Impact of COVID-19 on the Future of Education

The COVID-19 pandemic has expedited educational institutions into embracing a new paradigm of education. It is estimated that 1.3 Billion students across 186 countries have experienced school closures [1]. How do we continue to give kids a safe environment to go down their learning trajectory? By teaching them online. A new norm that is beginning to form, at least for the foreseeable future.

The sudden push to adapt to online learning has brought forward many uncertainties about the success or failure of this rapid evolution. Teachers, professors, and all other facilitators are expected to learn and grow as they discover new ways of managing their lessons. Getting regular constructive feedback from students is going to be imperative to improve the remote learning experience. The more feedback that is captured earlier, the larger the opportunity to avoid building bad habits.

The Social Dilemma

Socializing and physically interacting with other kids is shown to be an important factor in boosting the learning process. This is incredibly challenging to recreate through online learning. In particular, the randomness of kids getting to know one another. Does this impact their confidence, and other socializing skills as they mature into adulthood? Time will tell.

According to recent study conducted among kids aged between 10 – 17 years old, 71% of them stated they were feeling bored and 54% of them missed seeing their friends as they have to stay at home in the last couple of weeks [2].

Most kids love the social aspect of going to school, meeting friends while participating in a plethora of activities.The lack of this could impact their general motivation, especially towards studying. This creates a burden on their parents and guardians to create a structure, set up a routine, and facilitate emulated environments that continue to remind kids of the learning experience that lies beyond the pandemic. Routines give kids a sense of security and help them develop self-discipline [3].

Although virtual classes have been helpful in covering the curriculum, the significance of real world interactions has been lacking. Eating with their friends at school, playing in the playground or simply chatting through whatever comes to their mind. With their current day to day of virtual learning they are unable to go through these experiences.

Life Is Now Virtual

Despite shelter-at-home orders across the world, people are still connected through the internet, allowing many parts of society, including education to continue without being shut down. Students, as tech-savvy as they are, are getting a chance to become even more familiar with technology, while building a whole new dimension of skills. They are learning how to learn without the traditional presence of an instructor-led classroom. Research shows that on average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to 8-10% in a classroom [4].

Our team is using these learnings in our evolution of Quiklee.

Brain training and learning Apps

We recognize that people need to continuously challenge their minds, making a conscious effort to keep their brain active and healthy. Puzzles, brain teasers and complex mind games have existed for a very long time. The necessary push to a virtual world has created many mental training apps that can target specific areas of the brain.

A 2015 study conducted on the general US population revealed that 67% of respondents reported brain training apps helped with thinking, 69% with attention, 65% with memory and most interestingly 53% believed they had a positive effect on their mood [5].

The worldwide e-learning market is growing at a rapid pace and projected to be worth over $300 Billion by 2025 [6]

Quiklee is a fun casual game that facilitates learning cool knowledge and working through cognitive puzzles. Generally, every challenge has to be completed within a certain amount of time. The pressure to perform is real, and can help build resilience in handling high pressure situations.

For the lighter side of our community we have what is called “chill mode” which creates an engaging yet relaxing experience that comes without any pressure of beating the clock. Other notable apps doing some very interesting things in this space are Headspace, Lumosity, Elevate, and Peak.

Building resilience and adaptability

The role of educators is going through a transformation, and we are not yet sure what the evolution will come out to be. What we do know is that it will be different from their roles in the past. It will further incorporate the need to teach resilience, adaptability and ways to continuously stimulate the intellectual and cognitive mind.

As we see a generation of learners reap the fruits of the labor, the modern world of education will look lightyears ahead of what we see as familiar today.