University online, or how to turn a necessity into an opportunity, by Esther Lanaspa
Project manager, startup coach and biology student.
Esther Lanaspa, project manager, start-up coach, and biology student, explains that the announcement in Montreal in May 2020 that university courses would be exclusively delivered by means of distance learning in September entailed “many risks.” However, it meant that universities invested “in improving digital platforms and human resources” to enable them to deal with students’ mental health and to come up with tailor-made solutions.
Barcelona, on the other hand, much like other European cities, “fell into the trap of being over-optimistic".
"Courses were relatively normal for a few weeks and then both teachers and students had to adapt again." This “stop and go” system not only proved to be ineffective and dysfunctional, but also had a "greater impact on mental health."
Lanaspa concludes that “blended learning, like teleworking, is a trend that will continue” after the pandemic and so Barcelona needs to invest in universities given their importance for attracting talent. Taking advantage of this year’s experiences, the city should optimize investment in human resources and digital tools in order to improve the quality and accessibility of education.”
Read the full interview in La Vanguardia.
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