While it seems like it is impossible to predict the future in these uncertain times, one thing is clear — the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed our world and will likely continue to do so for many years to come.
The impact of the pandemic, and how it can truly transform norms, is maybe most easily seen in the world of education.
Worldwide it is estimated that one 9 out 10 children are out of school as a result of the pandemic. This will have very long-lasting impacts on lost learning and graduation rates, but it may even result in a complete restructuring of what education looks like.
We have seen this before in individual locations like New Orleans which transitioned to an entire system based on charter schools after Hurricane Katrina, but we have never before seen the possibility of systemic education change on a worldwide basis.
Last week Micheal Moe, founder of GSV Ventures, convened a virtual panel discussion between online education leaders to start to grasp what the future might hold. He argued that education will have B.C. (before coronavirus) and A.D. (after disease) realities.
“The B.C. world, before corona, the education experience is really focused on five to 25-year-olds,” said Moe. “You have physical classes driven by a calendar or when you were born. You had a specific time and place you had to be basically to get the education.
“In the A.D. world, the after the disease world, we’re seeing a real acceleration of the trend that we already saw in place where you have this lifelong learning,” he continued. “We’re able to basically on your desktop instantaneously find experts and tutors. People that can help you be able to progress towards the knowledge you need, the degree you need, the certificate you need, the competency that you’re trying to get. In the A.D. world, you can have online mentoring and coaching anytime anywhere, personalized learning driven by artificial intelligence and media models.”
Moe’s vision of an A.D. education world might become the new normal. We will be exploring aspects of that conversation in a series of blog posts this week which will cover: