The state of education has been reshaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite the mass confusion, teachers and educators across the globe have adapted to these changes and reconstructed their lesson plans to better serve their students.
As we transitioned to virtual classrooms and learning, educators were navigating the new world of remote learning along with their students. Luckily, technology is nothing new to this generation of students who have never lived in a world without screens. Already part of their daily routine, virtual classrooms and online assignments allowed students to take ownership of their education and distilled a sense of independence from this experience.
For students, the internet is no longer just a playground for entertainment and games but another way to develop their researching skills.
Communication Is More Important Than Ever
Communication became an intrinsic part of learning for educators as schools closed and the uncertainty of the future remained. Some schools were better equipped to handle the switch than others—communicating with parents, distributing laptops to students, and sending out learning materials. But the in-class connection between teachers and students was lost, and teachers were expected to replicate that bond via webcam.
Zoom meetings became a popular method of communication for teachers to reach their students—on a platform that many of their parents soon became familiar with as jobs also utilized videoconferencing. But there were instances where teachers struggled with reaching their more disadvantaged students whose parents were essential workers and may not have even had internet access. Juggling setting up meetings, hosting one-on-one tutoring sessions with students, and teaching students how to access and use their online resources was a challenge, but teachers were more than motivated to help their students adjust to the new normal.
Is Virtual Learning the Future of Education?
Was technology already becoming an integral part of education or has the pandemic sped up the development? Integrations with LMS (learning management system) platforms like Google Classroom, Canvas, ClassLink, and Schoology were already becoming more commonplace in schools, with educators utilizing these tools to better connect with their students, grade their work, and set up assignments and tests. Schools have also been recognizing the benefits of trading physical textbooks for eBook collections that are accessible to mobile apps and online resources that can be accessed at home and possess every tool they need to meet the needs of their students. During the school shutdowns, teachers did not need to distribute textbooks and printables—students could access their readings and assignments at home and print at their leisure.
Online databases have been another effective tool for teachers to better prepare their lessons and be able to reach all of their students. Following the latest educational standards, these resources may possess comprehensive, scholarly articles, carefully curated videos, maps, and more. Inclusivity has also been a priority, with many databases having Read Aloud, font enlargements, and language tools to bridge the gap between all students. For younger students, interactive games and infographics help make learning fun!
Learn more about integrations here:
- Integrating E-Resource Tools into Online Courses with Infobase: Webinar
- 21st Century Skills & Media Literacy—Integrating Media Assets into Your Middle School or High School Online Classroom: Webinar
Preparing for the Future
Challenges came along with the pandemic, but they only underscored how versatile and dedicated our educators are, going above and beyond during these difficult times. We have renewed appreciation for teachers’ efforts, with countless stories of their late nights and weekends grading papers and recording instructional videos. Our students and educators are sure to have the tools they need to be prepared for the next school year.
Education is malleable and will continue to persist through any obstacles and events in the foreseeable future.
How do you think the COVID-19 pandemic will affect education moving forward? What are your remote teaching stories?
Also of interest:
- Infobase now offers a Professional Development and Training Platform with more than 1,600 courses, including 100,000 videos across 50+ topics. Learn more here!
- Be sure to check out our blog article “Trending Professional Development Topics in Our New Reality” to learn how Infobase’s professional development platform can help educators sharpen their skills.