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According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), more than 1,200 million students of all school grades have stopped having face-to-face classes worldwide, causing public institutions and private schools to adapt their study plans to be taught remotely.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was estimated that the online education market would reach 350 billion dollars by 2025. This projection was exceeded by our current circumstances, proving that this modality is to stay.
The fundamental role of connectivity in this equation has already been proven by video conferencing platforms (among which Zoom, Skype, and Webex stand out) which are contributing significantly to empowering this new dynamic.
Soon, a need to establish policies that highlight the importance of access to education at all levels, help reduce the pre-existing digital divide and favor socio-economic growth in our country, would be of utmost priority.
This trend reveals that the schools of the future will have to be 100% connected, if we want to bring education to all corners of the country, even in circumstances as adverse as those we live in today. The so-called education 4.0 tells us that the best way to revolutionize education is by integrating technology – and its responsible use – to create a new methodology in the classroom.
Due to the growing need to lay a solid foundation for the education of the future, some of the main challenges that online education would face in the coming years are identified as follows:
Personalized educational experience
Knowing that each student learns differently and at their own pace, it will be crucial that teachers opt for content that includes elements of interest to each one of them. Today more than ever, students require personalized attention to keep up with the learning that they will have to acquire for the rest of the school year.
The schools of the future will demand digital skills and their constant development. Students and teachers will need to play a much more proactive role in their training, as they will increasingly need more applications, programs, equipment, and tools to perform their daily tasks successfully.
Emotional care will be more important than ever, so schools will need to provide assistance and support for students and teachers to enjoy good mental health at a time when both have had to deal with high levels of stress, anger, loss and sadness due to the pandemic.
If the current methodology makes students require constant additional assistance to understand a topic or solve a problem, it is possible that teachers need creative alternatives to transmit their knowledge. This is a unique opportunity to plan, adapt materials, and adjust the formats used for their delivery.
Education represents the cornerstone of sustainable development. Ensuring equal access to quality training is an essential factor for both individuals and society in general, as it combats inequalities and determines the development potential of a nation.