The coronavirus infection has brought radical changes to education, work, and people’s lives in general. The first, second, and third waves, how many of them are still to be experienced – we do not know. Therefore, all systems have to adapt to new conditions.
Moreover, the question is still open. As such, Stanford students will begin the winter quarter with two weeks of online tuition and then move to face-to-face classes on January 18, the university said in an email Thursday morning.
At the same time, offline learning presupposes the following precautions. Disguises remain obligatory in crowded places and indoors if the person does not eat or drink. Large gatherings and parties will be banned during these two weeks. Household meetings and some private meetings in residential buildings are an exception.
Due to the constant risks, students all over the world are forced to return to distance learning all the time. Despite the fact that the world had to adapt very quickly, going towards the unknown, there are things that have been positively influenced by the lockdown.
During the first quarantine, learning at home, in online classes, and in e-textbooks was a real challenge for all students and teachers. Nobody understood how to do it right, and most importantly, what the result would be. But, as it is known, a person can adapt to all conditions, therefore, after some time, some were able not only to get used to but also to positively assess the prevailing conditions.
New tools appeared – applications for video conferencing Zoom, Google Meet, Facebook live, Skype, etc. New opportunities for digital education were also connected and students were faced with the concept of time management. Given the constant presence at home, it was required to properly allocate time for household chores and study. Many have managed to become more productive within their comfort zone.
Due to the lack of boundaries in obtaining online education or acting education, students were able to learn new things through online resources and some universities began to release convenient platforms for their students for new knowledge, for example, Stanford University published an online newspaper “The Stanford Daily”.
The authorities also did not stand aside, the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) presented many new interesting resources and platforms for obtaining new knowledge. According to research, e-learning will allow students to get 25% to 60% more information.
Such steps have helped to make the educational system more flexible. Borders have opened up as online learning is no longer specific and fearful. Today, millions of young people from different countries can study at such prestigious universities as Stanford without leaving their homes.
How the pandemic affected education
Almost everything that happens around us has two sides: positive and negative. In the new realities, students and teachers are acutely faced with each of them.
Despite the abrupt change in circumstances and the forced measures to switch to a remote learning system, this benefited the entire education system.
Students and teachers have become easier and more productive to interact with each other. They do not experience overexertion, as, during classes within the walls of an educational institution, they can meet at video conferences in informal clothes and with a mug of coffee, and also spend more time communicating both on the program and on extracurricular topics.
The instructors positively assessed the forced experience. Their psychological health returned to normal and their stress levels decreased.
In addition, due to the digitization of all training material, it was possible to significantly save paper, thereby reducing the harmful impact on the environment.
It was obvious to many that e-education would sooner or later replace traditional education, but no one was prepared for this to come yesterday. The most negative problems were: the inequality among students and difficulties in their families.
According to research, about 25-33% of students in the United States did not have the resources for digital learning at the beginning of the pandemic. Students from poor families not only could not afford to continue their studies, but the situation also led to a crisis of psychological health and stress.
Some returned home and faced the general difficulties of the pandemic: parents are forced to work, and younger brothers and sisters also switched to distance learning, and are not able to cope with it on their own. Students were forced to cope with their workload and help them because parents were unable to pay attention to every child. In addition, digital learning in schools has led to more negative results as children are more attached to social life within the walls of schools.
There are still more pluses
Despite all the difficulties, the educational process survived and was able to adapt.
After the first sharp blow, all of us should have thought about how not optimized our life for new technologies and how unprotected some strata of the population remained. Yes, first of all, the government tried to cope with the collapsed napalm from the health sector and did not have time to seek out, let alone solve the problems of education. Unfortunately, today the picture has not changed either, and this acute minus cannot be filled, some citizens will not be able to fully experience the convenience of distance learning.
There are still more advantages, and the main ones, we can bring to ordinary life on an ongoing basis.
For example, online learning has even had a positive impact on the environment. Thanks to the digitization of all training material, it was possible to significantly save paper and therefore prevent deforestation. Now, these textbooks will remain in the digital world forever. It is worth making it a habit.
Also, in my opinion, distance learning is an excellent opportunity for foreign students to take certain lectures on topics or even whole courses to improve their qualifications, being in a familiar environment. Such a sharp leap toward new opportunities was a discovery for the whole world. The expansion of platforms and even more information available are becoming an aid to the education of the nation.
It will also be useful for teachers and students to stay at home at least once a week, and during bad weather conditions, they will no longer have to stop learning. This experience will reduce the stress level of each participant in the educational process.
Due to the new living conditions due to the pandemic, all students were forced to switch to distance learning. Despite the initial fear and misunderstanding of what was happening, many got used to and positively assessed the new conditions. Overall, digital learning at home has had positive benefits for higher education students. Thanks to new online platforms and digital sources of knowledge, they were able to find even more useful information, and the walls of their home became an excellent opportunity to learn at a convenient pace and in their comfort zone.
The main task of each university today remains to provide all students with open access to technologies and exclude the possibility of their absence in the educational process.