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Does online education limit students’ social skills?

Can meaningful social skills really be achieved in online education?

· Online learning

We talk about social media, but online communications have a jarring reputation when it comes to their impact on the way we interact with one another on them. On the one hand, they can be an incredible way to meet, work with and talk to people anywhere in the world and any time. On the other hand, there is a sense that we lose the spontaneity of connecting with people when it’s not done in person. So can meaningful social skills really be achieved in online education?

One of the things that we work very hard to achieve at CamVision are solutions that provide a holistic approach to education. That includes nurturing social skills and networking opportunities. Of course, we have our camps and courses, which offer cultural and educational integration in person. However, technology is a key focus of our investment arm, as are the solutions that we offer to schools and directly to students.

Teaching that looks beyond the classroom

For example, our English language tutors don’t merely teach the mechanics of language in our online classroom. They quickly immerse students in oral communication to encourage a natural skill set rather than textbook knowledge. This year we have also extended the online education experience for younger students and are launching group classrooms that allow students to interact with and learn from one another as well as their tutors in order to develop the soft skills they need for wider communication with colleagues.

By doing so they meet other students, but they also become increasingly comfortable building meaningful connections with their peers in an online forum, which will be all the more important for the future of work. Equally, if you have been following the CamVision journey, you may also know that we launched our remote internships earlier this year. These allow university undergraduates and graduates to continue developing their networks with potential employers from anywhere in the world.

Covid-19 has moved the goalposts

Naturally, in person communication offers a different experience to online networking. However, through Covid-19, online communications have proven to be a lifeline when it comes to continued interaction. It has allowed education to continue, and in a different sphere it has also been central to keeping loneliness at bay for individuals who live alone.

Online communication has proven its value for maintaining and building connections rather than simply being Plan B. As we move forward it is only likely to continue in its prevalence for social, education and work purposes.

Investing in the future
 
There have been an abundance of articles questioning whether online communications have a negative impact on our social skills. However, through the research and programmes we have developed, we know that it is not the online platforms in themselves that limit the voracity of our social interactions and networking capacity, but the way in which we use them.

Online communications have the capacity to build bridges between nations without having the enormous economic barriers to entry that international travel can impose. The speed of connection and the ease that online communication represents also makes for easier networking and interaction.
 
The limitations lie in the sophistication of the tools we have and the ways in which we use them. That is why we put so much resource into the ongoing creation of forward thinking curricula to meet the latest in educational wants and needs. We also invest in individuals and organisations at the forefront of EdTec solutions for all stages of students’ education careers through to further education in the workplace.
 
If you are a business or education provider and would like to find out more about our investment opportunities, bespoke courses and STREAM education solutions, contact our team to find out more.
 
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