When you think about schools and education, what do you think of?
The traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms full of students and teachers at the front? Or do you think of teachers teaching through the screens of students’ laptops?
Since the Covid-19 virus began, the concept of education has drastically changed, and the future of education is starting to look different. This rings true as Education Minister Chan Chun Sing plans to move more lessons online and make better use of technology to promote self-paced learning.
So let us explore how the future of teaching is becoming more digital and how this will affect the education we know.
The Rise of Technology
Platforms like Zoom and Microsoft teams served as a way to facilitate learning while still preventing the spread of the virus. This is especially so for those in the education sector and lessons were held on these platforms thanks to their ability to connect many people at once.
This also led to the advancement of technology because there was a need for the development and improvement of software online to facilitate e-learning.
Advantages of Online Learning
With this new norm, we came to see the advantages and gains of online learning. It opened many opportunities for the future development of students and offered us a new alternative to face-to-face learning.
Here are some benefits of virtual learning:
It is accessible
Online education is easily accessible to anyone, anywhere. There is no need for students to spend time commuting to school when they can just conduct Home-Based Learning (HBL). As long as they have their phones and internet access, they can attend lessons with no problem.
It allows for a customised learning experience
The flexibility that virtual learning provides allows students to set their own pace to study. It also allows teachers to give feedback to students quickly. This helps students improve much faster since they can implement the changes more quickly.
It offers a wide selection of programs
The use of technology has brought about interconnectedness globally. This means that students can also access online programs from institutions overseas. This is becoming increasingly possible as more universities are offering online versions of their programs.
It offers unlimited access to education resources
The increasing use of the internet led many students and teachers to rely on it for resources and information. From online courses and education websites to educational videos and articles, this information is easily accessible and is often used in virtual lessons!
The Challenges That We Face
However, it is not without challenges for both teachers and students. This is because there are some limitations to virtual learning which might affect a students’ development and education.
Here are some disadvantages of virtual learning:
Practical work is near impossible
If we make education digital, students won’t be able to conduct practical work like experiments. This is because some apparatuses or items are only available to students in the classrooms or laboratories. This means that they don’t get the hands-on experience they need.
The classic disadvantage of online learning. Online learning is exceptionally prone to technical issues for both students and teachers. Problems with the mic, screen sharing, or even just the laptop breaking down hinder the lesson.
Requires time management and self-discipline
Students have to manage their time in an online learning environment because they are often left on their own in their learning activities. This makes it harder for them to meet assignment deadlines if they do not have the self-discipline or the time management skills needed.
What if there was a way to have the convenience of virtual learning but still have the hands-on experience that students get from learning face-to-face? Try Hybrid learning.
This educational model allows students to attend some lessons in-person and other classes through virtual means.
This allows students to conduct their own independent learning. If they require a physical demonstration or physical consultation with a teacher, they get the opportunity to during the face-to-face lessons. This promotes self-learning among students without compromising their development and understanding of the subject.
It is safe to say that online learning is here to stay due to its convenience, accessibility, and opportunities. But as with any other system, it still has its flaws.
Still, it has shown us what technology can do. It also offers an opportunity for us to encourage self-learning and independence among students. So it seems that the future of teaching is indeed going to be virtual.