Hybrid learning: A potential solution to major social challenges
Hybrid education models – in which learners can be either at home or in the classroom, could present a solution to a range of pressing social challenges.
This is according to Simon Dudley, Director of Product Strategy for the Video Collaboration business at Logitech, who says the lessons learned of necessity during the COVID-19 lockdowns could pave the way to more inclusive education in future.
“Even if the world moves back to the ‘old normal’, it is unlikely that hybrid learning will fall away completely,” he says. “Distance learning online has proven its viability now, and both educators and learners are becoming comfortable with the model.”
“With optimised distance learning online, we could be in a position to include and empower millions of young people who drop out of school due to lack of finance or teen pregnancy. Even those young people in juvenile detention could continue their education, and the long-term benefits of keeping all these young people in the education system could be enormous.
“Online learning is great for inclusion and great for scaling, plus it's a great deal cheaper to deliver online classes than in-person lessons. It could also prove cheaper for students to attend online classes, doing away with the costs of uniforms and transport to school. However, in South Africa, there is the significant hurdle to overcome of access to devices and affordable data,” he says.
Unicef noted in a report late last year that at least one-third of the world’s schoolchildren were unable to access remote learning during the COVID-19 shutdowns, with children in Sub-Saharan Africa worst affected. In East and Southern Africa, around 67 million, or 49%, of schoolchildren were unable to access remote learning, the report said. Media reports highlighted South African teachers rising gamely to the challenge of keeping their learners occupied and educated, using instant messaging platforms, cellphones and any materials they had at their disposal to keep classes running while they and their learners were confined to their homes.
Logitech has been collaborating with educators around the world to support online learning and make teachers’ work easier. Logitech education solutions for teachers and students are designed to support engagement and focus, wherever teachers and students are. For more information, go to: https://www.logitech.com/en-us/education.html