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The Educational Impact of COVID-19: How Classrooms Might Look Different this Year
7/1/2020 1:00:00 PM
Educational Impact of Covid

Ask any teacher, student, administrator, or parent of school-aged kids, and they’ll tell you that school looks a whole lot different than it did prior to March of this year. Millions of students traded classrooms for home-schooling and Zoom chats, and educators at nearly every level have struggled to adapt to a completely new way of educating young people. The impact of COVID-19 on education systems around the world has been stark – and we’re not certain yet what this coming school year might look like.

As the new school year approaches, educators may be wondering what their classroom routines will look like, and about the effectiveness of online education curriculum, tools, and instructional theory before classes resume. 


While we may not know exactly what to expect next month here in Southwest Louisiana, there are predictions that can be made based on trends put into place last spring that may affect our national education system.


Eric Oldfield, an expert in online education trends and a father of two school-age children, has compiled five predictions for the future of learning in a post-COVID world. 


"To say that these are unprecedented times is an understatement,” Oldfield said. "Even as we all grapple with the only constant in this environment being change, there are some very clear trends that have the potential to fundamentally shift the way we educate people of all ages around the world.” 


Online learning is here to stay: 

Already seen as a major trend even before the pandemic, online learning tools and tactics, while not perfectly operationalized yet, have shown to be effective at increasing lesson retention and to provide flexibility for students to learn at a pace more efficient for them on an individual basis. Look to see these practices integrated into traditional in-classroom learning in a bigger way than ever before. 


Self-directed learning: 

A byproduct of remote education, self-directed learning will provide students the ability to guide their own educational journeys, work at their own pace, go back and better absorb previous material, and accelerate beyond material they already understand well.


Gamification of learning will increase: 

The challenges of maintaining a student’s attention grow significantly in a remote education setting. In order to keep students engaged, online lessons will become more interactive or gamified. This has already shown to increase engagement and motivate learning and will become more prevalent as traditional classes move online.


Use of non-classroom resources: 

Embracing a hybrid on-and-offline education program will mean introducing educational resources not available in the classroom. Online tools like Brainly and Coursera, which offer supplemental instruction options will work hand-in-hand with traditional classroom curriculum. 


Digital citizenship will become a priority subject: 

To fully embrace online learning, students must also learn to become good digital citizens. Much in the way we currently teach civics and social studies lessons to inform children how to be engaged citizens in the real world, so too will we have to teach them how to be engaged citizens in the digital world. 


These are just a few of the ways COVID-19 may impact the short and long-term evolution of education online and offline.




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