How COVID-19 changed teaching and helped us embrace online learning
The outbreak of COVID-19 completely altered the world of teaching. Overnight, teachers were asked to leave their classrooms and continue lessons from home.
While online learning was already established in many universities, language schools and business schools, suddenly pretty much every learning institution needed to switch to it – and embrace new technology as a result.
As a result, apps like Google Classroom (to send homework) and Google Meet (to conduct online classes) and other technology, quickly became the norm.
And while learning new technology, and adjusting lessons to suit an online environment has presented challenges to many institutions, for students it has meant greater access to online learning than ever before.
For example, you can now enrol in the best online electrician program while sitting at home. There’s no requirement that you live within a reasonable distance from the bricks and mortar campus and, no requirement to observe social distancing or wear a mask. So you can be safe and comfortable while learning.
Five key benefits of online learning
So what are some of the key benefits you can look forward to when learning online? Here are five important ones.
1) Better time management
Online classes are the perfect solution for time management issues. Rather than having to attend physical classes a set location at an exact time, you can attend classes from anywhere you happen to be. Whether that is at home in your bedroom, or while staying at a relative’s home.
And if you are busy or have other, immovable demands on your time, you can record live sessions to watch when it’s more convenient for you. Or to watch again if you need a better understanding on a particular topic.
You can set weekly schedules for reading, learning, and submitting assignments that fit around your lifestyle, and spend the rest of your time on other productive activities.
2) Greater self-motivation
With more choice over what course you may want to study, you can choose exactly the one you want, rather than being restricted by what is feasible close to you, and in the times you are free.
This enables you to pursue your ambitions more purposefully, and helps build your motivation to study. Rather than taking a ‘second best’ course because that is all that is available, you can choose precisely what you want or need AND decide the best times and ways to study.
So if you like the quiet of early mornings, when the rest of your house is asleep, you can plan your lessons and assignments for that time. Or if you’re more of a night owl, you can choose to work them.
3) You can balance distance and regular learning platforms
Before COVID-19 changed the educational landscape, there was some remaining snobbery around distance courses. They were deemed not quite as good as in-person.
But necessity has required everyone to embrace some form of online study, helping to remove the stigma. Students today can reap the same advantages from online learning, and secure some of the highest paid jobs in their field.
For example, the average salary for an electrician is $77,810 in New York. The amount of pay scale varies from state to state, but it just goes to show the opportunities that are available through online study.
4) More affordable education
As a rule, online classes are more affordable than face-to-face education. That’s because schools and colleges don’t have to bear the cost of things like heating or air conditioning, paper handouts, desks, chairs, electricity and other supplies.
They’re also less limited in numbers with online courses; they’re not capped by the number of students they can physically fit on campus or in a classroom. So you’ll often find that most learning institutions offer discounted rates on online courses, making them more affordable.
5) Avoid the dreaded commute
When you study at a bricks and mortar college, you don’t just need to take into account the time you spend in a classroom – you need to factor in your commute there.
If your college is in a busy city, or far from you, it may take you some time each day traveling to and from your classes. Plus you have the cost of parking, fuel and wear and tear on your car, or public transport charges.
Of course you can say goodbye to all this hassle and cost when you study online. All you need is a laptop or other device and WiFi connection and you are good to go. You can work from home, a library or coffee shop. You can even study in bed if you wish!
Online learning is the way forward
COVID-19 has helped make online learning more accessible and popular in recent months.
And while not every institution will continue running all their courses online once things return to normal, we can certainly expect that some of the stigma connected to online learning will be removed, and there will be greater choice for students who want to study from home.