The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly not over, but with all the preventive measures employed around the world and the mass vaccinations taking place across the globe, there is no denying that it is finally dying down. The future looks promising and in the next 12 months, we can expect life to return to normal to a high degree, resembling what it once was before the COVID-19 crisis.
Without a doubt, the scientists that have made the vaccines possible and available have played a vital role in this drastic change for the better, and you too can one day become a scientist of note – but you need to adapt to the new normal quickly. The education sector now seems to be forever changed by the pandemic and technological advancements. Physics and chemistry students need to embrace the new ways in order to achieve their academic goals.
Let’s take a look at what education will look like for chemistry and physics students in the post-COVID-19 world and how you can ensure long-term success as a young scientist.
Let’s by stating that online learning will not, and probably never will, replace traditional face-to-face learning. While online learning did become the norm at one point during the pandemic, it’s easy to see that more and more students are returning to the physical classrooms, and chemistry students are finally able to return to the lab while physics students are able to run their experiments in a controlled and safe environment once more.
It’s only natural for students to start coming back to the physical classroom and their laboratories, but that doesn’t mean that online learning is going to die out. No, online learning is here to stay, and it will most likely play a complementary role to create a blended learning model in the months and years to come. Combining online learning with traditional face-to-face interactions might be the winning solution to knowledge retention and acquisition for the young tech-savvy generations.
For many schools around the world on all levels, the decision to stick with online learning to a higher or lower degree will remain a prudent strategic move. However, it’s not just the educational institutions that will thrive with eLearning, private institutions and online learning platforms will make a big impact on young scientists, particularly in chemistry and physics. This should come as no surprise, as these difficult fields can always benefit from complementary learning platforms, which has become a popular trend in countries like Australia where digital technologies are a big part of education.
For example, to get the Higher School Certificate (HSC), students will often use online HSC study notes from reputable learning platforms to supplement their knowledge in many STEM subjects, including chemistry and physics. Complementary learning platforms can make a big impact on a student’s career, and there is no denying that these platforms will continue to shape the education sector in the years to come.
VR and AR are not exactly new, but they are definitely innovative technologies that have a lot to offer to the education sector. These technologies are always evolving and becoming more efficient and effective, and you can only imagine the scope of their potential when it comes to teaching and learning physics and chemistry.
For young inquisitive physicists, AR and VR have the power to take them to faraway places and let them witness a new pulsar in our galaxy and help immerse them in interesting thought experiments without ever demanding a real-world experiment. Young chemists can do the same, and use VR and AR to run tests and experiments in a virtual setting remotely or even in high-tech classrooms of the future.
Gamification has been on the rise across the education sector for years, but digital technologies have pushed it to new heights. Virtual reality and augmented reality are certainly innovations that are making gamification more appealing and accessible, but so are the more traditional tools and platforms that are now incorporating elements of gamification into the virtual and physical classrooms.
For young chemists and physicists, gamification can have a big positive impact and help with knowledge acquisition and retention, as well as helping with the development of a positive mindset towards lifelong learning.
The COVID-19 pandemic is dying down around the world, and it’s important for students to know what the post-COVID-19 world will bring to their academic lives. There is no denying that eLearning is here to stay, and that innovative technologies will continue to disrupt the industry, but young scientists should also be ready to combine these technologies with traditional learning methods to achieve their academic goals in the new normal.