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How learning has evolved in the new-norm?

Learning is an integral part of our lives. Only through learning do we progress and advance, as an individual and as a race. As technology advances, so does pedagogy, andragogy, and the technology to support them. Significantly, a platform to provide learning should cater to different environments, needs, scenarios, whether we are connected virtually or physically, and at any time. It is with this in mind that we at Zionext continue to research, develop, improve, and provide for the constantly evolving needs of different learners and their learning needs 

Remember when you had growth spurts as a teenager and your joints hurt because you grew, like, four inches overnight? For school and anyone, 2020 has been challenging since then. It hurts being forced to grow sometimes but it’s necessary. And, whether we are ready or not, education has been evolving rapidly ever since Covid struck the world. We are pushed to adapt the change and move forward with lives. Afterall, reflecting helps us process our growth.  

The current pandemic very much changed certain old-school mindsets and accelerated the adoption of eLearning into a more mainstream accepted mode of training and learning, creating a ‘new norm’. Video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams became the de facto mode of communication, a widely adopted solution for teachers to conduct training. There are of course some drawbacks, and probably will never be as effective as face-to-face communication, but there is no doubt many advantages this technology has provided. We believe that the best form of learning is truly a good balance between online and face-to-face, and this forms part of the backbone to our learning services. 

When the pandemic gradually eased off, people envision life returning to the way it was before COVID-19. But for educators and their learners, life may never return to normal. We must admit that face-to-face interactions between trainers and learners, along with the vibrant and lively debates amongst educators and learners within the classroom and outside, are those things that would be one of the missing things during this pandemic. During pandemic, we all know how education systems have started marching towards the internet, our home became a new classroom, our computer display screens are books and papers. 

The great digital experiment ordered by the pandemic aggressive spread has influenced many of us to rethink what the future of learning may seem like, so universities and learners will not quickly turn to the way things were earlier. Similarly, the pandemic has been a rebirth for universities and institutions on delivering quality online learning to learners. Experts foresee that schools will continue the digitally enhanced approach. It is likely that blended models where remote and digital learning platforms will be used to support classroom teaching, to minimize the workload of a teacher. 

Learning has evolved in the new norm in such a way that, technology is getting to know us even better than our human teachers ourselves. With data and AI, machines are being introduced into the classroom setting and can collect data from us and start to craft more potent learning materials and recommend better ones for us 

The new norm is the current buzzword very much associated with the global situation caused by the pandemic. However, it should be noted that there may be another form of ‘new norm’ down the road, be it another pandemic or a situation previously unheard of or experienced, changing the way we live. Importantly, it is imperative we are not just reactive, but also pre-emptive of potential threads to the learning needs of both young and old and ensure we do not stagnate or even regress.  

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