The education industry has never gone through such a disruptive time as now. Covid-19 has changed the face of education in a multitude of ways and it’s still not clear how exactly the industry will recover from the disruption it’s currently facing. Millions of students and teachers across the world were forced to transition to a remote learning format with little notice—the effects of this change are apparent.
By examining the changes Covid-19 has caused on the industry as a whole, we can begin to identify what the future may look like. The pandemic has caused staffing shortages across the country and numerous other issues that may have long-lasting consequences. With that in mind, here are three ways the recent pandemic has disrupted education.
Reduced Student and Teacher Motivation
Overall, it’s difficult to stay focused when you are forced to stare at a screen for long periods of time. For K-12 students, this problem is only emphasized. Students of this age are forced to sit at their computer for roughly hour-long classes, eight-hours a day. The only breaks many get are five to ten minutes between classes and perhaps an hour for lunch.
This is emotionally and physically draining to do, day in and day out, especially considering how little warning many of these students had. Not to mention, some households only have a single computer for the family to share. This can lead to arguments over who gets the computer, especially with parents being forced to work remotely as well.
On the other side of the spectrum, teachers are being forced to instruct in an entirely unprecedented way. Talking to an unresponsive screen and seeing a slow decline in attendance has led many to question the merits of how their schools handled the transition to online instruction and sucked the motivation out of many teachers as well.
Greater Attention Place on Trade Schools
Fortunately, not all effects caused by Covid-19 on the education industry were bad. Trade school attendance has not suffered nearly as much as traditional institutions. Unlike colleges, for example, a trade school features specialized courses that are designed to prepare students for a specific career path.
Schools such as General Assembly offer courses in data science and digital marketing, rather than offering broader majors. The cost of attending institutions such as this are also lower, which has appealed to those who don’t see the value of paying full price for tuition at a currently remote university.
An added benefit of trade schools is that they can be completed in as little as a year, depending on the specific institution, which makes them an appealing alternative to traditional sources of education. Reports show that trade school attendance is up 28 percent over the last few years, which is a remarkable number.
The Rise of Bootcamps
Similar to trade schools, coding bootcamps offer specialized courses that reach students a skill, rather than prepare them for one career. Some free coding bootcamps allow students to study multiple coding languages, such as Python or C++, whereas data science bootcamps strive to teach students everything there is to know about the profession.
With a low cost and expedited education, many students have actually enrolled in coding bootcamps along with their traditional institutions in order to learn valuable skills and information in addition to their other academic studies. With more and more bootcamps popping up all the time, this is clearly becoming an educational source that many are placing a great value on.
Education is changing faster than ever before. While some despise remote learning, others have embraced it and actually enjoyed the change. With these sentiments so split, it’s unclear how and when the education industry will return to some semblance of normal. With that said, millions of educators and students alike have been displaced as a result of this pandemic.
As with every industry, it will surely take years to recover, but this change could also be the start of something new. Trade schools and bootcamps are presenting themselves as potential alternatives to traditional education, and a spike in attendance at these schools may be on the horizon.