Education sector is one of the many key industries that was ruffled during the Covid-19pandemic. Nearly 134 countries closed schools due to the pandemic, with 89% of the world student population. This let to speculations of the education system taking transition post Covid-19 to a virtual learning environment, where87% said they expect to use technology more than before once in-classroom teaching resumes and 61% said they expect to begin the next school year in a hybrid learning environment.
Globally governments supported the development of digital infrastructure for the education sector where UK Department of Education announced its sponsorship for digital infrastructure to children and PM Modi emphasized on digital Infrastructure for distance learning at ‘NEP2020’
Suddenly people were curious of the different new methodologies to study and have their children put up in one of these new learning methodologies that satisfies their requirements. People started searching for hybrid learning and home-schooling as alternatives for traditional education systems.
Hybrid learning has quickly gained interest alongside virtual and Home schooling. Search increased by 550% in July.
Virtual Learning searches were related to identifying tools and platforms that support online classes and augmented field trips for kindergarten.
Institutes, Teachers, Students, Parents were the key stake holders affected and needed to adapt quickly to the new changes.
Educational institutes had to quickly take control of the situation and shared announcements about the adoption of distance learning and safety measures.
- Educating parents and students with the rules, regulations, responsibilities and structure of the distance learning models.
- Assuring of safety measures through cleaning and sanitization as a daily routine of all high touch surfaces and places where large groups gather to curb the spread of virus
- Announcements by the schools adopting hybrid learning modules for the fall semester, to ensure continuity in imparting quality education to its students amidst the lockdown
- Providing technical and soft skills training to teachers, to help them adopt the digital teaching medium and providing materials and lessons available online as per curriculum
Teacher show ever faced an uphill task of developing self skills & student's curriculum to provide a qualitative learning experience
- Teachers had to find tools like google classroom, pad let, seesaw and flip grid helpful in organizing assignments for students
- Teachers expressed excitement and pride in the hard work of creating a fun and engaging curriculum for the students using games and Augmented reality. Teachers did express having missed classroom interaction with kids
Students were the main stakeholders who struggled to adapt, Students were easily bored& distracted during online sessions. Lack of socialization &infrastructure weighed on their academic. Key challenges were
- Lack of high-speed internet and equipment such as laptops, printers or smart phones is a major concern for students
- The lack of socialization has made it harder for students to focus on their academics. Many sought free therapy to help them overcome mental health issues
- Many confessed that siblings, pets, family members, smartphones and social media are easy distractions without supervision
Parents had an added responsibility of monitoring their kids distance learning activities at home along with their jobs
- The new learning and assignment formats have parents exhausted.
- Factors such as expensive fees, safety precautions, disabilities such as A.D.D and A.D.H.D are encouraging parents to opt for home schooling and private tutors as an alternative to distance learning.
- Most parents have been critical of a hybrid learning model due to safety concerns stemming from the pandemic. They do however agree that in person classes are more effective
The pandemic has changed the way we look at education and opened new avenues where a hybrid learning module will deliver greater content, affordability and reach.