The Education Shift: How Online Learning changed Education

  • By: Generation Z Team

Although the height of the pandemic has died down it has left a lasting impact on several aspects of life, including the education system. The drastic overnight shift from in-person to online learning has forever altered the learning style of this generation. Therefore, to better prepare students for the future, it is important to adapt to their needs.

Online learning platforms such as Zoom and Google Classroom became crucial tools in easing the educational transition and many benefits arose due to this new system. Location independence allows students and teachers to learn even when they are unable to come to class physically. Recording lectures or simply joining online means that missing school does not always equate to missing material. Joining online also makes the issue of transportation more affordable and accessible to those who do not live near their schools. Still, this does not mean that in-person teaching should be eliminated, it is still the core of education. Yet, online learning provides a backup for when issues arise in which in-person teaching can not be provided. As we have become more tech-savvy with online platforms switching between online and offline learning has never been easier.

The shift in the model of education has also placed more emphasis on collaborative learning. In previous years, education has solely been content-based. Educators and students had a linear relationship that relied on content memorization and repetition. Education then shifted to a more student-based active model where information flowed between individuals and task-based learning became the norm. This gave way for students to work together to complete assignments and share knowledge. The educator’s role shifted from being an instructor to a moderator. Students are now encouraged to ask questions and have open discussions about topics to get a full understanding of the information. This was largely pushed during online learning and has now fully moved into in-person learning too. Class seminars, online forums, and small group discussions are now widely used in all forms of learning to have students connect with each other, especially after being physically disconnected for so long.

The education shift that occurred due to the pandemic was bound to happen, it simply got pushed forward due to it. We were always moving towards a more technological approach to learning in which students and teachers alike would need to adjust to the new advancements around us. For the upcoming generations, this use of technology is not a monumental shift. They are well adjusted to its uses but can learn much more from it in the realm of education. Educators will also greatly benefit from this shift and must put in the effort to integrate technology into their classrooms in order for everyone to learn and grow.