In response to COVID-19, offline classes have been suspended globally. In the whole world, more than 1.2 billion students are out of school. As a result, the education landscape has changed dramatically with the notable growth of eLearning, by which instruction is engaged remotely and on digital platforms. The adaptations brought forth by the coronavirus may remain since studies show that online learning increase retention of information and consume less time.
How is education responding to COVID-19?
Even though different countries have different rates of COVID-19 infection, the pandemic has caused school closures in 186 other nations affecting over 1.5 billion students globally and 13,033,100 learners in Vietnam. When the pandemic first hit Vietnam in 2020, schools were forced to suspend for ten weeks, restricting all students from face-to-face teaching. As a result, students began learning online wherever possible. The government acted quickly in an effort to enhance online learning and safeguard students’ health as they continue their education. Internet usage is generally widespread and has a high penetration rate.
Some people question if the adoption of online learning will continue to persist post-pandemic and how such a shift will affect the global education industry in many areas of the world.
With global edtech investments exceeding US$18.66 billion in 2019 and the whole market for online education expected to reach $350 Billion by 2025, there was already substantial growth and implementation in education technology even before COVID-19. However, there has been a noticeable increase in the utilization of language applications, virtual tutoring, video conferencing tools, and online learning software since COVID-19.
How will these responses change the education system for the future?
1. Partially or entirely remote classroom
While many education centers are attempting to bring back face-to-face training, many districts are getting prepared for learners to continue to be either fully or partially remote. Training centers are building digital solutions that must complement in-person learning models, given the advantages of remote learning or a hybrid model. Consequently, EdTech is becoming essential for education centers to help instructors and learners in sharing resources, delivering lessons, doing assignments, and engaging each other online.
2. Professional technology development for teachers
Since EdTech is now an effective teaching tool for education systems, training centers must deliver ongoing professional development opportunities to instructors in order to promote student learning online. As new digital tools arise to replace outdated ones, teachers will need support from server admins to remain updated on the learning curve. Teachers are now required to keep updated on using digital technologies like MS Teams, Zoom, Google Meets, digital blackboard, online assignments, and more, in addition to organizing courses, managing the virtual classroom, and paying attention to learners.
School administrators must organize regular training sessions for their teachers, team up with their EdTech vendors to deliver teaching materials, as well as provide time for tech-related professional development if they want to give teachers the tools they need to accomplish their jobs. In a developing country, where most teachers don’t have technology background, it is challenging to adapt to all eLearning tech. For example, in the case of IELTSmaster, an eLearning platform center in IELTS training based in Vietnam, their Filipino teachers are not familiar with technology and digital tools, so admin teams have to keep updating and training them constantly, especially when they move from using several third-party edtech support apps as MS Teams, Zoom to an all-in-one edtech platform – IELTSmaster
3. Parents need ongoing tech support.
During the peak of online learning, parents were forced into the day-to-day activities of the classroom as they assisted their kids with logging into online classes from home, resolving digital troubles, and keeping on task during distant courses. Many parents filled in the gaps as assistants for teachers who were administering their classrooms remotely. Now that EdTech is a component of every student’s life going ahead, parents are more likely to get involved in the details of their children’s educational experiences. This means to assist parents in understanding the digital tools their kids use on a daily basis; schools will have to keep providing information and support to families.
4. The connection between teachers and parents.
Additionally, technology is strengthening the relationship between educators and parents. Parent participation has increased as a result of moving parent-teacher conferences online. When parents can easily go onto eLearning apps to meet with their child’s teacher from home, they don’t have to think about transportation, daily commute, or care for children.
By saving commute time and holding meetings online, instructors have more time to devote to lesson planning and other tasks. The connection between teachers and their learners is improved by face-to-face interaction in the classroom, but virtual parent-teacher conferences are likely to occur.
5. Collaboration between teachers and faculty based on technology
Collaboration between teachers and faculty within the same training center and even across centers is improved thanks to online communication platforms. The requirement to immediately adapt during the pandemic gave rise to a new type of online community where instructors may interact with one another to get support, discuss ideas, and navigate EdTech. These communities were created through Online forums as well as other internet communities. To inspire and develop with their other teachers, some share their teaching techniques and digital tips or post videos of their recorded online sessions.
In the case of VietPhil, a notable firm for study abroad consulting services and English training center in Vietnam, they have developed an English training system for IELTS, TOEIC, and TOEFL certifications that is quite famous among Vietnamese students. VietPhil has hired Filipino teachers from many different schools in its education system. Therefore, to suit the management of a large number of teachers, they had requested ICTS to build IELTSmaster software, allowing teachers to easily communicate with each other and upload lecture files into the same data sources, sharing teaching methods, etc.
The challenges of eLearning
There are, however, challenges to overcome. Some students without reliable internet access and/or technology struggle to participate in digital learning; this gap is seen across countries and between income brackets within countries. For example, 95% of students in Switzerland, Norway, and Austria have a computer to use for their schoolwork, and only 34% in Indonesia do, according to OECD data.
In Vietnam, teachers and students switched to online learning under challenging conditions. 1.5 million students do not currently have any devices to study online. Many families with two or three siblings only have one phone to study. Before considering quality, we must care for students who lack access to resources and are gradually dropping out of school.
Are you building or having a plan to build an eLearning system? Check this Case study: IELTSMaster, in which we have helped a language training center build its own Learning Management System (LMS) at an affordable budget, for your reference.