The Future of Education [In The Post-Covid Era]

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The education industry has been strongly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Students and teachers alike were suddenly shoved out of their schools and expected to adapt to remote learning with almost no warning. Considering this, it’s clear that the education industry has changed, but the question is whether or not these changes will be permanent, and what will be the future of education. 

Some of these changes do indeed seem as if they will be permanent, whereas others appear to be fleeting. Identifying these changes is the key to adapting to them in the future should they become permanent. With that in mind, here are three of the biggest changes in the education industry that have been caused by Covid-19:

Diminishing Student Motivation and Performance

There’s nothing more draining than staring at a screen for eight hours a day and only having a couple of minutes between your classes to rest your eyes. Students at the high school level and below are forced to sit continuously and are suffering from a general lack of motivation as a result.

In fact, the Economic Policy Institute found that the low student performance over the last few months seems to be a direct result of the pandemic and its effect on motivation. Students had very little time to prepare to make the switch to remote learning and some were completely unable as they do not own personal laptops.

The future of education
The future of education is here

This means students are vying for a computer against others in their household and may be unable to attend classes, yet some teachers still make virtual attendance mandatory. Factors such as this have resulted in a worse learning experience and destroyed the motivation of many students. Besides this, teachers themselves are becoming frustrated and tired of talking to an often unresponsive classroom. 

Less Academic Financing

Before the pandemic, around 11 percent of public expenditures were allocated to education, but these funds have since been diverted to health and the overall economy. Many educational institutions worry that these funds will not return and that certain resources at these schools will need to be cut in order to survive. 

Many students have grown frustrated with the fact that colleges or universities are still charging full tuition prices, in some cases, and have opted to take a gap year or de-enroll to pursue an accredited online degree program instead. Schools still need to charge students and receive funding, but a lack of funding from the state and federal level means that costs for students can’t be adjusted.

This reduced funding is feeding the viewpoint that remote learning is not worth the cost, which is why many students appear to be moving away from their current educational institutions. In the future, this may result in a more poignant change, such as alternative education overtaking traditional instruction in terms of enrollment. 

More Focus on Alternative Education

As alluded to above, alternative educational institutions, such as trade schools and bootcamps, haven’t suffered as much during the pandemic, considering that many were already online and mastered remote learning long ago. 

As covered on Bootcamp Rankings, there are free coding bootcamps that can be pursued which teach students everything they need to know in order to enter fields such as software engineering. Many of these alternative sources can be completed in a matter of months as well, which is another reason students seem to be interested in pursuing these options. 

In fact, trade school attendance has actually increased by 28 percent in recent years and now rivals that of traditional institutions. This trend is only expected to increase as the pandemic begins to wind to a close. 

The Future Of Education – Conclusion

Everyone has focused on how Covid-19 has affected the workforce over the last few months, but there has not been as much attention on the detrimental effects on global education. Students and teachers are burnt out and struggling to stay motivated in a remote learning format. Couple this with the lack of funding and how students are increasingly not seeing the value of their education, and it’s evident that a major disruption may be on the horizon for this industry. 

The Future of Education (Learning and Teaching)

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Researcher educator specializing in mental health, educational innovations, computer-supported collaborative learning, and technology integration.

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