When the Covid 19 pandemic hit the world in 2019, it affected more than 1.6 billion students across the globe. Online schooling and remote learning became a necessity overnight forcing educators to come up with innovative ways to ensure that even during the lockdown students were learning.
While the focus on online education was amplified manifold due to the pandemic, online schooling has been gaining eminence in the field gradually over the last decade. Earlier online schooling was more common in online higher education with millions of students enrolled in skill development, online courses or even online degrees for more advanced courses.
This has changed now with even younger students being interested in online learning. Parents and students have realised the potential that online schooling has for younger students especially when it comes to learning newer skills. Even traditional teaching methods now include a blending of online learning with traditional methods of teaching. While many were contemplating that end of lockdown and easing Covid restrictions would mean that students will go back to traditional learning models that have not been the case.
The pandemic has highlighted the dynamic model of learning and collaboration through online schooling which suits the need of many students better than the previous education model. A looming global recession has also led to students and parents rethinking the way they educate their children.
The recession has made online schooling immensely popular for young students as well as for professionals who are looking to upgrade their skills to stay relevant in the job market. Online schooling provides parents to cut costs on tuition and on learning new skills. While for younger adults and career professionals, it allows them to stay competitive in a shrinking job market.
It is clear that online schooling is here to stay in a post-pandemic world and would only get bigger and better over time. Let’s look at some of the benefits that online education has over traditional methods of schooling for both young children and adults.
Cost-Effective in Times of Recession
In the global recession post-pandemic, one cannot ignore the reduced cost of education in the online mode. For students and parents, online schooling can save a lot of money in times of economic slowdown and job cuts. Online schooling also ensures that one is not paying for the utilities, supplies and accommodation all of which tend to get higher during the recession. Many also avoid going back to school during a recession since the job market can be very uncertain and education loans can be difficult to pay back in such conditions.
Various courses on skill development online are either free or cheap as compared to colleges or workshops. These skills can prove critical to stay relevant in the job market during the recession. Even younger students can benefit from staying up to date with upcoming courses that schools are late to adapt to.
Learning without Geographical Constraints
New and diverse courses are often limited to a few premier institutions located in cities which limits access to a rather limited number of people. Specifically in a globalised world learning new skills from people all over the world through online schooling can be a huge advantage. Not only does it provide an equal opportunity to all but also keeps the cost of pursuing these courses relatively affordable even for those from the developing world.
Online students can also have the opportunity to collaborate with fellow students from all over the world and learn from each other’s unique perspectives, which would not be possible in the traditional setting.
Allows Parents and Students to Have Flexible Timing
Online schooling provides flexibility to learning which benefits individuals of all age groups. For parents, it is a boon since they can manage their time better and have a more active role in their child’s education and development. For a proactive parent, online schooling can be a good fit. Time management is a challenge for parents, university students, school students and working professionals alike. It has become ever more difficult to find time to do things that we love.
The modern urban setting makes work-life balance a challenge for adults, and even children find it difficult to juggle their education, hobbies and extracurriculars. Online education provides flexibility in terms of time and teaches everyone the valuable life skill of time management. Online schooling also means that transportation time and cost are both eliminated. Not only do people get to pace the course according to their abilities and time availability but they also get more free time in general. It is a win-win situation for everyone.
Learn while Working During a Recession
For adults, online learning opens up opportunities to learn while working part-time or full-time. Especially in times of recession, the ability to learn while working can be the biggest pull factor for online schooling. In the uncertain job market during a recession, online education allows individuals to upgrade their skills without leaving the security that comes from a job. Online education also means less financial burden on students.
Personalised Learning for All
Online schooling also shows a more individualised form of learning. Students can learn based on their own needs in the time that they have. It allows students to have more one-on-one time with the educators as opposed to the traditional schools that have become overwhelmed with a growing number of students.
The system also allows students to have repeated access to the course material. It makes note-taking much easier and revisiting the lectures a possibility. For those who struggle to focus in the regular classroom, online schooling can be the perfect answer.
The Great Equalizer
For those struggling with physical and learning disabilities, online schooling is a great equaliser. With its benefits of individual attention, time flexibility, no geographical restriction and special attention from educators, those who earlier struggled in classroom settings can now learn at par with everyone else.
It is apparent that online schooling has many benefits over the traditional schooling system. Millions across the globe got introduced to online schooling during the pandemic and benefited immensely from taking the leap of faith. Online seminars, skill development courses, professional certification have helped many with the global pandemic and is now proving to be equally as useful in the recession that followed. The online learning community is evolving and growing at a much faster pace than ever before, making it the place to be in 2022.