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Education and the rise of online learning

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We are in the middle of a rapid shift to online learning. This rapid shift stems from the quarantine period the majority of the world is still currently in. Since the late nineties, the modern world begun a steady shift towards basing themselves online. Banks, retailers and multiple other industries foresaw the future and came to the realisation that the future was online.

Although education has also utilised online technology, teaching and learning is still primarily based in classrooms. However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced learning online. Certainly, no university, school or college was prepared for this forced switch to happen, but they have done the best they can to cope. Understandably, educational institutions have struggled to adjust to online based teaching, and many have failed. Whilst education will return to the classroom once the pandemic is over, these events will enforce institutions to now implement ways in which to move education away from land-based classrooms and into online learning. 

Is full-time online education viable?

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Evidence would suggest it is not. However, there has not yet been any real motivation to moving learning into online classrooms. The coronavirus has forced learning institutions to take action and once the learning does go back to the classrooms, we are likely to see them implement emergency online measures should school and universities be forced to close again. Although it is not currently viable, that does not mean to say moving all learning online never will be viable.


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Universities are much better placed to be able to implement full time online classes. The Open University in the United Kingdom have been offering full-time online university degree courses for over 15 years whilst numerous other universities, including the University of Essex and the University of Liverpool also offer 100% online courses. University students are always required to read and study during their own time even when their course lectures and seminars are based in classrooms. The majority of universities also require essays to be submitted online too.

High Schools 12-18 years old

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It is harder to implement children’s school classrooms to be online only, although not impossible. 12 to 18-year-old students are at an age where they capable to learn from home. Working from home at that age will require discipline from school children though. It will therefore be imperative that online teaching for high school students is exciting, interactive, and practical enough to ensure that students are able to learn just as well or better than current classrooms are able to educate them. It may be the case that high school education remains based in real world classrooms but with a backup system whereby students are able to be educated from home if need be.

Junior schools and pre-schools

Evidence suggests that younger children will suffer negatively from online only classrooms. It is vital for children to be able to be in a learning environment where they are able to interact with teachers and their fellow pupils. Whilst many children will still react well to some online teaching and online resources, to force all children to work online from home will hinder their personal growth.

Will coronavirus change education as we know it?

Yes, it is likely that education ministers and educational bodies around the world will enforce safety measures to ensure that if another pandemic should hit the world, there will be a plan to keep education running in a safe environment. Universities were not affected too badly by the coronavirus but education for students under 18 years of age were affected badly as no backup measure were in place.

Will the switch to online be smooth?

Implementing top class online classroom learning should be easy enough to enforce, although it will take time and dedication to set up worldwide. Banks have been able to switch over 90% of their industry to online, universities are able to offer online only education and even industries that are as far apart from education as they come such as gambling have been able to move their core businesses online. Casinos such as have invested 100% into marketing themselves as an online casino, shifting away from land-based. Whilst almost all high street banks are now online too.

When will education’s switch to online take place?

Educations growth into the online world has been in motion since the early 2000s. Educational institutions use technology in order to offer the best education they can. Up until now, online learning has assisted classroom-based learning. Certainly, the emphasis will now be on online learning as a replacement for classroom-based learning in emergency situations.

View more about Primary 5 Maths covering all topics of the syllabus taught in the lower levels.

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