Learning Amidst Disaster Made Possible with eLearning
Disaster, whether natural or manmade, can strike at any moment. It could also take different forms, be it in the guise of a hurricane or, in today’s case, a pandemic. The growing threat of COVID-19 looms worldwide and hampers almost every facet of everyday life, including learning. Numerous countries have already declared lockdowns on their biggest cities, suspending classes along the way.
Amidst the uncertainties brought by disasters like a pandemic, knowledge is vital now more than ever. That’s why most institutions and schools around the world brought the learning experience out of their classrooms and into the online world.
Introducing innovations to learning
The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) estimates that around 890 million students have been affected by school closures in 114 countries. Given this situation, countries like China, South Korea, and Italy found themselves dealing with temporary home- schooling arrangements.
For some, these changes have caused inconveniences. However, the current situation also provided an opportunity for the introduction of innovative learning tools and systems.
Here’s a look at how different countries are continuing the formal education of their students:
- Hong Kong has introduced its “Read Together” forum, which contains over 900 educational assets (videos, books, and the likes) from 60 educational organizations. Apart from this consortium, Hong Kong has also introduced online apps where learning can take place.
- China began by airing educational materials through live television broadcasts. The country is also making the first steps to develop a cloud-based online learning platform, which they plan on rolling out nationwide.
- Simpler online learning tools were harnessed in developing countries like Nigeria, where classes are held through face-to-face video instructions.
- In countries like Lebanon, online learning has also empowered students to learn new skills such as video editing.
Learning experts also foresee further growth in online learning, especially with the rise of 5G technology in countries like the US, China, and Japan. The increased interconnectivity provided by this new technology can soon make interactive virtual learning not only a possibility, but the new norm in learning.
Why it works
Confidence towards online learning tools is growing among school administrators, and for a good reason. For one, students now have easy access to learning content. Teachers, on the other hand, can easily monitor student engagement and participation to track their performance. This platform makes learning possible, even outside the confines of a conventional classroom.
To make online learning even better, there must be the presence of good pedagogy. This means coupling eLearning tools and platforms with tried-and-tested learning methodologies to ensure that students are actually learning.
How to plan for eLearning integration
Prepare your school for learning continuity by planning the integration of a complete eLearning curriculum through the following steps:
- Set clear objectives and goals
- Assess the current technological and pedagogical capabilities of your school
- Identify possible barriers and constraints
- Learn more about the students and their needs
- Ensure teachers are ready and prepared for the transition
The world needs knowledge now more than ever, especially in the midst of uncertainties brought by the current pandemic. Thankfully, the latest online learning tools have enabled school systems around the world to be more resilient when it comes to learning.
“3 ways the coronavirus pandemic could reshape education,” World Economic Forum
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