It’s Time to Look at Remote Learning Like We Look at Remote Working

It’s Time to Look at Remote Learning Like We Look at Remote Working image

Way back in B.C. time (Before Covid), companies had varying approaches to working from home: full-time, part-time, flex-time, occasionally, in an emergency, never.  

But when Covid struck, companies had little choice. Even the most conventional among them embraced the notion of remote work. Schools had to adapt as well and, like their corporate counterparts, have had varying degrees of success. 

As a result, online learning has quickly become a major source of discussion and debate at educational systems and institutions. But some are questioning just what it is we are discussing.

“From over two decades of working in online education, I’ve concluded that we should stop talking so much about online education,” Dr. Joshua Kim wrote recently at Inside Higher Education. “Online education is a means, not an end. Online learning is a method, not a goal.”

He goes on to say that making a distinction between in-person and online learning is becoming less and less important. 

“It may make as much sense to talk about online learning as it does to distinguish between in-person and remote work,” Dr. Kim writes. “We will work whenever and wherever we are, be it in the office or at home. It will just be work.”

Schools and universities should first consider their goals and then determine what learning approaches support those goals, Dr. Kim writes. He says schools could deploy online learning to better handle outside disruptions (like a pandemic or weather), focus on student success to lower drop-out rates and speed time to graduation, or even make up time during residential semesters.

But we think Dr. Kim is really onto something when he says, “Perhaps a university will expand its educational focus beyond traditional-age learners and provide credentialing and degree opportunities for adult working professionals or retirees. Online learning may be the ideal vehicle to serve nontraditional learners.”

It’s exactly what we were thinking when we started JazzJune. What do you think?

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