Technology has played and will continue to play a crucial part in providing kids with education outside the classroom. An impressive feat was that all nations turned to distance learning, implementing remote learning technologies and employing a combination of radio, television, online, and mobile platforms while minimizing interruption. Teachers can retain a classroom-like setting for their students while using online learning to send assignments and receive finished work for evaluation. Additionally, it enables professors to constantly contact pupils, monitoring their academic and personal well-being.
However, new statistics published by the Teacher Task Force show that nearly half of pupils encounter significant obstacles to online learning. Globally, 826 million people—or 50% of the population—do not have access to a home computer, and 706 million people—or 43%—do not have home internet access. Access rates are even lower in low-income countries. 89% of students in sub-Saharan Africa lack home computers, and 82% do not have access to the internet. Thousands of wealthy families with the resources and influence to sign their kids up for online programs have access to many online educational opportunities, while predominantly low-income households have difficulty enrolling their loved ones in online education.
When technical companies that specialize in education shamelessly assert that online education is free and available to everyone, it is easier said than done.
This idea draws attention to misunderstandings and false information regarding the population dynamic. The digital gap can be seen in simple forms, including online schooling. This crisis has vividly shown the disparities in internet access and that delivering education to all students will not be possible. The focus must be on bridging the gaps in the digital divide, teacher capacity, student skills, and parental support to close the digital divides in education, use technology to speed learning, minimize learning poverty, and encourage skills development.
Countries must figure out how to handle challenges with affordable connectivity, purchasing devices, cloud solutions, and multi-modal education delivery. Additionally, countries should focus on empowering teachers as it is crucial to investigate teacher competency frameworks and communities of innovative teachers. Especially in a technologically advanced setting, teachers remain essential to education. There is mounting evidence that disregarding teachers and not using technology to engage them does not result in improved student learning. Shorter and more modular content, ongoing feedback, and small group discussions that focus on more in-depth topics are some modifications that should come along with the solution.