Following the forced shut down of the schooling system amid restrictions on gatherings last year, online learning has seen a major boom as the industry looked to continue educating students.
This is according to mentorship company Crimson Education, which highlighted the current trends and long term prospects in the online learning space.
Although virtual learning has been around much before COVID-19, the pandemic has resulted in a massive uptick in the number of enrollments to online education platforms. Crimson Education says that a number of independent schools had already jumped onto the remote teaching bandwagon for the first half of this year.
It is likely that even after life gets back to normal, online learning will continue to be in high demand because of the flexibility and convenience it offers. Students and teachers are able to easily interact and collaborate with one another from anywhere as long as they both have a computer and internet connection.
Crimson Education explained that online schools are giving students more control of when they want to learn or what they want to learn. Flexible class times and a wide selection of international curricula are highly sought after.
“One aspect of remote learning or online schooling that has stuck in most people’s mind is the flexibility this affords,” noted Crimson Education manager Rebecca Pretorius.
She added: “It has also given students an opportunity to learn additional skills, such as time management, which will be instrumental at university and in their careers where learning is more independent.”
Crimson Education also stressed the importance of having cybersecurity measures in place before rolling out lessons or courses online. Educators need to be prepared for the cyber threats of digital classrooms. This means investing in secure platforms and upskilling themselves on how to create a cyber safer learning environment, protect students’ private data, and teach students the basics of online privacy and security.
Online schooling has made education more accessible, especially for those with physical and learning disabilities. With software such as Microsoft Teams, whose features include videoconferencing, whiteboards, and assignments, students can learn at a pace and in a format that is suited for their unique needs.
And, considering the increasing interest in online learning, it’s clear that teachers and students will be dependent on reliable internet connectivity like never before in order to access these tools.