The emergence of the novel coronavirus has initiated an abrupt shift around the globe toward online education. For many, the transition has been rocky. Many larger organisations have been scaling their educational infrastructure as rapidly as possible, while individual educators are trying to make their way through a sudden influx of new learners. From the consumer side of things, the experience has not placed online education in a flattering light.
While the negatives are making many long for the days of traditional education, the reality is that, even before the pandemic, education was heading online. Covid–19 has expedited the inevitable, and in many cases, the bad experiences should be attributed to the rush rather than to the experience itself.
And the crash course in online education—unpleasant as it is—also has some benefits. Learners and educators alike are learning their way around the new online course space, while organisations are growing infrastructure that will outlast the current crisis. Online learning is central to the future of education—now more than ever. And while the virus is showing that few things about the future are certain, here are some of our educated guesses about how we expect it to shape learning in the nears to come.