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Traditional Education is getting a reboot, one that is long overdue

Posted on June 26, 2020 by Sigourney Frier

In our last two blog posts, we’ve explored how the pandemic is affecting traditional education and the opportunities that exist for online homeschooling. It might seem that this global disruption in education has driven a new movement for e-learning in just a few short months, but it has only accelerated and amplified what was already happening. 

Online learning has been making steady progress for several years already and it has proved its worth during the lockdown. Technology has been integral to this success but for those learning institutions that were unprepared for remote schooling, it has shown that technology is not enough without training, infrastructure and specialised teaching models. 

Traditional schools have had a few months to adapt and many have already started to develop more permanent, long-term strategies for remote learning in light of the pandemic. Several countries have re-opened schools for certain age groups with reasonable success but many parents and teachers are still reluctant to return at this stage. With health risks and concerns that schools are re-opening too early, many students will continue with online learning for the coming months. Encouragingly, most schools support this decision and have included remote learning options in their education strategy for the rest of the year.

To successfully integrate remote learning into traditional schools, there are some essential systems and strategies that need to be in place. The most important of these is helping teachers to adapt their teaching style and lesson plans to online formats that engage students in new ways. Academic institutions will also need to invest in infrastructure that makes this possible for their educators, this means that teachers will need tools like lighting fixtures, additional monitors and quality microphones for their lessons. 

Traditional schools need to embrace remote learning from a long-term perspective with the understanding that this type of education offers skills that traditional schooling doesn’t. The ability of students to adapt and learn under these unfamiliar conditions will be incredibly valuable to future employers, the challenges students have faced during this pandemic will teach them valuable lessons. These strategies will ensure success and longevity for educational institutions, they are already being implemented on platforms like CambriLearn with excellent results and growth for our students. 

The pandemic has caused disrupted education for millions of children across the globe.  But for many, it’s also become a crossroad where families are choosing a new path. Online homeschooling is already a widely successful form of education and it has stepped up to the challenge of offering continued education during this crisis. Families are already experiencing the benefits of remote learning, children can complete work more quickly and often gain a better understanding of the content. Parents have found that their children are more than capable of learning, handing in assignments, taking tests and maintaining a sense of community from their homes. 

This is not to say that it has been an easy adjustment for all children but it shows the potential benefits remote learning brings to the table. Online homeschooling institutions, like CambriLearn, encourage children to take charge of their learning journey with the guidance of their teachers. This level of independence and accountability is usually something students are thrust into when they reach tertiary education, giving them access to these problem-solving skills at an early age is a valuable advantage. 

Some parents might worry that online education is unreliable as students can simply Google the answers for tests and assignments but e-learning platforms are designed to circumvent these issues. High-quality online homeschools build their curriculums around developing creative problem-solving skills, instead of simply memorising facts or figures. Besides, once students enter the workforce, Googling and research are essential tools that they will use every day so, it’s important to develop these skills throughout their education. 

Online learning is more than just presenting information and content to students, it also gives them access to the resources they need to develop their creativity and critical thinking skills. Technology is more than just a way to distribute content, it can help students to engage with the world and discover the latest developments in various topics. Online homeschooling does not confine students to rigid curriculum structures based on semesters or terms, but rather it allows them to progress at their own pace. Often, this means that students complete their courses and curriculums sooner than their peers in traditional schooling.

The pandemic has disrupted education in a short period, allowing us to refocus learning to offer children more opportunities in different areas of their lives. It has reminded us that education is more than just teaching them about the world but it also teaches them about their place in society. This is a chance to re-evaluate the way we assess students, with less emphasis on knowing facts and more on creative problem-solving or critical thinking. 

For the foreseeable future, online and remote learning will be a reality for academic institutions all over the world. It’s time to disrupt and develop the way our children learn, using technology as a tool to expand their knowledge and allow them to find new ways to connect with their peers outside of the classroom. Let’s find new ways to engage students and encourage them to take charge of their learning journey, let’s teach them to be innovative and independent by offering an education built on these principles. Our children have the opportunity to forge a new path for education and their futures, the first step in this journey is to embrace online learning and all the opportunities that come with it.