The Covid-19, coronavirus has flipped higher education upside down. Most, if not all higher education has moved to online instruction amid this nationwide pandemic. This could be a good thing for higher education, at least in some ways. It is obvious that technology is the way of the future and this switch to remote learning and teaching can be the push that some ‘old school’ professors need in order to embrace technology. By no means am I saying that online instruction should take over for the traditional face-to-face teaching that occurs in colleges and universities but there are advantages to adding it to certain curriculums. It can teach students how to use certain technologies to their advantage in the job market. Which can then be used once a student enters in the their career to help to achieve a work-life balance when it comes to families, kids and overall well-being. I am among the educators that believe that face-to-face time with students is invaluable and can not be replicated. However, I can also see the advantages to online instruction in higher education.
I believe that a smart mix of both can strengthen the educational system as a whole. It has been said that we must teach students to be capable in jobs that do not exist yet. The addition of a remote instructional part of many college classes may assist in this goal. The future of the job world is global. Globalization is a huge part of the job market and needs to be, not only taught in higher education institutions, but needs to be embraced by students and professors alike. The learning of new technologies that allow for easy access to other countries is crucial to the future of students looking to enter a job market that is globalized. Resumes can be built and connections can be made, simply by adding remote instruction as part of the curriculum in higher education. The reason I believe a mix between both face-to-face instruction and remote instruction is necessary is because I believe that the skills one learns from the in-class instruction is just as important. Skills like professionalism, being on time, interacting with both the professor and other classmates are skills that can not be learned on line. These skills are also crucial in the job market and if one does not have or learn these skills it can be detrimental to their future success. Professors, now, have to be skilled in both face-to-face interactions as well as remote instruction to give the best rounded education to today’s students in higher education. What good is being able to understand and use the technology for a globalized job market if one is unable to understand the intricacies of the cultures that one is cooperating with. A mix of the two types of instruction can add to the student’s knowledge of the globalized job market, add to their resumes, and make for a more hirable graduate.
This may be a case of looking for a silver lining amid the pandemic that is happening but I believe that it really could be the start to a new look to higher education. I think that this new look could and will be beneficial to higher education as a whole and to the students who can now experience another avenue in their path to entering a globalized job market.