With so many sudden changes to the social environment that we know, there comes a lot of uncertainty. As social distancing has become a new reality of our lives, universities and schools have shut down and we have been forced to adopt new distanced learning practices. It is difficult for anyone to predict when things will go back to “normal” or if they ever will. I suspect that life as we know it will never go back to what we perceived as normality and there will be major changes in all institutions within our society. Education is one of these major systems that has abruptly underwent a major change of environment as remote leaning was put in place over the course of only a few weeks. I do not believe that education will be anywhere near the way that it was before social distancing measures were put in place, by the fall and the beginning of the new school year.
In our EDTC 300 class this week, we had much discussion about what our projections for teaching and learning will be in the fall and what they may look like in 2020 and we also were presented many, many new online resources to assist in the potential online teaching and learning that will be much of our reality moving forward in the education world. My group had a lot of discussion about school in the fall being optional to attend physically. I imagine that online learning will be an option provided along with attending smaller physical classes also being an option. What these physical classes will look like will definitely be different than what we are used to, as I imagine class sizes will be much smaller, days may be longer and weeks shorter (actual classes being shorter in time duration) as one class may be in the mornings and another class in the afternoons, online classes may be offered during a certain time and physical classes during another, etc. There is really no way for anyone to know exact details of what this might entail as there is still some time before the fall and a lot of discussions to be had and planning and implementation to be done before we can have any real idea. Since the need for social distancing to this extent has never occurred before in the lifetimes of everyone involved, these are extremely unprecedented times and the future at this time is very unclear.
By 2025, I imagine we will have a good hold on an entirely new educational atmosphere. I imagine that schools will be much more technology based than they ever have been before. With the fast paced rise in technology in every faucet of our lives, the educational world has begun to implement many new technologies into teaching and learning environments. However, for many educators and learners alike, this sudden forceful switch to distanced learning is not something I feel like many of us were prepared for and has left many not very well adjusted. So I imagine by 2025 the educational world will be much more adapted to using technology in all areas of education. I imagine most lessons will be online based and take place on iPads, laptops, other screens, etc. with an online base, rather than a chalkboard/whiteboard and a paper and pen. I imagine teachers will be required to keep up communication with both students and parents through online sources and if necessary, the option of the total removal of physical classes would be entirely plausible.
I sincerely hope that the global pandemic and virus which has caused this complete uprooting of our lives as we know it, will be under control by then and a vaccine will be available. However, after the extreme shock that has been caused by these sudden changes, I believe that education in 2025 will be entirely prepared for something like this to happen, in the sense that nearly everything will be online based. It makes me sad to imagine technology continuing to advance so much into every area of our lives to the point that our social interaction is being compromised. The advancement of technology has brought so many new things to our lives that we never could have previously imagined possible. However, I am also highly aware of the many consequences that come with this as well. Although developing social skills for in person interaction is becoming less and less important in our world (and we can definitely see the effects of this in younger generations), I still strongly believe that proper social interaction is a necessity of human life. As we know, human beings are social creatures who need to experience interaction, companionship and belonging for our wellbeing. I believe that there are aspects of human life that cannot be fulfilled by technology alone.