Has COVID-19 changed how we educate our children?

Author: Oxbridge Online School |


At its highest rate of infection, COVID-19 resulted in the closure of schools all across the world, with an estimated 1.2 billion children out of the classroom. Traditional education was forced to adapt, meanwhile online schools, and other online learning platforms, were well prepared for what was to come. Asa result, E-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and delivered via a digital platform, has gained a lot of attention.

Although there are pros and cons to all methods of teaching, research suggests that online learning takes less time, is more environmentally friendly, and has been shown to increase the retention of information.

With this sudden shift away from the classroom in many parts of the globe, some are wondering whether the adoption of online learning will continue to persist post-pandemic, and how such a shift would impact the worldwide education market. Even before COVID-19, there was already high growth and adoption in education technology, with global edtech investments reaching US$18.66 billion in 2019 and the overall market for online education projected to reach $350 Billion by 2025.

Blog by Oxbridge Online School

What does the future hold for learning?

While there are those who are firmly against online learning, there are many others who believe that although it may not be the sole delivery method of primary, secondary, or further education —a new hybrid model of education will emerge, with some important benefits.

"I believe that the integration of information technology in education will be further accelerated and that online education will eventually become an integral component of school education," says Wang Tao, Vice President of Tencent Cloud and Vice President of Tencent Education.

In terms of E-Learning at a Higher Education level, there have already been successful transitions amongst many universities. For example Zhejiang University managed to get more than 5,000 courses online just two weeks into the transition. The Imperial College London started offering a course on the science of coronavirus, which is now the most enrolled class launched in 2020 on Coursera.

Many are already touting the benefits: Dr Amjad, a Professor at The University of Jordan who has been using Lark to teach his students says,

"It has changed the way of teaching. It enables me to reach out to my students more efficiently and effectively through chat groups, video meetings, voting and also document sharing, especially during this pandemic. My students also find it is easier to communicate on Lark. I will stick to Lark even after coronavirus, I believe traditional fine teaming and e-learning can go hand by hand."

How does online learning compare to its traditional counterpart?

There is evidence that learning online can be more effective in a number of ways. Some research shows that on average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom. This is mostly due to the students being able to learn faster online; e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom.

To get the full benefit of online learning, there needs to be a concerted effort to provide the structure of a traditional school but go beyond replicating a physical class/lecture through video capabilities, instead, using a range of collaboration tools and engagement methods that promote "inclusion, personalization and intelligence", according to Dowson Tong, Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent and President of its Cloud and Smart Industries Group.

This is the approach that we embody at the Oxbridge Online School. We believe that e-learning via pre-recorded content is not as beneficial to our students as live classes. Asa result, every class is conducted live, and promotes interactivity and discussion between the students and the teacher.

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