Education in the COVID-19 Crisis

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The last few weeks have proven how mankind is adaptive to difficult and awkward situations. The current crisis of the Coronavirus known as COVID-19 has dictated the behavior of humans and restricted us to stay at home. Now the question is, “will we stay put?” The answer is “of course not,” but how will we be able to do our jobs and complete the tasks assigned to us. For us, particularly the educators, it was not hard to find alternatives, as one of the most obvious and easy substitutes for the conventional classroom is online live teaching. Education, both sides of the coin — whether teaching or learning, has no limits and does not believe in obstacles or boundaries. With the help of information technology and its fast-paced evolution, education can be easily facilitated anywhere across your home town, city, or even globally. The dramatic evolution in telecommunications and connectivity has powered and equipped the teachers and students with information technology skills that help in the process of education. It has made a wider range of courses available online and students can learn wherever they are. Today, for instance, I had a class where some of my students attended from their workplace. Online education is now part of our normal lives as we are surrounded by a wide range of technologies and live video streaming that makes online classes more engaging as the traditional classes, proving that conventional education is changing drastically. Technology goes hand in hand with education nowadays as new techniques and skills can be acquired by both teachers and students, ensuring the quality of education that students get which they can use to attain academic success. Now, teachers can conduct live online classes and also produce digital content of almost the same quality and content created during the conventional classes. With the state-of-the-art technology available today, the classroom has reached the optimum settings equal to or sometimes better than the traditional settings. With the Learning Management Systems, smart contents that include textbooks, figures, audio files, video files, and live video lectures, education has been made easy in both ways. Beyond that, technology made the traditional syllabuses to create customized learning materials for certain subjects as mentioned, and as a result, teaching and learning materials are being digitized with new interfaces that are made easy to help the students of all academic grades and ages. Of course, not to forget shedding light on the valuable role of Artificial Intelligence in the education process. The dynamic nature of Artificial Intelligence makes new opportunities for teachers-students interaction that was not available a few years ago. This is all because of the variety of top-notch technologies and dynamic contents as compared to the outdated materials and documents in fixed static environments of the past. Moreover, we must agree that Artificial Intelligence has a great potential to excel and expedite new synergistic teaching pedagogies that helps in the learning process.
Author: Dr. Mohammed Afifi
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