Repsonse by Kemp Edmonds, marketimg and technology leader, Digital Media Academy.
Because most schools have moved to virtual learning environments in response to COVID-19, what are the likely long-term outcomes of this?
We work with a lot of educators and educational leaders in our business the emergence of blended learning is something we see as a long term outcome of this. Blended learning refers to learning in which students learn via electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face teaching. As most students will likely be using online learning more often for the coming weeks they will develop more of an ability to consume information and learn online.
Blended learning provides educators incredible opportunities to use at home/online/electronic learning to provide more impactful hands-on learning in the classroom. We are optimistic that schools, educators, and learners who make the most of this shift we see long term dividends down the road. Students need to embrace self-directed learning via online methods now more than ever and this “forced” virtual learning scenario is likely to improve and expedite that process.
Will more schools embrace distance learning once we’re beyond the pandemic? If so, what will that look like? Will some educational entities move beyond physical classrooms altogether?
We believe that many schools will embrace distance learning/virtual learning environments more once the pandemic is over. We don’t think it will be a large change or a wholesale change, but depending on the students, educators, and the institutions we expect to see a shift for many students to more blended learning environments. We are an education provider, but are not like a traditional school as we provide intensive hands-on learning in person at North America’s best universities via seasonal technology camps. For us, this time is speeding up our strategic plan and need to adapt to provide learning online, anywhere, at any time.
In traditional schools, we expect to see, where enabled by digital equity: devices and connectivity for all students, some activities shifting to online delivery. The biggest challenge we see for traditional educational institutions is that learners who are not engaged in their learning strongly require in-person educational opportunities to learn.
It will be much easier for private and non-traditional educational institutions to move beyond physical classrooms altogether while traditional educational institutions may see little to no net change. A major part of what schools provide isn’t just in the education it’s in the care of our children while we work.. We can’t discount the value of that part of the service.
Could in-classroom learning go the way of the dinosaur or is that panic-stricken hype?
No. As shared above “learners who are not engaged in their learning strongly require in-person educational opportunities to learn.”
There is huge value in online education and humanity has yet to truly tap into that opportunity. This time provides an opportunity to force everything to try, deliver, and experience online education for the first time. Change takes time.
In essence, what is the future of classroom-based learning and the technology that plays a role in providing instruction?
We are optimistic that educators and students alike are becoming more adept and adapted to virtual learning environments. The future of classroom-based learning is a blended learning environment where lectures become something you watch for homework and hands-on projects and group activities happen in person.