If you had told Horace Mann, the father of modern-day education, that there would be a time when people would earn their college certificates and degrees in pajamas, he would not have believed it. Education has undergone a lot of changes, getting us to a point where we have the choice to study anyhow and anywhere we want.
Technology has changed a lot in the education space. Today, students have access to numerous educational apps. They can also hire the DoMyEssay write my essay for me service to get help with their homework and study with online tutors. There are thousands of academic institutions marketing online programs and courses. How we deliver and receive education has changed forever, as the systems have become more flexible.
While online learning was already ongoing, the emergence of the 2019 pandemic saw an upward trajectory in the number of online programs being offered by colleges and universities. Social distancing and travel restrictions also accelerated the adoption of distance education programs. And here is what we have learned from distance learning so far.
1. The Importance of Personalization in the Learning Environment
Personalization in learning is one of the key lessons learned from distance education. As institutions embrace the shift to online teaching, they need to keep in mind the importance of creating personalized schedules and learning models.
Thanks to a myriad of digital tools, data collection and tracking of learning operations have become easy. As a result, instructors have been able to identify patterns and trends they would not have otherwise recognized in traditional classrooms.
There is a need to harness the strengths of students in the learning environment and, at the same time, create personalized learning programs to fill gaps. Schools have started prioritizing individual learning needs and designing schedules that will speak to learners’ different strengths.
2. There Is a Need to Address Digital Divide
The digital divide in the online learning environment is complex, and institutions need to rethink how they support instructors to deliver online lessons. After most of the institutions shifted their operations to the online space, there were still students that had trouble signing on for distance learning programs.
This shed light on a pre-existing problem. The digital divide manifested in both limited access to the internet and devices.
There is a need for educational institutions to collaborate with the local and national governments to ensure a distribution of distance learning resources like laptops and the internet to students from different backgrounds lest some would miss out on the opportunity to study.
Teachers need to consider such factors when engaging students in distance learning to support them effectively.
3. There Are Better Ways for Students’ Interaction and Engagement
Distance learning has helped us notice that, for a long time, there have been gaps in information delivery in schools. Digital learning tools have also presented opportunities for instructors to enrich engagement in class.
For instance, if students are given essay assignments to work on, they can take the initiative to get essay help online from experts, learn from other students, and even reach out to the instructors. Students studying online are given the liberty to construct their own knowledge and not rely on the one given to them by their instructors.
With the learning process empowered by digital tools, instructors witness heightened participation during classes, which is key to learners’ development.
Distance education has provided instructors with opportunities to explore collaboration and engagement in the classroom. It also gives them the flexibility to integrate engaging teaching techniques.
4. The Importance of Diversity in Learning
Remote studying has made teachers realize that diversity in thoughts has been missing in the classroom. Students gain a deeper understanding of subject matters when interacting and learning alongside students from different backgrounds.
In the process, students also learn how they can use their different perspectives to contribute to topics and discussions, a skill that is valuable in the working environment.
A face-to-face learning environment is quite limiting in this view as the traditional classroom only accommodates students’ from the same environment and background.
Distance learning enhances connection and interaction with students from diverse backgrounds with different perspectives. Accommodating diversity in the classroom through digital tools helps students become more open-minded, creative, and confident in their thoughts. In addition, it goes a long way in preparing them for the workplace environment.
5. Distance Education May Be the Answer to School Dropouts
There are a plethora of reasons why students dropout of school. They include financial constraints, failure, disengagement, and chronic absenteeism.
Online education has, in several ways, helped address most of these challenges.
For instance, distance learning has proved to be more affordable due to the low overhead costs required by institutions to run the programs. More so, students need not incur transport and accommodation costs.
Through online learning, instructors have been equipped with data that helps them design personalized learning schedules for students, setting them up for success. On the other hand, the flexibility of remote education helps learners improve their attendance.
The change in systems and structures enabled by distance learning has seen several improvements in the overall learning experience. At the same time, it has also brought attention to some of the gaps existing in education, creating an opportunity to address them.
The key lessons that have been provided by distance education include the need for personalized learning schedules and urgency in addressing existing digital barriers to learners’ access to education.