“After the pandemic, there has been an increased appetite for online learning”

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Tom crombie
Image Credit: Provided

Tom Crombie, Founder and CEO of My Online Schooling, and a few other panelists, discussed at the UK Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai whether or not the classroom and physical education era is dead or not. This type of one-on-one learning is already a reality in some classrooms and has been accelerated by COVID with new approaches and styles of teaching, including flipped classrooms, the power of play, diverse time and place, personalized learning, free choice, project-based, field experience, data interpretation, new style assessments, student ownership and mentoring and much more. They will also discuss what they see as the most productive innovations that will come from all of these ideas, the future of exams and more. Excerpts from an interview with Crombie.

Can you tell us more about today’s discussion that took place at the UK Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai?

It has been a pleasure representing the UK at Dubai Expo 2020 and being one of the voices to discuss the future of education on this amazing global stage. The panel discussed whether or not the class died. One-on-one learning is already a reality in some classrooms and has been accelerated by COVID. New approaches and new styles of pedagogical approaches are being developed, in particular; flipped classes, power of play, varied time and place, personalized, project-based learning, field experience, data interpretation, new style assessments, student ownership and mentorship. One of the main talking points was what the future of learning will look like and the role that digital innovation will play in 21st century education.

I explained how online learning allows students the flexibility to learn in a way that suits them. It provides access to a global community and prepares young people for life beyond school in a digital world. Digital innovation and electronic technologies are paving the way for changes in the way education is delivered globally, and we are very happy to be a part of these exciting developments. After the pandemic there has been an increased appetite for online learning around the world and we have seen huge interest in the UAE.

Students can access exceptional global programs in a focused, distraction-free environment from a location that is convenient for them. Over the next 5 years I think in the UAE we will see schools offering more ‘blended’ learning options where there will be a mix of online and in-person learning and, globally. whole, there will be the option of either traditional ‘in-person’ instruction, blended learning or full online schooling. We will see a model of education where students are about learning to access on an individual basis, in a way that works for them.

As an online education expert and former educator, what is the most powerful aspect of online education that physical education / schools cannot offer?

Online education enables students to learn in a way that is convenient for them. Students are able to design a schedule around their existing commitments and study in a place and environment that are convenient for them. The lessons are all recorded, making them perfect for reviewing content after a lesson has been taught and preparing for an exam or assessment. Students can learn in a focused, distraction-free environment and use some of the leading digital innovation and education technologies that online schools have. The learning can be taken with the student, so for those traveling from country to country there is consistency in their education. The fact that students from all corners of the world can come together in a global community enables international openness and creates global citizens.

Do you intend to cooperate with local officials in the education sector?

We plan to expand our offering to the United Arab Emirates and have started to build relationships with other businesses, education providers and governments in the region. We are delighted to be the pioneers of education in such a progressive and futuristic country like the United Arab Emirates. In early 2022, we will establish our third global base in Dubai, which will support students and families in the UAE and the wider Gulf region.


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