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The Future of Education is Online

With most schools around the world having to close due to Covid-19 restrictions, there is no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year for parents and educators. 

The lockdown has caused over 1.2 billion children to be away from school for almost 5 months. Missing so many months of education will have had a dramatic effect on children’s learning and we need to rethink how to educate our children going forward so as not to disrupt their learning capabilities again in the future.

With many parents turning to virtual classrooms and recent research suggesting that online learning can actually increase the retention of information by students and improve their work output due to minimal distraction that’s often found in a traditional classroom setting, it’s time to take homeschooling and online learning seriously.

Remote learning is nothing new, for decades even before the internet the CB radio was used to deliver education to many students in remote locations. These days we are much more advanced, with technologies like live video chat and interactive whiteboards available, we can easily bridge the gap in distant learning.

Research Suggests We Will Most Likely Experience Further Disruptions To Learning

Online tuition allows education to be delivered without disruption and can be delivered at a pace to suit a students needs. Virtual learning not only maximises the students chances of success, it can also help them to stay motivated and engaged in learning. An online education can be personalised and the curriculum tailored and delivered around the students needs, it can also help create self-discipline, improve their motivational skills and equip them for their future workplace. 

Online learning offers great flexibility for students, as one pace of learning does not suit all students and some will want to spend more time on certain subjects before they progress to the next level or module. 

We all learn in different ways and at a different speed, online learning simply allows students more time to process information and complete assignments at their own pace. 

According to the case study, “Incorporating web-based engagement and participatory interaction into your courses”, online learning offers more opportunities to foster critical thinking skills.

Online Learning Offers More Opportunities To Foster Critical Thinking Skills

Unlike face-to-face lessons, where it can be difficult to offer critical contributions, an online environment allows more time to really study the curriculum and make concise comments.

With schools only returning in August/September, there are very substantial long-term consequences, in light of evidence, that even one extra hour a week of instructional time can significantly raise achievement. A recent study, carried out by The Institute of Education (IoE), found that parents of both primary and secondary school students reported struggling with supporting home learning. Almost 60% of the parents of primary school children and nearly half of the parents of secondary school children stated that they found it very challenging to support their child’s learning.

Online Learning Shouldn’t Be Seen As A Quick-fix Solution To The Pandemic, It Should Be Our Long Term Goal.

Director of the UCL Institute of Education’s knowledge lab, Allison Littlejohn, states that quality online courses take time and effort to create. “It’s crucial the online learning experience is well-designed and we don’t simply shift existing content from one format to another”.

Online education is here to stay and rather than using it as a temporary alternative, we should be embracing and developing it to help us meet our educational goals.