Educational sector passes through a sudden, drastic, and irreversible change, bringing the whole educational process into uncertainty and danger, and at the same time – into a new era of rapid implementation of educational innovations and learning solutions. Schools in 184 countries are closed, 1 534 227 915 learners are impacted, over 63 000 000 educators are affected. Here are a few observations of the pros and cons of the global
- Universities facing danger of losing students. There are many international universities that might be prevented of entering a country to continue their studies. In many higher institutions the forthcoming campaign for enrolling students for 2020-2021 is uncertain and unpredictable. Private universities face issues with their stakeholders and future incomes, while state universities face the issue of not receiving government support because of students’ decrease in the next academic year.
- Improving the digital skills and online teaching methods of faculty members. There are many faculty members in our universities who have never taught a virtual course before, in all countries and universities. Coronavirus caused a huge stress in the process of going from offline classroom environment to online synchronized way of delivering educational content. We started even asking ourselves crucial questions: Why didn’t we do this digital transformation before? Why didn’t we prepare our universities to the 21st century requirements of the Gen Y and Gen Z? Did we really need so many face-to-face meetings and conferences? Why didn’t we use so far an Intranet environment in our academic institutions? In many universities staff members have already demonstrated their adaptability and openness to change; university governance bodies have adopted very fast online learning solutions, or have placed a strategy to do that soon.
- Learning becomes part of daily life. Locked in our homes, we consume educational content much more than before. We subscribe for online classes of all kinds. We read much more than before books, articles, publications on all matters that we love and we never had time to do this before. We learn new platforms for online teaching, coaching, webinars, podcasts. Education has moved from schools to homes and has widely democratized. At the same time, the digital divide across the world continues, because using internet resources for education depends on many country-based technological and other factors that affect the access to education and its quality.
- Innovative solutions: Many organisations and individuals have created innovative ways to bring
teachers and students together. Interactive apps for learning, live broadcasts, massive open online courses (MOOC), “educational influencers”, virtual reality educational experiences, new advanced learning platforms pop-up daily. In many countries primary and secondary school students got access to learning material through live television broadcasts.
- New partnership and strategic alliances: Educational organisations form consortiums and other types of alliances with other organisations in the field of media, publishing industry, and entertainment business to offer videos, books, assessment tools, and other educational assets to broader audiences online. UNESCO is launching a Global COVID-19 Education Coalition that brings together multilateral partners and the private sector, including Microsoft and the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), to help countries deploy remote learning systems so as to minimize educational disruptions and maintain social contact with learners.
Here are some links from the last week to help us understand better what is going on in the educational sector internationally: from primary education to university programs:
- UNESCO launches global coalition to accelerate deployment of remote learning solutions: https://en.unesco.org/news/half-worlds-student-population-not-attending-school-unesco-launches-global-coalition-accelerate
- Covid-19 is Our Best Chance to Change Universities for Good: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/mar/31/covid-19-is-our-best-chance-to-change-universities-for-good
- COVID-19 Educational Disruption and Response: https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-emergencies/coronavirus-school-closures
- Key Messages and Actions for Covid-19 Prevention and Control in Schools, UNICEF: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/key-messages-and-actions-for-covid-19-prevention-and-control-in-schools-march-2020.pdf?sfvrsn=baf81d52_4
- Education International Covid-19 Tracker- https://www.ei-ie.org/en/detail/16669/education-international-covid-19-tracker
- US Colleges Face ‘Serious Jeopardy’ in Recruitment Struggles: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/us-colleges-face-serious-jeopardy-recruitment-struggles
- Coronavirus and the Campus: How can US Higher Education Organize to Respond? https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-sector/our-insights/coronavirus-and-the-campus-how-can-us-higher-education-organize-to-respond
- Coronavirus Forces 600 Billion Higher Education Industry Online: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-19/colleges-are-going-online-because-of-the-coronavirus
- COVID-19’s Staggering Impact on Global Education: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/infographic-covid19-coronavirus-impact-global-education-health-schools/
- The Impact of Coronavirus on Global Higher Education: https://www.qs.com/portfolio-items/the-impact-of-the-coronavirus-on-global-higher-education/
- ODILO: Build Your Own Intelligent Content Platform: https://www.odilo.us/
- Strategies to Minimize Learning Disruption Worldwide: https://medium.com/@sibis786/strategies-to-minimize-learning-disruption-worldwide-8af3c64bcf5b
- World Universities Ranking by MOOC Performance 2020: https://www.mooclab.club/pages/wurmp-full-list/
- Remote Learning Solutions from Estoni: https://education-nation.99math.com/
- 3 Ways the Coronavirus Pandemic Can Shape Education: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/3-ways-coronavirus-is-reshaping-education-and-what-changes-might-be-here-to-stay/