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Is Remote Learning Here To Stay?

by Ayla El Assaad

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

As education transitions back to “normal,” we look at the elements of online education outlasting the pandemic.

Teaching and learning models have slowly transitioned to online learning over the years, but the pandemic sped up the uptake. While schools and universities are reopening with new safety protocols and procedures, online learning in some form will stay.

Online & Hybrid Learning

The Digital Learning Pulse survey, which looked at attitudes towards post-pandemic online learning at a US higher education institution, reported an improvement in attitudes towards online learning and tools among students and faculty. Published in April 2021, the survey states that 73% of students would like to take fully online courses, and 68% would be interested in a hybrid model, combining face-to-face learning with online education.

Another survey published by the RAND Corporation states that one in five school districts in the US are following or will follow a fully online remote learning model. And around one in ten are adopting or will adopt a hybrid model. These changes are in response to students’ and parents’ demand, wanting to offer more flexible options, meeting students’ needs, and to keep up enrollments.

Innovation & Edtech

Students, teachers, and parents had to adjust quickly and learn new skills and tools to cope with their new learning environments. This widespread adoption of education technology (edtech) tools and the resulting innovation within the industry have changed the face of education.

A report by Holon IQ looking at Venture Capital investment in edtech states that investment has soared in 2020 reaching $16.1 billion compared to $7 billion in 2019. This reflects the growing sentiment that the use of technology and digital tools in education is permanent.

Students surveyed in the Digital Learning Pulse survey confirmed the growing popularity of digital learning tools. 67% of students in general and 68% of students who prefer in-person classes want an increase in the usage of digital materials and resources. Another survey by Research for Action of teachers in several districts in the US states that over 80% of the teachers will continue using edtech whether teaching remotely or in-person.

Increased use of technology in education has been seen across a wide variety of tools and software. From conferencing services to classroom management, e-signing, digital document management, and more. This highlights the adoption of technology in the classroom and in internal administration. Read more about how digital tools can transform internal administration in schools here.

Moving Forward

While we are still to see how the education sector will evolve, it’s clear that its future will be paperless. For tips, articles, and more on tools that can help you make the shift to paperless education visit our Smallpdf for Education page.

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Ayla El Assaad
UX Writer @Smallpdf