By Artur Meyster
The world stopped. Confinement due to the coronavirus caused a big change in our lifestyle. Some of these changes were negative: thousands of deaths, hundreds of bankrupt companies, mass layoffs, economic crises, and much more. Other impacts were positive: less environmental pollution and greater appreciation for our loved ones.
Many people and companies had to forge a close relationship with technology to adapt to the “new normal”. Now, in times of pandemic, video call meetings, group chats, streaming entertainment, consultations and purchases via the web, and distance learning are normal. Educational institutes have made great changes in order to fulfill the important work of educating people. How has the relationship between the tech industry and education been during the pandemic? Know now the most important points to understand it!
First of all, we must understand that technology and education is not a new relationship, however, Covid-19 has caused this alliance to be much stronger. The main reason is that, at the beginning of the pandemic, the World Health Organization classified classrooms (and also closed spaces) as places of high risk of contagion. Due to this situation, governments, schools and universities decided to suspend face-to-face classes and sent teachers, employees, and students home for their protection.
Despite the confinement, educational institutions decided to create safer classrooms through e-learning. Thanks to the optimization of communication companies, teachers can teach their students through video calls and group forums, all from the comfort of their homes, safe and sound!
Technology has been a part of education around the world for many years. According to Purdue University, by 2009, one in five students had a computer at home, and 95 percent of classrooms had one or more computers. These are just some of the work tools that students and teachers use during learning. Computer rooms, as well as libraries, have computers for conducting research and related activities.
Today, thousands of students use computers, tablets, and even smartphones for educational activities. This is a trend that extends from schools to universities. On the other hand, the administrative sector also has a database for student control, digital libraries, school platforms, and many other functions.
Before Covid-19, technology and distance communication was the default methods for many professional institutes and online courses. Now, universities have also taken this practice to provide safety education. For example, in the case of Harvard, face-to-face activities are scheduled for the spring of 2021, depending on the context. Meanwhile, e-learning will remain the most suitable option.
On the other hand, bootcamps also have a close relationship between technology and education. These institutes continued to train new professionals in different technological areas such as coding, software development, and data science during the coronavirus. Furthermore, according to Career Karma, graduates of these intensive courses are hired by large companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook.
The Internet age is a historic time for technology and education. The Internet is home to many courses in the world on almost any subject. The tech industry is always in charge of optimizing platforms so that educational content reaches more people each year. This progress, during Covid-19, continued to grow like never before.
Another of the main advantages of technology for education is its almost immediate availability and learning alternatives. While traditional methods depend exclusively on listening to and seeing a teacher, thanks to the tech industry, knowledge can come at any time. Thousands of students access personalized classes with online tutors and educational videos on platforms such as YouTube. These are fundamental advances of this era that keep education going around the world.
Technology is and will be an essential ally of education. Covid-19 was the ideal opportunity for many new students to learn new things. Thanks to the tech industry, all educational activities kept going. Despite the crisis, the world continues to learn.
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Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech