know, the entire 2020 examination season has been cancelled.
Exam boards will not be creating exam papers for this year; presenting a parity across the nation for all GCSE and A-level providers.
Students will be awarded calculated grades based on their past performance in mock exams, their general attainment and expected progress, and their predicted grades.
Moderated teacher assessment powers have been assigned; giving teachers and tutors the ability to award a grade which will be legally binding.
If students are unhappy with their grade, they may sit the exam when school resumes (hopefully in September 2020). But – in the meantime – their grade will count towards admissions in further- and higher education centres.
These are exceptional times, requiring extraordinary measures.
The situation with final year undergraduate students is not as clear. However, most universities are adding provision for continued learning using online and distance learning methods: the type of approach that embraces eLearning in a whole new way.
How technology will help
We were always due another pandemic eventually. This global event demonstrates once and for all that we’re not the ones in control; the planet is.
In lots of ways, it’s a relief that it’s happened thirty years into the internet revolution. The ability to communicate and broadcast over super-fast broadband networks is the saving grace in terms of education.
And while most educational providers are set up, primarily, for face-to-face teaching, most can take their educational provision online.
The difficulty, in this case, is that nobody was ready – but there are plenty of off-the-shelf video conferencing applications available that can swiftly swoop in to save the day.
Is the future of education online?
While there are solutions in the interim, the world probably isn’t ready – yet – for long-term online provision. But the choice has been taken out of our hands for the moment. And for the time being, at least, we’re going to discover the wonders of online teaching.
Online teaching is no longer a futuristic, expensive, inaccessible way of delivering educational content. It can be delivered via video conference, with screen sharing and breakout rooms, and the world of video streaming services to reinforce a varied delivery that still takes into account the principal modes of learning.
Online learning can facilitate VARK learning – Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinaesthetic.
And when the users become accustomed to this mode of delivery, teachers will realise that online learning isn’t about the distance; it’s about bringing people together when they can’t be physically together.
What is the government doing to drive this educational revolution?
The government has set out unambiguous guidelines for educational provision. The best place to get the latest information is the gov.uk Coronavirus education page. It will be updated as things change so is the most reliable source of information.
They’re working with schools and the BBC to create a multi-platform space to reinforce home learning – using our existing networks to ensure that interruption to education is kept to a minimum.
TutorNinjas is ready to help
TutorNinjas is just one of the pre-existing services ready to provide educational reinforcement over the internet.
We were ready before this whole thing kicked off, so we’re perfectly placed to provide additional tuition to reinforce the learning of our school children, college- and university student population.
While we’re living through this challenging moment of history, we’re at a time where technology can reinforce our traditional educational establishments.
And – just perhaps – we can use technology to bring lasting changes to the way we teach and learn; transforming our educational landscape in a manner that’s fit for the 21st century.