Top 10 Ways Schools and Education May be Forever Changed by the COVID-19 Pandemic

At this point in time, most if not all schools are reopened to some extent, whether virtual or in person. Honestly, despite the fact that we have somewhat returned to normal, we won’t ever be back to where we were in the pre COVID-19 era. This is one of those things that will have a long lasting impact on everything in our lives, not just schools. Some will most likely be permanent changes. For better or worse, well that depends on who you ask. I will state my opinions. I’m not here to tell you what’s right or wrong because let’s be honest with ourselves, just like everything nowadays you have a divisive issue and passionate arguments on both sides. They both have valid points, but I’m not here to tell you how to think because I’m not changing your mind. I’m just simply sharing some ideas. That is all.
The Top Ten
1 Assignments Will Be Online Only

This is another thing that is already happening, but it's going to become the new reality in education. Online is the one thing that both online and in-person students can do. It's easier for teachers to grade. It saves paper. It's a win-win for both students and teachers.

I don't like this. I would much rather do worksheets on paper. Essays and projects I prefer to do online.

2 Classes Will Be Smaller and Desks Will Be More Distanced

Of course, in this current circumstance we are all facing, class sizes will be reduced so social distancing guidelines can be met. I can say based on personal experiences that most of my classes are essentially split, with half remote and half in person.

Of course, every class is different, but for the most part, this trend stands according to what I have seen from friends and teachers I know. Some classes will be really hard to get into because there will likely be a stipulation on how many students can sign up for it at one time. Also, with more distance, it probably won't be as easy to try and get answers from the person sitting next to you.

3 Textbooks Will Be Online

Okay, so this was already happening before COVID, but now that it's in our lives, I would not be surprised to see physical textbooks eliminated for good. If you think about it, they were really unsanitary with how many kids likely touch them over their lifespan. They probably don't get cleaned all that often either.

That's not to mention that they can get placed on the floor and other places that aren't very sanitary either. Most likely, they will become PDF files you can download. Honestly, this is a welcome change. I don't know a single person who liked carrying a big textbook with them to and from school every day. You essentially add a 5-10 pound weight easily to your backpack every day. Yeah, no thanks. I would much rather carry around one singular laptop with everything I need on it, readily available.

4 Schools Opt for a Hybrid Model

Honestly, as weird as it may be for students and teachers alike, a hybrid model actually makes a lot of sense. I know you've heard multiple times about how we're in "uncertain times." It's been repeated so often the phrase has become mundane and redundant, almost losing all meaning.

It may be inconvenient for a lot of people, but it gives both parties what they want so they can be satisfied. It offers flexibility in case a scenario happens where everyone has to be remote. When COVID first came around and shut schools down, everyone was so shocked and didn't know what to do. With a hybrid system, a transition to remote or in-person would theoretically become a whole lot easier.

One final point that really makes hybrid learning make a lot of sense is the reduced costs. Think about it: if half of everyone is remote in a school district, that's fewer kids that have to ride the bus per day, which saves gas expenses, and that's less food that has to be provided, which saves costs there as well. You also wouldn't need as many desks or other resources, so that's another area costs could be cut. If districts can cut costs across the board, that leaves more funding for other projects and programs.

5 Less Actual Learning

Even though a lot of students have been searching stuff up online for the answers (I am one of them, trust me), I still find myself learning.

While many people may not do what I do, I find it beneficial. If I'm stuck on something, I would want to search for the answer because I am completely and utterly stuck. However, a lot of the examples I find online with the answers have explanations for how they got that answer, which is super helpful for me.

Searching up how to do something has become more beneficial over time as answers become more common on the internet. A lot of my teachers do not answer everyone's questions or just don't have time to. I would much rather do it myself sometimes so I have the time to research and learn my own way.

6 Education Becomes More Individualized

With everyone being isolated more due to the current circumstances, it makes it more difficult to get assistance from the teachers. Some students will be remote and disengaged with school altogether. You know the students with black screens on Zoom - they probably aren't paying attention, and there's really nothing the teachers can do about it.

Basically, what education will become is on you to educate yourself: find a lecture on this topic or a YouTube video that explains something. Teachers will basically be like mentors. If students are remote, teachers don't have as big of an impact. What do I mean by that? Well, are you more likely to do assignments when the teacher is there or if you are at home and nobody is around? Exactly.

7 Group Activities Will Be Very Uncommon

I know what you're thinking: big sigh of relief, right? Well, not so fast. I understand introverts may rejoice, but here's the thing. Group projects are a way to engage with other people and learn to work on a project in a team setting, something that's vital in the workforce.

I get that group projects still happen online, but it's not quite the same experience as in person due to a lack of communication, which is one of the most important aspects of working as a team. Failing to learn these skills will only haunt you in the long run. Like it or not, you will have to learn to socialize and work with others at some point, no matter how annoying it may be at times.

8 Less Socializing
9 Schools Will Never Cancel Again

Remember waking up to find out you didn't have school? That was fun, right? Well, now you can kiss snow days goodbye because most schools will just say, "Everyone go remote today." That's what my school has done, and I know it's not the only one.

Oof. That sucks. My school still has snow days and stuff, but we are fully in person, so...

Time to pour water onto my computer, then.

10 Less Overall Engagement in the Classroom

Am I the only one that feels less engaged in school now than last year? I swear that I've lost motivation. Online school gives so many distractions - from your phone to gaming console, to siblings, to pets, to Netflix and anything else, right? You get the point.

Well, my issue comes with the fact that I'm just not as interested in learning due to stress and other emotions. It's like I don't have to learn. I just need to remember the information I absolutely need to just get by. Anyone else feel this way, or is it only me?

The Contenders
11 School Cafeterias Will Be Permanently Closed
12 There Will Be No Recess
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