The rise of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic
The coronavirus crisis has overwhelmed the global healthcare industry with unprecedented challenges that medical capacities were unprepared to handle. No industry or country remains immune to the adverse economic consequences of the pandemic. The education industry is no different in this regard, with schools and institutions closed down worldwide.
Statistics reveal that over 1.2 billion children worldwide study outside the classroom, reliant on online platforms and tools. Education has experienced a dramatic shift from offline to online learning. Experts believe that e-learning has rescued the education sector from collapse, allowing students and teachers to convene remotely.
Digital tools have played an instrumental role in facilitating this transition. It appears that online learning models are far more effective than classroom learning. It promotes superior retention of information, offers timely solutions and exceptional convenience. Experts argue that online learning models are here to stay, as they enhance comfort for billions of students worldwide.
This article will walk you through the rise of online learning and the experience it has to offer students.
Here, take a look:
Rapid Adoption of Technology
It is crucial to note that remote learning and technology-driven education witnessed exponential growth long before the pandemic arrived. The estimated spending on online learning stood at over US$ 18 billion in 2019. This spending may reach $350 billion by 2025.
However, the COVID-19 crisis has undoubtedly sped up the adoption of digital tools and platforms. It has ushered in the adoption of video conferencing, virtual classrooms, and online learning software. The education sector and students are responding to the pandemic by turning to e-learning tools and platforms.
Students and young professionals are using their time to catch up with their education and pursue advanced degrees. Experts believe that this is a great time for high school and college dropouts to advance their academics. Young and seasoned professionals look into opportunities to pursue online classes for high school credit more than before. With businesses closed and offices shut down, turning to education allows professionals to utilize their time and enjoy career advancement effectively.
Responding to the Pandemic
The education sector has responded to the pandemic by adopting online learning tools and platforms. Universities and higher education institutes are offering free access to numerous online tutoring and learning tools. Tech companies and institutions are collaborating to launch courses and programs focused on developing highly marketable skills.
Educational facilities and institutions are leveraging the power of technology to recover their depleting profits and encourage enrolment. Students are responding to this development by pursuing online certifications and building their skillsets.
For instance, the Chinese government ordered its students to turn to online platforms to resume their education in February. As other countries followed suit, the use of Tencent classroom, amongst other websites, grew exponentially. Students from kindergarten to high school and universities rely on online classrooms to take lectures and continue their education.
Innovative Online Learning Platforms
The rise of online learning has prompted tech companies to offer one-stop learning solutions to facilitate distance education. For instance, ByteDance by Lark is a dynamic tool that offers various innovative features. These include unlimited video conferencing durations, smart scheduling, real-time co-editing of projects and assignments, and more. Lark has expanded its infrastructure and server capabilities to provide efficient connectivity across the globe.
DingTalk by Alibaba is another cloud-based tool that has established an unprecedented record for expanding its capacity. Within a short period of two months, it has deployed over 100,000 cloud servers to ensure reliable connectivity.
Online learning models have also promoted collaborations and partnerships between media outlets, tech giants, and institutions. School districts are entering collaborations with channels and platforms to offer educational resources. For instance, the Los Angeles Unified School District has partnered up with PBS SoCal/KCET to deliver education-focused broadcasts for students.
The BBC has also ventured into programs, broadcasts, and tools to promote virtual education with enhanced convenience. The popularity of existing educational platforms, such as Coursera, Edx, and MasterClass, has grown exponentially. Tech giants, such as Apple and Microsoft, are increasingly collaborating with institutions to promote the virtual learning model.
The Future of Education
Research on the future of education focuses on both the advantages and challenges of adopting and implementing online learning models. Experts argue that the rapid and unexpected transition to online learning has triggered numerous challenges. For instance, lack of training, bandwidth complications, and lack of preparation have undermined the learning experience quality.
However, experts focused on the benefits of online learning argue that this model comes with numerous advantages. Integrating information technology innovations with learning models is a trend that will expand and increase. Online education is poised to emerge as a significant educational trend with numerous applications and enhanced convenience.
Most universities, such as the London School of Economics and the Zhejiang University, enjoy lucrative and efficient online learning transitions. Universities are offering thousands of courses via digital platforms and learning models to expand their enrollment criteria. Billions of students across the world can benefit from lucrative higher education opportunities.
Online learning has transformed the way of teaching. It has allowed instructors to adopt highly efficient and practical tools to reach out to learners during the pandemic. Students also find it considerably more convenient to learn through e-learning platforms. However, the challenges of online learning are to ignore. Students struggling with unreliable internet connections and financial instability find themselves at a disadvantage.