Isolation and home office made us all rethink about new ways to interact, learn and work, abandoning old methods and being more flexible

How technology can help you during the Coronavirus pandemic?

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Have you ever reflected on how much the world has changed with the technology advances? From the phone calls to the android universe, a lot of things had happened, with the development and enhancement of a huge number of tools. But way much more than just allowing you to make important video calls with your friends, family and work colleagues: have you ever imagined how much technology helps us to be more independent? And even more: have you ever thought about how the use of it had changed considerably after one of the most impacting crises of our century?

In 2020, we have seen the rise of the Coronavirus pandemic all over the planet, with rigid isolation measures in order to avoid the world health system break-down and to prevent more deaths. The consequences of isolation affected undoubtedly our personal relations, working tasks, learning routine, and, of course, our mental health. As social beings, humans are expected to have personal contact, since we live in society and communities have a huge impact to make us happy by interacting. The future after quarantine still is, as we all have noticed, unknown: although many countries had adopted efficient strategies to avoid a larger number of contamination, coming back into it, in order to reestablish previous routines, also increased such taxes. The second wave is a reality, and those ups and downs can continue to happen while we don’t have a proper vaccine.

At a first sight, such a situation affects us negatively by impeding our free circulation and decreasing our interaction with people we love. But looking into the human’s power of transformation: it was also an invitation to look inside of us, in order to reconsider our habits and make us reflect on what exactly we could do more with our free time. It had also made us be more open to changing old habits, principally if we take into consideration working and educational methods. All of this, in addition to recent products, show that the future has knocked at the door and keep on going with that. But are the companies and educational institutions following this?

A brief look into the labor market, education, and its changes

The corporate manners are, for decades, following a method of working based on the daily eight-hour journey, where most parts of the companies keep on registering and controlling the productivity of collaborators in hours of work and punctuality, according to certain intervals. Such method has its roots: it started to be established in 1856, with the first law registered according to this system in Melbourne, Australia. Years later, after the increase of gained rights by the processes of the Industrial Revolution, Henry Ford contributed to firm its popularity by adopting the requirements of his fabric collaborators. It is clear, however, that many things had happened since then, and that new methods of work are asking to be taken into consideration in order to follow changes in our society, from better ways to conceal work and personal life, to promote a better quality of life and embrace important strategies, such as the creative leisure, schedule flexibility and modernization of corporate environments. The advent of a flexible hybrid system, concealing personal meetings with home office, as much as they emerge of coworking spaces and new meeting online tools, allowed companies and collaborators to have more contact with different talents around the world, as much as valuing talents way much more by their productivity and efficient ideas than the hours spent inside of the office.

In the education field, many revolutions gained space during decades, making us rethink the traditional methods of exclusively expositive classes. During the first half of the 20th century, the Croatian philosopher and educator Rudolf Steiner promoted a turnaround in education by defending that its basis must make individuals develop freely, valuing their physical, sensitive and intellectual capacities. The result was the expansion of the Waldorf pedagogy stabilized in the south of Germany and spread around the world. Another good example was the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, that defended a more interactive and autonomous learning process, with the education being put as a basic right of every human being. An efficient educational method is, above it all, participative: every student must have space to show your opinion, make tests, show the results. Acting is way much more efficient than simply watching. And each person’s autonomy and creativity deserve to be taken in consideration.

Technology and empowerment: new possibilities of working and learning

And all of this leads us into technology, in a moment when we are all forced to change. According to a study promoted by The New York Times, the use of technology has increased considerably during quarantine times, and much of this is associated with the use of smartphones: streaming services such as Netflix and video calls between family, friends, and co-workers in apps like Google Duo, for example, registered a growth of more or less 16% and 12,4%, respectively. But when it comes to education, technology can be even more revolutionary: it reinforces the concept of autonomy, pushing us to create our own daily-learning routine, respecting our best time to learn, and having the support of high-quality software and tutors to help in the knowledge gain.

Research promoted by the World Economic Forum showed that, during the Corona pandemic, the school closures have affected 1.2 billion children in 186 countries. Although the tendency was already positive for technology educational tools, with an estimative of investment of US$350 Billion until 2025, the home-schooling contributed to accelerate such numbers. But more than this: it was time for online platforms and educational apps to gain popularity also between adults, with the adherence of new students and the disclosure of free content that strengthens the power of democratic education. This whole situation opened widely that, no matter the conditions, it is always time to learn something new.

Besides the considerable changes in the way we match recent technologies with learning and working, we also need to have a careful look at worldwide tendencies. An article published by Time magazine shows that, with the recent crisis, many Americans had lost their jobs and, as consequence, artificial intelligence (AI) robots and tools are taking place – and this also happens all over the world. In such context, however, one of the less affected areas are those directly connected with this world, like the programming universe.

More than graduating new students to search for good positions in different companies: the development world allows independent workers to create strategies in order to sell their products and interact with other users. If you look into the time we spend connected on the internet, between 3 and 4 hours a day, the result of the equation points out that this is also a preview of the population’s behavior. The big question here is not how to avoid its use, but how to think about strategies in order to use it in an intelligent way.

To make a good example: we recently received a valuable interaction with one of our students, that’s only 16 years old, detailing how much our courses were useful to make him take his first step to create his own app. Inside of so many languages available in the coding universe, there are some that, at a first sight, every learner will get in touch since the very beginning of the journey, like Java and C Sharp (or simply C#). This last one has a huge advantage to promote the autonomy of developers, thanks to its simplicity and multiplatform language, which allows the developer to choose where to focus (web, app, or desktop).

The world is, inevitably, way much more technological than it used to be. Why not opening your arms to embrace it and use it wisely, as a complement for our personal contact and our future? More than use it to learn new things: it can also be a very impacting alternative to know how to use such interesting software and apps either in an entrepreneurship context or to increase the productivity of a company, which values and perspectives are connected with.

Technology has a huge amount of options. It is time to welcome this journey and promote empowerment. For all of us.