These may be very disruptive times but they also open up opportunities for more education and personal development.
This potentially offers a huge chance for professionals looking to upskill - where learning opportunities will expand from being either online or offline, to far more blended and flexible approaches.
Mike Zeederberg, managing director of boutique digital marketing agency Zuni said, “In the short term, there will also be an opportunity for people to use the slow-down, and work-from-home imposed by the current environment, to increase their skills.
“All education providers are being forced to go into a virtual model.”
Marketers should focus on brushing up on skills they have never thought to do before and maybe learn something out of their comfort zone, says Jane Nicholls, ADMA IQ instructor.
The current crisis is forcing a re-think of how online is being used in the education process, said Zeederberg.
He said, “I believe it will be the tipping point that sees us finally move away from the old models of education to large-scale takeup of both blended learning, and large scale online learning.
“The major education providers (universities, schools etc.) will be forced into digital delivery, rather than it simply being an add-on or a nice-to-have, and we will see the opportunities for online learning rapidly expand as these skill sets grow.”
Nicholls said looking on the bright side of this situation this is an exciting time for those who are looking for education.
She teaches an ADMA copywriting for content marketing course with colleague Natalie Filatoff. The course is normally face-to-face but with COVID-19 concerns they turned the course into a Zoom call that went from 9-5.
She was worried how being on the other side of the screen rather than a few metres away would effect engagement, but in the end it worked out perfectly.
“We're so lucky that we can connect so successfully through technology and now people are going to have time to do it,” she explained.
Nicholls said marketers are finding the online courses more efficient, “People will find that they've got time to pick up some extra skills and really stretch their brains.”
Meanwhile Zeederberg said the general approach until now has been for education to either be fully online, or primarily face-to-face - however virtual face-to-face will finally come into its own and be embraced.
He said younger people who are used to remote and virtual learning are more likely to embrace these models.
Educators are being forced to overcome any inhibitions or inertia restricting their uptake of technology, and having to learn how to best utilise it to create effective student outcomes.
“This is a brilliant thing,” he said.
“The tools have been around for a while, but we're seeing educators stepping up, working them out, and starting to fully embrace the opportunity.
“There is lots of research and learning out there on how to deliver blended learning courses, some of it platform specific, some of it case study and anecdotal, and educators need to embrace this opportunity as a way to rethink their delivery approach.”