Education during the pandemic: a sprawling experiment

With regard to the state of education, two things are certain in this moment. We’ve had an incredibly fertile test case — even if for unwelcome reasons — which we can leverage to examine the best ways people impart and receive knowledge. And, this sprawling experiment in learning more about how people learn shows the simultaneous acceleration of technologies and their vast proliferation as they begin to carve a predictive path toward a future of education.

4 minute read
A few people on a stage.
Confidential Client

Changing the place – and pace – of instruction.

The future of education will be ripe with possibilities that enable students to dial in the right way for each of them to learn, and it will create a system that is tailored to individual needs in groundbreaking ways. Whether that learning experience is fully remote, 100% in person, or more likely somewhere in between, we will see a system in which we will be able to not only set the slider on place— where exactly students are learning — but also on pace — the exact cadence they set out for their educational journey. These more open forms increase accessibility and inclusion while also expanding possible timetables not necessarily tied to traditional academic calendars.

A group of people in a room.
Lamar University

Enriching the learning experience in a personalized way.

These possibilities open pathways to attract a greatly broadened student base, even as they increase the opportunities around distributed faculty models. This extensive broadening, given the right tools, can aid in the creation of school culture and community. By looking at how campus life can be augmented in remote models via connected experiences around innovation, collaboration, feedback, and critique, we can forge academic models that take advantage of what we’ve learned about remote participation and presence during this period. These tools will help us deepen and enrich both the learning and teaching experience with a simultaneous focus on strengthening a sense of continuity and embracing evolution.
A group of people in a room.

Reinvention not replication.

Technologies such as VR, AR, immersive audio, and synchronous environments help us rethink not only the learning itself, but allow us to rethink campus culture and traditions in ways that build a reinvention for the future rather than a replication of the past. This will be a fine-tuning of educational systems, driven by data, personalization, and most importantly, the ability to craft meaningful, immersive, and scholarly experiences for each individual and institution.

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