The global pandemic, COVID-19, has affected the lives of billions across the world. Like every other human activity, the education norms underwent a redefining process due to infection rates. More than 1 billion students in 186 countries face school/college closure, compelled to continue learning online. People wonder about their future generation as it is not only the education sector in a problematic state. The disastrous rise in unemployment has also created a sense of disparity among populations worldwide. Just as the uncertainty levels have risen in all spheres of life, people are unsure whether online education trends will persist post-pandemic.
On the other hand, the ed-tech industry has gained momentum with investments over 18 billion US $ racked up within a year. Moreover, these figures may rise to 350 billion US $ by the end of 2025. Whether it is virtual tutoring, online conferences, learning software, or education apps, online education is growing exponentially in multiple branches since COVID-19.
The global pandemic COVD-19 brought in new ways of teaching and learning. Traditional means of education are becoming primitive for the young generation. Technology has offered them fun and interactive ways to learn. However, quality education settings require high-input operations that need significant investment and time to develop. People are also worried about online learning's reputation and relevance if the world continues with a colossal shift in trend.
But this does not mean that a universal trend in remote learning initiated only because of COVID-19. Researchers believe that online education would have infiltrated lifestyles within a few decades despite the current pandemic. Arguably, because conventional education is losing its luster, people become more and more reliant on technology.
However, the importance of asynchronous learning is inevitable, as it is necessary for students' character building. Through teamwork, communication skills, diversity, and training, it is possible to excel in a pressure environment. But the use of synchronous platforms such as Google Meet, Zoom, and others will complement the understanding of digital tools and improve students' research abilities. This new-normal fosters research and collaborative skills, whether it is an accredited online high school diploma or a degree program. They can utilize more productively in higher education once face-to-face learning resumes.
Out of necessity, institutes are now using flexible and creative techniques to build an ideal learning scenario for their students. New approaches and innovative practices, such as the use of Edmodo, Project, ClassDojo, EduClipper, etc., have redefined the concepts of learning. Moreover, teachers design interactive activities and online assignments to capture their focus and morale while studying at home.
Numerous problems come with online learning; most students do not have stable internet connections in underdeveloped countries. Technological faults such as this make the online learning system flawed. The struggle to participate in online learning creates a gap between income brackets within various states. For instance, the percentage of students having access to digital services is more than 90 in developed countries like Switzerland, the UK, and the USA. In contrast, only a quarter of the Indonesian students have computers, according to the OECD data.
In the United States, a difference is prominent between students hailing from privileged and underprivileged backgrounds. Virtually every child of age 15 belonging to a fortunate family has access to a computer, while almost 25% of the kids from less privileged backgrounds do not. However, governments and schools in several countries like Australia and South Wales are trying to bridge this gap by providing their students with digital equipment. However, there are still a staggering number of countries. The prevalence of online learning has brought the struggle to underprivileged populations.