Impact of Covid-19 on Education – Online TeachingDr Shafiq
The current global spread of the Covid-19 virus means that many schools and teachers worldwide are looking into how they can continue to teach their pupils remotely if their schools need to close for a limited time.
With the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, people worldwide are facing a major challenge. The Coronavirus has significantly affected our lives, but it is also challenging our ability to adapt and be resilient.
We are in a state of emergency and must react with different ways of working, shopping, learning, and communicating. Online shopping and social networks are not new to us, nor is distance learning. However, COVID-19 revives the need to explore online teaching and learning opportunities.
More than 300 million students worldwide are having their education disrupted by the spread of the Coronavirus. Schools and universities haven’t faced this disruption in generations, but unlike any time in the past, we can continue education even when schools close. In this uncertain environment, it’s important that learning continues, even if it can’t happen in person. That’s why we’re providing access to expert faculty, best practices, and other online learning resources for people studying, teaching, or working remotely. We’ll be updating this site regularly with even more helpful resources.
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Digital learning management systems, communication tools, and e-learning platforms are crucial during this pandemic. Software and apps can help learning providers manage, plan, deliver, and track the learning process.
Although 63% expected established, prestigious universities to be offering full degrees online by 2030, only 24% thought that the electronic versions would be more popular than traditional campus-based degrees (‘How will technology reshape the university by 2030,’ Features, 27 September 2018).
Asian universities were initially slow to embrace online learning. While The New York Times dubbed 2012 ‘the year of the Mooc,’ the first Asian massive open online course developed by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology emerged only the following year.
But enthusiasm for Moocs has since waned, and East Asia is firmly positioned to pioneer a global move to deliver more online mainstream university teaching. Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore all have internet penetration rates of 85 to 95%. While that figure drops to a little over 50% in mainland China, that still amounts to 840 million internet users: the largest national cohort in the world.
According to a survey conducted by Pearson, partnering with Dynata:
- 9-out-of 10 people in both countries agree that online learning is an effective alternative in crises like these (88% US, 88% UK).
- About 3-in-4 parents in the US and UK also agree that learning online at home has been a positive experience for their child.
- 8-in-10 are confident that their kids can continue their learning online with support from the school system, a trend that has been consistent since March (85% US present, 81% US March, 80% UK present, 79% UK March).
- About 8-in-10 of US companies feel their companies are well-equipped to share up-to-date, accurate information about how best to approach work and travel during the outbreak. In the UK, employees are seeing better responses from their employers, with 77% who now say their employers are well-equipped versus just 72% in early March.
- People believe that learning online will become more commonplace in the future (88% in the US and 86% in the UK).
- 78% of respondents in the US and 80% of respondents in the UK say that students who have been able to attend classes and complete assignments online will continue to do so after the outbreak –values that had jumped since March when ~70% in both the US and the UK agreed.
Tools for online education- digital learning management systems
These are just a few tools that can help ensure continuous learning during this Coronavirus pandemic, even though technology will never be able to replace the human approach to education:
- Moodle is a free open source software designed to help educators create effective online courses;
- Google Classroom helps students and teachers organize assignments, boost collaboration, and foster better communication;
- Docebo is a service offering a learning management system focusing on professional development;
- Blackboard offers solutions, resources, and tools to help deliver quality online teaching;
- Edmodo is a tool for educators to send messages, share class materials, and make learning accessible for students anywhere;
- Skooler is a system exclusively and fully integrated with Microsoft Office 365;
- Ekstep offers a collection of literacy and numeracy learning resources and the chance to create new ones;
- Cell-Ed is designed to meet the needs of adult learners;
- LabXchange is an online community for learning, sharing, and collaboration;
- Quizlet is a mobile and web-based study application that allows learning and teaching through tools and games.
Negative Impact of Covid-19 on Education Online
There are real concerns about loneliness, welfare, and lack of interaction with remote learning. It is important to find a way of keeping everyone in contact. You could do this by running a discussion forum or chat group. If your school has a learning platform or learning management tool, then you could use this. It’s the impact that matters, not the platform. Experiment with discussion tools, set up a forum, and allow your learners to lead. Not everything will work from day one, but don’t be afraid to acknowledge where it’s not right and experiment to see what works for you and your learners. And yet, even though the immediate focus is now on technology and tools, the most compelling quality is still human compassion.