How the Digital Ecosystem Can Help Limit the Impact of Coronavirus on Education
March 12th, 2020
The World Health Organization has announced that Covid-19 or Coronavirus has become a global pandemic. This has sparked concerns among educational institutions since the outbreak closely coincides with the back to school season.
By March 2020, Coronavirus or Covid-19 had infected more than 80,000 people around the world and killed 2,700! New cases have been popping up throughout the globe, with Germany labeling the disease a pandemic and California declaring a state of emergency.
The Devastating Effect on the Economy
But the toll on human lives is not the only way the disease is affecting the world. Coronavirus has also led many to believe that there could be a risk of a global economic slowdown. The global financial markets were largely oblivious to the virus during the early stages of its spread in China.
But as more cases began to emerge in Europe and the Middle East, fear of a global pandemic was sparked, which reflected in the financial markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst single-day plunge of 1,190 points since the 2008 financial crisis. Even Goldman Sachs predicted zero earnings growth for American companies for 2020 due to the epidemic.
A Silver Lining
Although it has had a devastating impact, the outbreak has given a push to the digital revolution. This is one of the aspects that makes it similar to the 2002 SARS outbreak. The SARS outbreak, which also started in China, coincided with the growth of the country’s massive eCommerce industry. In fact, Alibaba’s Taobao was launched during this period.
This was no mere coincidence. During the outbreak of such communicable diseases, people prefer to stay indoors. Even Jack Ma has acknowledged the impact of SARS on the Chinese internet sector.
The situation seems similar in 2020. Technology has emerged as an efficient means to cope with the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. Whether it is banking or getting dinner, people are using the internet to do it. Even mobile usage has climbed up among the Chinese during this period.
EdTech to The Rescue
But one of the areas where technology has shown to be most beneficial is education. Covid-19 has almost collapsed the traditional educational system in many regions. Italy has announced the closing of all schools for 2 weeks and China has 180 million students who are stranded. Several schools in the USA, such as those in Idaho and Washington, have also temporarily shut down, with many other states contemplating the closing of educational institutions to contain the outbreak.
In this time, the best course of action seems to be the use of digital education. Many Australian universities are already working to impart education with the help of Ed Tech. The eLearning industry in China has received a massive boost too. In fact, just three eLearning companies accounted for an increase in revenue of $3.2 billion since the outbreak.
There is good reason for this. eLearning allows students to access education from anywhere and at any time. Education need no longer be bound by physical walls. All that is required is a mobile device or computer. In addition, with the availability of offline eReaders, students can continue to access learning even when internet connectivity is unavailable.
But this is not the only advantage of remote learning. Imparting education with the help of a powerful distance learning platform also provides various other benefits, such as:
Digital learning provides detailed analytics about the learning habits and behaviors of the students. Even with remote learning, teachers can monitor progress of individual students and offer personalized learning paths and support. In addition, students can choose to learn at their own pace and in their preferred learning style. All of this made possible without students and teachers even needing to come in direct contact, with the help of distance learning.
With digital learning, not only can students choose the time, place and pace of learning, but also the content format that helps them understand the best. With easy integration of audio, video, highlight capabilities, note taking, images and infographics, learning becomes easier even for those with various learning difficulties.
Page after page of text can be incredibly boring for the Gen Z student, leading to lower engagement levels. But with a powerful learning platform, interactive and gaming elements can be integrated, such as puzzles, leaderboards, badges and more. In fact, the use of digital learning has been found to increase engagement levels by 70%!
All of these features not only help digital learning emerge as the best option during the current Covid-19 outbreak, but also for the future of learning. To know more about how Ed Tech can propel you into the future of education, contact us today.