The Coronavirus pandemic has significantly interfered with people’s daily activities and livelihoods. However, it has reinforced the need to integrate technological solutions into the classroom to aid learning instructions and help students achieve better grades. Over the past two years, educational technology has been used as a tool to salvage and manage a crisis. In the process, educators have realized the benefits of educational technology over traditional approaches because of the notable changes. As a result, this essay discusses the essence of educational technology for K-12 students and how the Coronavirus has affected online learning.
Benefits of Educational Technology for K-12 Learners
K-12 students are intrigued with technology and the endless opportunities technological solutions provide. Therefore, educational technology makes teaching and learning fun and practical because the approach keep students interested in what they are learning. For example, technological innovations like gamification make learning less formal and more like a fun activity. Hence, learners grasp more concepts because the exercises keep them open-minded and in the best position to take in information (Crompton et al., 2018). Similarly, technological solutions help learners enhance their retention and memory as they continuously interact with learning materials.
Educational technology supports collaboration when students team up to solve problems and complete projects. Compared to traditional learning instruction, where a teacher gives verbal lessons to students, technological solutions adopt a hands-on approach, allowing students to share resources and deliver on their objectives. Consequently, educational technology enables students to develop their research skills and other essential skills like analysis, evaluation, and evidence-based arguments (Liu et al., 2022). Subsequently, these skills can promote self-learning and help students achieve more without a teacher’s supervision.
Educational technology exposes students to the ins and outs of dealing with technological devices and software. The wake of the 21st century saw the digital revolution, characterized by a significant shift from analog to digital solutions. Therefore, familiarizing with technological devices early and learning how they work or process information can help develop a robust generation of specialized developers (Crompton et al., 2018). Moreover, students can share these skills with others at home and in other settings to promote the appropriate adoption of technology to maximize comfort. Furthermore, these skills are critical to their future careers because most things will heavily rely on technology.
The Impact of the Covid 19 Pandemic on Online Learning
The Coronavirus pandemic led to the shutdown of schools globally, putting more than 1.2 billion children out of classrooms. However, it facilitated a shift in education delivery with a sharp rise in remote learning using digital platforms. Although there was significant adoption of educational technology before the pandemic, researchers estimate that the market and investments for online education could rise to about $350 billion in 2025 from $18 billion in 2019 (Pokhrel & Chhetri, 2021). In other words, the adoption of education technology is not a strategy to manage a crisis. Instead, it is a human development bound to persist and advance towards more cutting-edge solutions.
The Coronavirus pandemic has helped advance research in online learning and its effectiveness in delivering learning instruction. For example, there were limited resources on the effectiveness of online education, teachers’ perceptions, and students’ perceptions about online learning before the pandemic. Similarly, only a few institutions had adopted educational technology to aid learning. Therefore, most previous researches were unreliable and not representative (Mishra et al., 2021). However, the pandemic has pushed several educational institutions to fully adopt digital solutions and distant learning to deliver instructions and advance their academics. Thus, it is easier to obtain relevant data on the value of online learning solutions due to more extensive and diverse research samples.
The Coronavirus pandemic has informed technological innovators of the need to advance solutions that positively benefit the public, especially in education. Over the past two years, several online educational platforms have become extremely popular, with innovators launching new and improved platforms occasionally. As a result, educators have several options to choose from, allowing them to select applications that work with their teaching techniques (Tarkar, 2020). Currently, there are millions of educational resources like online video lessons, tutorials on different topics, and journal search engines that motivate students to do more with their free time. That being said, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a positive impact on online education.
The human race has thrived for millennia by adapting to its environment and embarking on the necessary initiatives to improve the quality of human life in the face of diversities. Therefore, the Coronavirus pandemic is not different from other disasters that individuals have experienced in the past because it will pass. However, it is critical to admit that the pandemic has resulted in some positive changes. For example, limitations due to the virus have promoted online learning, which according to researchers, is more effective and beneficial compared to traditional delivery techniques. Unfortunately, these solutions experience setbacks like economic inequities in educational technology solutions in institutions. Nonetheless, the new approaches promise great benefits because most schools are still in their adoption and implementation stages.
Crompton, H., Lin, Y. C., Burke, D., & Block, A. (2018). Mobile digital games as an educational tool in K-12 schools. In mobile and ubiquitous learning (pp. 3-17). Springer, Singapore.
Liu, L., Chen, L. T., & Pugh, K. (2022). Online teaching and learning under COVID-19: Challenges and opportunities. Computers in the schools, 38(4), 249-255.
Mishra, S., Sahoo, S., & Pandey, S. (2021). Research trends in online distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Distance education, 42(4), 494-519.
Pokhrel, S., & Chhetri, R. (2021). A literature review on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on teaching and learning. Higher education for the future, 8(1), 133-141.
Tarkar, P. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on education system. International journal of advanced science and technology, 29(9), 3812-3814.