Published in El Pais, 10 March 2021.
COVID-19 has turned the education world upside down with Colleges and Universities forced to switch most if not all of their classes online. Online education has been around for a while, but it has always been seen as inferior, whether justified or not it has forced everyone to give it a second look.
I myself have been taking blockchain development courses online and I can tell you it’s not as enjoyable as an in-person education and I’m sure schools cannot wait to open their campus again. That being said I am learning a lot and I do not feel my education has suffered and I really feel that it has a place in a post COVID-19 world.
The reason I feel this is that it can make education more accessible to more people. Online schools have no need for expensive real estate and really have no limit to the number of students that can attend a class. If the curriculum focuses on multiple choice tests it would not even have to worry about to many exams to mark, thousands can literally attend one class which can bring the cost way down as schools will not have to charge much per student to make a profit. A class that can normally cost a couple thousand dollars can be brought down to as little as $50.
The savings in tuition is just one aspect. Students at different parts of the world can remain where they are, no needing to find appropriate student housing and move to a country where the costs are considerably higher than in their home countries.
This of course would not be the same experience and many who participate in an online education may wish they were doing it in person but for many this will present an opportunity that they otherwise would not have had and with the growing acceptance of receiving an education online it will open up more opportunities for their career.