Disrupting Educational Systems
The coronavirus pandemic has upended the stability that underpinned and facilitated such lazy presuppositions. Having found ourselves existing under crisis conditions, we have had to "make do" and embrace online learning, along with online everything else, in order to keep our societies afloat.
Online learning has kept the entire education system, from primary to third level, going throughout the pandemic. Online learning has allowed millions of workers to upskill in order to be able to work remotely. Without online learning, our society would have seen very little work and even less education during this pandemic. Online learning has allowed us to do much better than simply "make do".
Any lingering reluctance to give online learning its due has vanished as it has been acknowledged to be the tool that has facilitated both the relative stability we've managed to maintain throughout the pandemic and the extent to which we've succeeded in keeping the economy open.
The pandemic has drastically increased our personal exposure to online learning and inevitably, as is so often the case with unfounded prejudices, our firsthand experience has radically changed our opinions. People have experienced firsthand online learning rescuing our school system and training entire workforces overnight. Online platforms such as Alison have been the saviours of thousands of businesses seeking to upskill their employees in order to facilitate remote working and thus keep businesses going and people employed. Interest has rocketed in online courses as people experience the quality and variety of online learning for themselves.
Comparatively, traditional education institutions haven't covered themselves in glory during the pandemic. Many third level establishments revealed themselves to be mercenary landlords who happen to host lectures, rather than educational institutions.
In what seems like a physical manifestation of their unfitness as educators, many of these establishments now sit empty, rendered unused and useless by a shift in conditions to which they were too slow to adapt to. Driven online, they're currently operating at a standard far below that of established online platforms. As they grapple with the move online, their learners are forced to endure an amateurish online learning experience, while continuing to pay eye-watering fees.
In the meantime, established online learning platforms like Alison are going from strength to strength. While we all hope for a return to normality in the near future, there are elements of lockdown living that will remain. No longer content to waste their time commuting, workers are going to make sure that working from home is here to stay. Equally, no longer happy to waste their money, learners are going to make sure online learning is here to stay. The question is, can the traditional institutions adapt to these changing perceptions?