The year 2020 unexpectedly became a significant part of human history when the pandemic due to COVID 19 broke out. Not only was the healthcare sector severely affected, but other industries were also put at a standstill. People lost jobs, and businesses closed. Governments struggled to deal with socio-economic problems, though many successfully did.
With millions of deaths and many are still barely coping with the effects of the pandemic, it’s still easy to overlook some of the positive outcomes from COVID-19. The education sector, for instance, was forced to utilize remote learning for students.
Despite the challenging period of adjustments for students, parents, teachers, and school administrators, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unexpectedly good outcomes in the academic field. Even other industries, such as Information and Technology, are positively affected. To enumerate further, here are the five positive effects of COVID-19 on education.
1. Parents and teachers focus more on students’ well-being.
Before the pandemic, it is common for parents and teachers to focus on academic factors. Students were told to work hard to achieve higher test scores, better GPAs, etc. At the same time, it is not uncommon to hear students getting frustrated, burnout, and experiencing depression and anxiety when they don’t meet these expectations.
But, the pandemic forced families to stay indoors, with parents working from home and students in remote learning. This sudden shift in filial life became the perfect opportunity for family members to deal with students’ problems often overlooked.
Parents have more focus on their children’s well-being as they spend more time with them. With remote learning, they can also observe what goes on inside their children’s classrooms.
With parents having more time and opportunities to look over their children’s education, school teachers and administrators can work collaboratively. After all, the best form of schooling develops children to become responsible and competent citizens.
To achieve this, parents, teachers, and school administrators must deal with all factors that affect students’ wellbeing. Also, if you really want to attend college for free, check out these fully funded awards that will cover the entire cost of your college education.
2. It provides an opportunity for schools and relevant industries to improve IT Systems.
Another positive effect of COVID-19 on education is that it pushed schools to improve their IT systems. Remote learning relies heavily on LMS or Learning Management System that allows educators to deliver learning content, monitor students’ progress, and provide feedback.
Without face-to-face interaction, these systems also provide an effective communication channel between the teacher, student, and parents.
Additionally, the pandemic provided sufficient reasons for the IT industries to up their game and catered to the education sector. Various online platforms can now cater to an astounding number of students in remote learning.
For example, when China instructed over 250 million of its students to resume studies, Tencent, an online learning platform, became one of the most widely used.
Other IT companies saw the pandemic as the perfect opportunity to bolster their services to education. For example, a Singapore-based company called Lark started offering unlimited video-conferencing, smart calendars, real-time collaborative project editing, and auto-translation features to students and teachers.
Meanwhile, Alibaba’s DingTalk, a distance learning solution, used over 100,000 cloud servers from Alibaba Cloud to support large-scale online classwork.
3. Teachers are learning and adapting to new technologies.
When remote learning became the norm during the pandemic, teachers needed to learn and integrate new technologies in their teaching strategies.
Intelligent learning systems, working alongside teachers, also provide crucial student information. These new technologies can observe study patterns, topics that interest students, and even the kind of schoolwork they find difficult or tedious.
In 2018, the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) found that 18% of teachers from its member countries reported a higher need for Information and Computer Technology training.
While school principals across OECD admitted that this is primarily due to insufficient digital learning tools, the situation back then was not as pressing as it is now due to the pandemic.
With teachers embracing the latest technologies, they can maximize online resources to address learning needs.
Moreover, they can bridge the apparent generation gap between them and today’s students. Teachers who can utilize new information and computer technologies can relate to students, provide them more significant learning opportunities, and become more effective educators.
4. There are benefits to remote learning.
The pandemic of COVID-19 drove most schools and universities to shift to distance learning. While the education sector faced numerous challenges in this solution, students reap its benefits on the other hand.
Students can retain 25 to 60% more information from remote learning with the proper access to technology, compared to 8 to 10% in face-to-face classrooms.
With online classes and the availability of learning materials in LMS, students can learn at their pace.
Moreover, they can quickly review lessons, skip through some parts, and even accelerate through topics. These behaviors translate to better class engagement and later performance. Students enjoying school at their speed can also increase their motivation.
Of course, some students may also report getting more exposure to online distractions. Although challenging to deal with, having these distractions in online learning can also help students develop self-discipline.
And lastly, with families facing economic hardships, the switch to remote learning helped parents save money from their children’s miscellaneous expenses at school.
5. Educators are reconsidering existing assessment methods and curricula.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, educational institutions had to cancel examinations and formal assessments. Because of this, educators have time to rethink the existing curriculum and the effectiveness of evaluations. After all, these are more fitting to the traditional school setup where students spend time in school.
The question remains whether current curricula and assessment methods are still appropriate. Besides, schools had to innovate assessment and teaching strategies that fit with remote learning.
Many industries are considering sticking to the remote work setup, or at least blend it with onsite work, for their employees as it helps with employee productivity. In this scenario, the education sector needs to start curating curriculum fitting for this setup.
Students need to learn skills and characteristics such as resilience, critical thinking, making bold decisions, and leadership more than ever.
Although the end of the pandemic is reasonably foreseeable, its effects, particularly the positive ones, are here to stay.