Will our future become entirely digital? By Sanjana Iyer, The Henrietta Barnett School

It is certain that before the Covid-19 pandemic technology was a fast growing sector, with consumers all around the world indulging in the newest digital gadgets and software. However ever since the pandemic forced most of the population into their houses, businesses and education have been entirely revolutionised by taking advantage of technology and online platforms.

Online platforms eliminate the constraints of time and location, making collaboration and access to material more convenient. Office workers are thriving on platforms like Google Drive and other cloud based software in order to edit spreadsheets and co create documents, while editing in real time. Large tech firms were one of the oldest to take the plunge into remote working for all their staff, a good investment considering office prices. Surveys have furthermore shown that employees aren’t that keen on returning to the office once closures are lifted. 

However the future of online learning was something that resonated with me more, being a 16 year old with a decent amount of education still in front of me. It seems like online education is no longer limited to the unaccredited universities seen in social media adverts. Many schools are starting to offer fully online and well as mixed online/offline degrees to meet the needs of modern students. By studying online, students choose their own learning environment: be it your bedroom, your study or anywhere else. Furthemore, tuition costs are largely reduced as you don’t incur the costs of housing and transportation, subsequently leading to lower debts. Studying online also requires more self- discipline, which is an extremely transferable skill.

The disadvantages however are extremely valid, including the argument whether face to face interaction can ever be replaced, as it is such a vital aspect of learning. The self – discipline that I mentioned before as an advantage can also be seen as an issue. Failure to be proactive could lead to failure in making academic progress. Online courses furthermore demand a greater amount of reading and assignments than traditional schooling.

In my opinion, weighing up both sides, the online learning trend will stay just that, a trend. Despite its sheer convenience and accessibility, I strongly doubt that it will be able to replace the atmosphere of passion and enthusiasm of a traditional classroom. Whether it will be a permanent move or a temporary trial however, remains to be seen. 

By Sanjana Iyer

This Is Local London | North-West