How COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly altered education

The COVID-19 has caused many schools all across the world to temporarily close. Over 1.2 billion youngsters are out of school worldwide. As a result, education has undergone significant transformations, with the rise of e-learning, in which instruction is done remotely and via digital platforms. According to research, online learning has been demonstrated to improve information retention and require less time.

While countries’ COVID-19 infection rates vary, the pandemic has resulted in school cancellations for over 2 billion children in 186 countries. With the abrupt shift away from the classroom in many parts of the world, some are wondering if online learning adoption would continue post-pandemic, and how such a shift might affect the global education industry.

Even before COVID-19, there was already high growth and adoption in education technology, with global Ed-tech investments reaching US$18.66 billion in 2019 and the overall market for online education projected to reach $350 Billion by 2025. Whether it is language apps, virtual tutoring, video conferencing tools, or online learning software, there has been a significant surge in usage since COVID-19.

While some believe that the unplanned and rapid transition to online learning – with no training, insufficient bandwidth, and little preparation – will result in a poor user experience that will hinder long-term growth, others believe that a new hybrid model of education will emerge, with significant advantages.

There have already been successful transitions amongst many universities. For example, The “Linguas Vivas” university managed to teach students more effectively online through BigBlueButton with its education tailored features. Gulf University for Science and Technology (Kuwait) shifted to online teaching since March 2020 using the open source web conferencing platform.

There is evidence that learning online can be more effective in a number of ways for people who have access to the right technology. According to several studies, students who learn online retain 25-60% more content than those who learn in a classroom retain only 8-10%. This is mostly due to students’ ability to learn more quickly online; e-learning takes 40-60% less time to learn.

The efficiency of online learning, however, differs by age group. Children, especially younger ones, require a regulated environment, according to the widespread agreement, because they are more easily distracted. To get the most out of online learning, a concentrated effort must be made to give this framework, which must go beyond imitating a physical class/lecture through employing video capabilities, a variety of collaboration tools and engagement approaches that promote inclusion, personalization, and intelligence could be used instead, which BigBlueButton offers through its education tailored tools and features.

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