COVID-19 has posed a major learning curve to students, parents and educators with regards to learning in a pandemic. In the face of a sudden paradigm shift, online learning now finds itself at the forefront of mainstream learning. For the first time, students everywhere are completely dependent on digital methods to fulfil their daily learning needs.
The pandemic has become an inflection point for education, and you can see this in how different stakeholders have responded to the crisis. A majority of educational institutes are conducting their classes online, parents are encouraging their children to learn from a screen and students themselves are experimenting with new methods of learning from home. While I don’t expect things to remain 100% online or even 100% offline on the other side of the pandemic, I believe certain aspects of the ‘new normal’ will make their way into the ‘Classrooms of Tomorrow’. Here are a few trends I believe we will see post the pandemic:
1. ‘Tuitions’ will be redefined:
The importance of home-based after-school learning will come to the forefront and digital learning tools will see an increased adoption from students. Home is where students learn at their own pace and in their own style, a need easily met through online learning platforms. These classes will not only ensure safety and social distancing, but scheduled online classes will also add a routine and discipline into the lives of students. Services that support and empower students to solve their doubts instantly and effortlessly will see a high adoption.
2. Blended learning will be the new normal:
In the post-corona era, we will witness the rise of a blended form of education, with a seamless integration of the best of both online and offline learning. The proliferation of smart devices coupled with the democratisation of the internet will fasten this process. With teachers now understanding the advantages of online learning tools, we will see tech enabled learning gain importance even in a classroom setting. The ‘Classrooms of Tomorrow’ will have technology at its core, empowering students to cross over from passive to active learning. The future will see us take a leap from the traditional one-to-many approach to blended one-on-one learning experiences, providing students the best of both physical and digital worlds.
3. Interactivity will take center stage:
Given the prolonged exposure to online learning tools during this period, engagement and interactivity will emerge as a priority for students, parents and teachers. Newer dimensions to quizzes, interactive games, story-based Q&As, engaging lessons which strengthen concepts, will see greater inclusion and adoption.
4. Personalization will be the need of the hour:
Students are looking for learning solutions customized to their own style and pace and a majority of innovation will be geared towards making personalization as effective as possible. Data and analytics will play a major role in making this a reality. Virtual mentoring for personal guidance and tutoring will also emerge as a key service.
5. Early learning will become more innovative:
As the importance of formative learning and early conceptual understanding gains more acceptance, we will see a lot more innovation in products, tools and ideas to help young children get learning right from the beginning. From storified concepts to their favorite cartoon characters playing teachers, kids will experience a highly engaging form of learning from their early years.
6. Vernacular learning will gain importance:
As internet penetration and smart device adoption continues to increase across India, learning will become more customized. To cater to the huge student population outside metros, learning programs will be effectively created and delivered in all key vernacular languages.
7. Digital learning tools will see greater adoption from teachers:
The on-going pandemic has caused teachers to become digitally empowered. Even teachers who were hesitant to adapt digital tools are now using them in different capacities. This has enabled them to see the advantages of digital learning. Because of the better awareness, the coming year will see teachers/educators increasingly adopt tech-enabled learning tools to support their students’ learning needs. This could be in a classroom or in an after-school learning setup.