All anyone can think about at the moment is the pandemic, we cannot escape it. When you think of 2020, what’s the first thing that pops to your head? I bet it’s something negative, right? Unless, you are the education sector, as this year may have just heightened the very importance of online teaching.

The pandemic: why is online teaching no longer just an option?

The sudden outbreak of coronavirus shook the entire world, with education being one of the most affected areas. To put this into perspective, over 1.2 billion children in 186 countries are out of the classroom, but has this hindered or helped the education sector? As a result of the pandemic, education has changed dramatically and reinforced the importance of online teaching, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely on teaching programmes such as ClassIn, WeClassroom and Google Classroom; these provide a wide range of interactive tools for the teacher and students to use. The concept of ‘interaction’ is certainly a positive aspect of online teaching and we will delve more into the benefits later in this article. 

While online teaching has shown to be very effective, many people worry about the sudden shift away from the classroom and how this will impact learning, but can we blame them? It is important to note that this pandemic may have pushed the education system to adapt to modern technology methods and move away from rigid and arguably old-fashioned classroom learning. Is online teaching going to be the ‘new normal’? With the pandemic still ongoing and with more benefits to be experienced, this is a question yet to the answered.

Online teaching has obtained an unexpected opportunity to thrive

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise in the UK, a total of 10 million children are receiving their lessons via online platforms. Is this a good thing? Absolutely. Let’s imagine being a parent in March 2020 when we first went into lockdown; no teaching experience, demanding children and evident lack of enthusiasm – how does this benefit anyone? In January 2021, online teaching had to be incorporated to ensure a swift transition from the classroom to home learning (phew!).

Although education is very important in every culture, it is important to note that UK parents tend to adopt a relaxed approach to their child’s learning compared to other cultures, such as China – how do they differ? 

We have all heard of ‘pushy parents’, and Chinese parents certainly fit this stereotype. Please don’t take this as a bad thing, education has a cultural meaning in China, and it is inspiring how passionate they are toward their children’s academic achievement. Taking this into consideration, how have parents and China as a whole adapted to online teaching? Let’s discuss how! 

More than 200 million Chinese children have had to quickly adapt to online learning since the outbreak of coronavirus in January 2020, which is resulted in a major boost for China’s online education market:

  • The ‘newest trend’ – the main characteristic of a pushy parent is wanting the next best thing for your child. Their engagement with this new method of teaching has gone hand in hand with the success of China’s online education market.
  • Modernised methods – Chinese individuals are very good at keeping up with the times, you name it; they’re on it! With modern technology developing constantly, the pandemic has finally put traditional teaching methods on the back burner and reinforced the importance of online teaching.
  • Foreign teachers – even before the pandemic, Chinese parents chose to use foreign teachers for English language lessons. The recent events have meant online teaching is the only option if this is to continue, and with parents and students reaping the benefits of this interactive method, it is likely to continue for years to come.

With all this considered, China will likely become the liveliest market for online teaching – watch this space! 

 Post-pandemic: how has education changed forever?

 It’s hard to imagine a world where something has changed forever, but the pandemic has challenged and changed the education system overnight (literally). What would we have done without online teaching? Even before the pandemic, there was high growth in online education, but only recently has it been at the forefront of the education sector and has resulted in thousands of students receiving the lessons they need. 

While some believe that the rapid move to online learning was too hasty to be successful, others believe that its significant benefits are too hard to ignore and will become an integral part of education all around the world.

Do you think online teaching will continue to persist post-pandemic? Let’s look at the reasons why it should, to name a few:

  • Anywhere-Anytime – for those who do have access to technology, the beauty of online teaching is exactly this. Amazingly, children can independently advance their knowledge anywhere in the world.
  • Time-efficient – just rolled out of bed? No problem. The time taken for children to get ready and travel to school can be replaced with a fun-filled and interactive lesson.
  • Student-centred – seating plan? Never heard of it. The online teaching platforms and materials have allowed students to be the focus of the lesson, and rightly so. Every child has an equal opportunity to participate, speak, and use the interactive tools provided, resulting in higher engagement levels – children want to have fun!

I think this answers our above question, don’t you think? With the market value rising and the benefits accruing, online teaching has made its place and I’m sure you’d all agree that it’s here to stay.

Article Written by Georgia Sharpe @ The Overseas Teacher

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