For a few years now online studying has increasingly become popular, especially with people who don’t have the time to attend physical classes. The Open University, for example, specialises in distance learning and allows students to go at their own pace, while there are many websites offering a variety of courses that students can go through individually. For primary school, secondary school, and university students, the pandemic has forced them to have online classes since face-to-face classes were banned.
Even before the pandemic we had seen a steady rise in many areas of life moving online including: business, healthcare and education amongst many others. The reality is that using the internet as a medium makes many processes more efficient and allows access to many more people. In developing countries, children in rural areas often have to travel a few hours a day on foot to just get to school – now think of the benefit that an internet connection and laptop could do for these communities.
While there are many benefits to having physical classes such as aiding social development through communicating with peers and being able to keep an eye on students, during this time this isn’t the best idea. The current purpose of online classes is to offer the basic necessity of education to students, whereas it would usually be an option for those who are unable to attend a physical class for whatever reason. Educational institutions are investing in improving or creating their own meeting management software to give their students the best learning environment given the current situation. This investment itself shows their commitment to a future of e-learning.
Physical schools will certainly not be going away anytime soon but the world is certainly transitioning to e-learning, even in more developing countries. Looking at it from a monetary perspective, on the whole, online education is actually cheaper and more accessible than face-to-face classes, albeit with the downsides mentioned previously. For both sides – the schools and the students – costs will be much lower as there would be less overheads for schools, and no commutes needed for students, also saving time.
Aside from formal education, the online course industry is booming. Although it has been steadily rising over the past few years, the pandemic really saw demand rocket. With professionally made courses for almost everything from coding, to dropshipping and even carpentry, we can see people are looking to increase the diversity of their skills, making them more employable. This comes at a tough time in the job market and for businesses in general.
So as you can see, the signs are overwhelming that the future is heading more towards online learning and the pandemic has only sped up the process.