To speak of the new normal is to refer to how daily activities had to adapt to a new dynamic after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, how technological tools were fully integrated into face-to-face duties and how both factors have presented challenges in every aspect of life.
Education was one of the sectors that quickly had to establish routes to give continuity to the training, having as the main challenge the physical absence of students and teachers from the classrooms, who in a matter of weeks migrated to the virtual modality trying to solve the classes through platforms, mostly unexplored, such as video calls by Zoom, conversion rooms through social networks such as Facebook and even in chats in personal communication services such as WhatsApp.
The teacher Mónica Camargo Martínez, head of the Academy of Didactics at the School of Pedagogy of the Universidad Panamericana, Guadalajara campus, explains that although for years there have been virtual and distance models to facilitate access to education from secondary level to the university and its postgraduate degrees, for example, they used to focus on solving basic needs allowing students to combine their school time with work, personal situations and as well as the lack of infrastructure, schools and teaching equipment, however, although the physical return to the classrooms has been staggered and almost completely reactivated, Everything indicates that the virtual and the face-to-face will already be a dynamic that is here to stay and with challenges to improve.
“This implies challenges, from the planning of your class, that the times can yield to reach the same students, those that you have in person and those that you do not, respecting their learning styles. There are variables that did not change, that became more challenging under these circumstances, because there are students who learn better while in the classroom, but perhaps now their health or family conditions do not allow them to return to the classroom, they have to stay in line, which generates new interesting challenges for them, the teachers, the psycho-pedagogical teams that are following up ”.
Like the face-to-face, which in education implies, among many priorities, resources to create schools and provide equipment for students and teachers, the virtual modality is not exempt from needing an infrastructure at the same level of investment to improve digital platforms and the vanguard of devices to interact between students and teachers, for example, but all this equipment will not be used to the maximum if from the root the content offered is not adapted to each class, educational level, forms of teaching and mainly in the dynamics in which the student has greater openness and ease for their process Learning.
“What has to continue to be at the center of everything is learning, not so much technology or computer equipment, but what makes us find all these resources, which is learning. Good learning, not only in terms of content, because according to the content is what works best for you in a virtual or hybrid classroom ”.
One of the main educational concerns after the pandemic was the possible lag that students and teachers could present not only in the quality and impact of the classes through video calls, but also in the spirit of the teaching staff, students and even families. that in the blink of an eye they saw different areas crossed: taking care of COVID, fulfilling school and work duties, confinement, absence of entertainment or constant face-to-face family life and responsibilities at home, all from one place: the home.
“The anxiety levels of the students have increased, even in hybrid models, where some days they go – in person – and other days they don’t. This lack, Perhaps it could be the constant habit, of having your routine sustained over time and having to break it weekly, decrease in performance and in the psycho-affective state of the students, it seems as if they could not give an order to their entire sequence or agenda ”.
Achieving a balance and well-being in the new dynamics, together with the creation and strengthening of content more focused on the needs of each educational level, is the present challenge, in addition to the fact that there is also the priority of finding ways in which classes or careers with practical nature -such as medicine, for example- can be adapted in the future to virtuality or distance with more developed technologies.