In the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown, a common question was debated in the corporate world. As it became necessary to send workers to their home offices to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, the question on everyone’s mind was: “But how do we maintain business continuity?”
If this pandemic had happened in the last millennium, or even just 10 years ago, its economic impacts would have been patently more devastating on every level. The truth is, it could have been a lot worse, but it wasn’t. The reason is obvious: technology came to the rescue.
Those who could work from home did. They connected to high-speed internet, logged into video conferencing apps for meetings, and got to work. Businesses quickly noticed an unexpectedly high level of productivity among their remote workforces, causing them to reconsider, possibly permanently, their corporate organizations, office spaces and workflows. A Gartner survey found that 82 percent of company leaders plan to offer remote work at least some of the time after the pandemic.
In higher education, while the issues are similar, the nuances are critical when bridging the gap between historically successful pedagogical approaches and the “new normal” of distanced and hybrid learning. Not knowing any better, education hit it head on and tried to flip a switch just like corporate America with online classes, assignments, and video conferencing where possible, with the hope that with everything online, everything would be fine.