Online learning or e-learning is any form of education that takes place over the Internet. It is one of many forms of distance learning and has saved the education industry in the Covid-19 era. Since the pandemic started, millions of students have been deprived of traditional learning. It is the availability of online learning at all levels of education that has allowed students in developed countries and some developing nations to receive an education. Online learning has changed the education industry in more ways than one. The Covid-19 pandemic has given everyone a glimpse of the future of learning. These are five ways online learning has changed education amid Covid-19:
1. Online Platforms Have Offered Free Education
Online learning platforms across the globe have made a lot of money due to the increase in the demand for services in the Covid-19 era. Many of these companies have decided to make some parts of their services 100% free so that students who can’t afford to pay will still get educated. BYJU’S, one of the most popular online edtech apps based in Bangalore, has offered free classes to students. The classes are hosted live on the Think and Learn app. The company announced that its user base increased by more than 200% since the pandemic started and more students are joining every day.
2. Universities Have Moved Many of Their Courses Online
Online learning didn’t just start because of the pandemic. It has been in existence for a long time but only became more popular during the current crisis. Some universities had limited online resources on their websites that offered only a few courses. Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, many of these universities have moved more courses online. Zhejiang University successfully uploaded 5,000 regular courses to their online space. They did this successfully through the DingTalk ZJU platform. They’ve been offering students online degrees after the completion of curriculums.
3. Sensitization About Corona Has Reached a New Level
The coronavirus is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Since the pandemic started, there have been several sensitization drives to help people learn as much as they can about the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, the Imperial University of London released a course aimed at teaching students more about the Covid-19 pandemic. The course is already live on Coursera, the popular online schooling platform. Students can enroll in this course online if they want to learn more about the coronavirus pandemic.
4. Local Education Broadcasts
One aspect of online learning that has become more popular in the Covid-19 era is local education broadcasts. In the United States, some schools have partnered with related institutions to provide local broadcasts over the Internet. This way, every student within a given school region will have access to the same information at the same time. One such broadcast in LA was between the PBS SoCal/KCET and the Los Angeles Unified School District. They dedicated a few channels for students according to their ages. In the United Kingdom, BBC launched a virtual learning program for 14 weeks for students living in the UK.
5. Hybrid Learning is Here to Stay
Online learning isn’t perfect yet but it has done fine in the Covid-19 era. Many students have benefited significantly from this form of education but students who rely significantly on face-to-face practicals haven’t been so lucky. They tried to use virtual reality tools to get the practicals they need but not every student or school can afford VR tools. A more efficient alternative is hybrid learning. Hybrid learning or blended learning combines face-to-face interactions with online classes. When the pandemic ends and the dust settles, hybrid learning will become a more popular alternative to other forms of learning. About 50% of all the classes will be done online and another 50% will be done in-campus.
The Internet has made life a lot easier for students, educators, and other members of society. Working-class members of society have been able to make the best use of their time during the pandemic by taking online classes on Computersciencehero.com and Bootcamprankings.com. Even when the pandemic ends, the current changes in the education industry will take root and shape the future of learning.
Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps.
He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.