COVID-19 pandemic hit the world like a ton of bricks. It made us all adapt in almost every aspect of our lives. In the education sector, more than 1.5 billion students and children across the planet have been affected by school and university closures, according to UNESCO. Traditional ways of teaching and learning had to clear the way for new and improved online education software. 

The global crisis accelerated the growth of the online and edtech industry. Now, as never before, educators and learners depended on technology. It turned out that lots of pre-COVID tools were not a good fit since they were designed for a blend of traditional and technological learning. 

2020 posed an important question of how to create educational software that is actually good. After the lockdown, numerous children stayed home and their caregivers shouldered the responsibility for helping them out. This group was not taken into account before, but now they became the customers as well. Caretakers, who already had plenty on their plates, would not be able to sit around and study complicated eLearning software, developers had to work towards simplicity and ease of use. Similar adjustments and changes largely improve the quality and effectiveness of digital tools. App owners should consider evolving their tools with the time and hiring a progressive eLearning software development company to not risk losing their spot on the market.

Online takes over?

No wonder that the whole world is switching to online learning. It provides lots of benefits and alleviates many stresses, compared to a classical one. 

Effectiveness

One of the reasons why online classes are considered more effective is that they allow everybody to learn at their own pace. Oftentimes traditional classroom lectures are not advantageous for everyone. It is imperative to point the learners in the direction that ensures the most effective learning process. By choosing a course online that a person can take in when they are the most comfortable, it guarantees the best results and longer knowledge retention. Short attention spans or simply the lack of free time can be easily addressed with microlearning. 

Innovation

Virtual reality is ready to break into the online education industry. It can help students and educators to gather actively and engagingly. VR is also able to propose experiences that otherwise could be high risk or just unattainable. Virtual reality can be used to “perform” or just observe surgeries during first lessons in medical training, in military training learners can be put in a  life-threatening virtual environment to get a realistic experience and learn better how to act, or simply for teachers to “walk” their students through cities in foreign countries in history lessons.

No more waste

Traditionally, the teacher or the student or sometimes both would spend approximately 2 hours to get to the classroom, wasting time and money. Moreover, one would have to choose the tutors or programs from their location only, sometimes not having enough variety of courses or too high of a price. With the great diversity of the platforms available online, one can choose the most fitting rate or program.

Camera-off

Camera-off option is another great benefit for many. It removes the stress of thinking about the way you or your surrounding looks which in turn can help students concentrate more on learning.

Accessibility

The world is getting better at recognising the importance of accessibility. Developers are building eLearning software to be approachable to someone with disabilities. According to the study by Pew Research Center, almost 20% of the U.S. population classified themselves as having some sort of a disability. It includes physical, auditory, cognitive, visual, neurological and others. People with disabilities are three times less likely to go online since their needs cannot be met. Such a high figure in our progressively digital world highlights the importance of accessibility and necessity for the older software to evolve. Businesses lose a huge audience when they do not consider to make their software or website accessible. When talking to your software developer, don’t forget to discuss how to make your site accessible.

Let’s talk about drawbacks.

Security

It would be unrealistic to think that online learning tools are impeccable. Major concerns appeared just during the start of the pandemic in 2020 – online harassment and privacy violations. Malicious users would hack and join the video meetings and show disturbing or explicit content to the attendees. This happens due to the security lapses that can be avoided during a thorough monitoring of the software development process. The company should pay extra attention to the data privacy when developing an eLearning application especially if kids are going to use it.

Interactivity

Many still hold the thought that traditional education is more personal and interactive, however, with the smart use of technology in or out of class, the learning can be extremely interactive and fun. Long classes with short breaks and constant memorizing instead of understanding the information refrain students from retaining knowledge. Learning platforms centred around small games to reinforce knowledge retention can help diversify a normal routine. Every year more than 250 million games are played on such interactive platforms by over 1.5 billion people all over the world. Teachers can create little competitions between pupils in class or games to reiterate learned info as homework.

Best educational apps on the market now

What apps can help you out or diversify your teaching or learning routine? Find out here!

ThingLink

This education technology platform simplifies augmenting images, videos and virtual tours with links and extra information to create a visual learning experience.

Roblox

Here you can create and play multiplayer games and learn a wide range of real-world digital skills, like design, and art, storytelling, programming, maths and more.

MindMeister

With the help of this software, you can effectively take notes and brainstorm ideas. The tool even takes it further by making mind mapping a collaborative experience.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom’s purpose is to help you control your classes. It is a free service for teachers and students, where they can create classes, give out assignments, share feedback, and manage everything in one place hassle-free. 

To sum up

Online learning is giving traditional education a run for its money. From offering a better range of choices to providing engaging games – it is tough to beat. However, traditional learning does have its place too, and depending on the situation, might be better than online. One should consider which one is best for them in a case by case scenario. Costs, audience, effectiveness, interactiveness are all the factors that should be taken into account. Or maybe a blended approach is the answer for you? In any case, during the social distancing times, it is awesome that we have a great alternative to traditional education. The industry is everchanging and eLearning is gaining ground with great speed, and even traditional learning is not the same as it was years ago. The use of innovative tools is only going to enhance our learning experiences and guarantee a better future for educators and learners in the coming years.

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.