Education

3 Things COVID-19 Changed in Education

Consensus is that COVID-19 will leave a lasting impact on learning.

Posted Jun 22, 2020

School will never be the same. All new safeguards will need to be installed on how to handle a health crisis or outbreak (from COVID-19 to something else) along with other disasters (natural or otherwise). What was previously inconceivable came fast this year, and has forever changed how we perceive educational centers, but also, I believe how schools will deliver learning to meet the diverse needs of their students.

3 Changes to the Classroom

1.     Hybrid Education. Many students were already taking tests online, using computers, and technology to maximize learning – but oftentimes learning was in-person. This will change. Now, schools will (out of necessity) shift toward a hybrid educational model where students will have the ability to complete assignments in-person, and remotely, if needed for a multitude of reasons. In 2020-2021, this may be the “Plan B” program if (or when) another wave of COVID-19 hits, but beyond 2021 – the shift toward integrated learning will be unmistakable. Of course, this change challenges us to close the digital divide among students, as soon as possible.

2.    Hygiene, physical and emotional, is essential education. In 2016, NPR reported the rise of anxiety and mental/emotional issues in students across the United States. With the advent of the pandemic, more than 50 percent of students surveyed reported needing mental health services since the school closures (ACLU of Southern California, 2020). Best Colleges surveyed households with a High School or College student, and more than 44 percent of students reported worried if they can enroll or stay in college (2020). From my perspective, the time has indisputably come to put emotional health and building resilience in every classroom, not just the well-funded ones.

3.     Teachers will teach differently (in the new model). I agree with the World Economic Forum who correctly identified that educators will likely perform differently – not only because of this new hybrid educational model but because today’s students are tech-savvy and often have countless sources of information at their fingertips. Educators will shift from departing information to nurturing intelligent, responsible, and good decision-makers in this new world (link).

The landscape of learning is changing, and classrooms need to address the current pandemic as well as the uncertainty of the future. One thing remains the same though: Students want to learn new things, and teachers want to teach. With such a strong need to grow and connect as well as evolve – schools are not going away, but shifting towards a 21st-century model, which was going to happen eventually, but the timeline has been sped up by the pandemic.

References

Best Colleges (2020). Students Stressed Out Due to Coronavirus, Study Finds.  Online: https://www.bestcolleges.com/blog/coronavirus-survey/

Dans, Enrique (2020). The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Released a Revolution in Education: From Now On, Blended Learning Will be the Benchmark  Online at Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/enriquedans/2020/04/13/the-coronavirus-pandemic-has-unleashed-a-revolution-in-education-from-now-on-blended-learning-will-be-the-benchmark/#3d1ff17f536f

NPR (2016). Mental Health in Schools: A Hidden Crisis Affecting Millions of Students Online: https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/08/31/464727159/mental-health-in-schools-a-hidden-crisis-affecting-millions-of-students

Student Wellness Survey (2020). Sponsored by ACLU of Southern California.  Online: https://www.schoolcounselor-ca.org/Files/Student%20Wellness%20Survey%20Summary%205-08-20.pdf

World Economic Forum (2020). 4 Ways Covid Could Change How We Educate Future Generations. Online: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/4-ways-covid-19-education-future-generations/