What was formerly known as “in-school education” has suffered tremendously throughout 2020. Parents have had to adapt not only to becoming homeschool teachers, but also to playing referees to get their children to sit still and learn the curriculum. Thankfully, STEM education advocates hope to repair some of the issues caused during the pandemic and get education back on track with these 2021 education trends.
Across the United States, many students are actively participating in online or hybrid education. Although many school systems are working to help students return to in-person learning, school systems in the US have learned that the need for practical application of education is essential to student development and workplace skills.
Grade school education is beginning to take the shape of how online college education works- by encouraging students to take their education into their own hands. Supplying students with materials to engage with on their own before additions from their teachers helps students take control of their education and learn at their own pace.
A tool often used in educational settings is field expert presentations. For example, a visiting zoologist gives a presentation to a biology class, where the students learn how their studies impact the profession. These presentations are often limited by time and distance constraints. Subject matter experts must travel to provide students with these presentations and can only visit a certain number of students due to limited time and resources.
The switch to online and hybrid learning has helped more students connect with experts. The use of video conferencing has also been an excellent tool for students to connect these presenters and see new fields in action. One of the biggest barriers to STEM education is seeing the sheer variety of professions students could become involved in. The flexibility of an online visitor can help nurture career passions from a much earlier age.
Feedback functions as a critical part of learning, and grades are the cornerstone of this process. Online learning allows for teachers to create assessments and progress measurements that students can see immediately. Instant feedback helps students know their progress as often as they need, but it also allows educators to catch struggling students much faster than before.
Another benefit of this is that there is more time for teacher-student interactions and check-ins- which have become even more crucial during the pandemic.
Whether students are learning online, in person or through both platforms, the supplement of online resources has been noticed during the pandemic. Digital resources have been useful additions throughout the years, but a demand created by the pandemic transformed these additions into concrete, long-term aids.
The use of platforms like YouTube and Google allow students to find supplements that expand on classroom concepts in ways that best suit the learner. For example, having captioned YouTube videos makes it much easier for students to listen, read, pause and repeat lessons as much as they need to understand the material.
The future of education and the workforce is slowly becoming more flexible from the comforts of our homes. As we move through 2021 and look at the next year, the digital resources that have helped us through the pandemic can provide an incredible expanse of resources for students and workers alike.
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