Predicting remote learning trends after Covid-19
“At least half of students will want to return to our campuses and physically be amongst people.”
In this week’s blog, CEO and founder of Wild Code School Anna Stepanoff discusses what remote learning trends will become the norm following the pandemic, where the classroom will still be important, and how supporting women into tech remains a key goal for the organisation.
Following this pandemic, remote learning will undoubtedly become more important. However, I strongly feel that remote learning will not replace traditional face-to-face learning in the long term.
There are three forms of learning: fully-autonomous online learning, where a student essentially teaches themselves using online information and resources and requires no interaction or support; remote learning, where students do not attend a physical classroom, but instead learn in a virtual environment with the support of fellow students and educators; and traditional class-based learning.
The pandemic has meant that Wild Code School’s 20 plus European campuses have necessarily adapted from a mixture of remote and traditional learning to being fully remote.
When educational establishments are able to re-open their campuses (in our case October), at least half of students will want to return to our campuses and physically be amongst people.
There may be 5-10% of students that will embrace fully remote learning and choose to further their studies independently. And another 30-40% that will choose to continue fully remote learning as students realise the advantages of not having to travel or commute and that it is entirely possible to create an engaging, productive and fun virtual classroom and remote community.
As an educator we will invest in developing more learning materials to ensure we accommodate increasing demand. With more students comes greater variance of the types of materials that suit different students’ learning aptitudes and preferences. And it’s about making it accessible.
At Wild Code School we offer a number of free preparatory courses to introduce people to the world of technology. We make these accessible for people of all educational and career backgrounds; teaching students how to create memes, for example, knowing they are a popular piece of tech that most people are familiar with, but might not realise are created through coding.
We also use storytelling to demonstrate our approach to learning; for instance, using ancient Greek mythology and the story of the Argonauts as a useful analogy to the basics of software development.
Another important area of investment will be in learning tools and platforms. There is currently no perfect online conferencing, document sharing and presentation facility, for example. Rather they all have their strengths and weaknesses and we use different platforms for different purposes. We will therefore be concentrating on building that perfect platform to further enhance and streamline fully-remote courses.
Another key goal for Wild Code School also continues to be supporting women into tech, as women currently make up just 17% of the tech work force and bringing about greater diversity is critical. However, there are certainly still barriers for women working in tech, the main one being – and this is not specific to the tech world – is having children and raising a family.
There is no simple answer to overcoming the fact that many women bear the brunt of the physical and mental responsibilities of looking after children. With three children myself, juggling responsibilities can of course be challenging and it is about managing stress as well as possible. I completely understand women deciding not having children in favour of pursuing a career, but moving forward there has to be a stronger cultural change in men and women sharing the responsibilities of childcare.
While there is some bias towards careers that men and women are drawn to, I very much believe that women can achieve the same things that men do.
It is important to increase the number and visibility of role models of women working in important positions and to be better at promoting tech as a creative and diverse career option.
For us at Wild Code School we can do this by supporting women and developing stories about students that succeed. However, the promotion of tech as an attractive career path needs to start much earlier; with changes in the curriculum that will help to inspire teenage women.
About the author: Anna Stepanoff is the CEO and founder of Wild Code School, which teaches digital skills through its campuses across Europe.
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