Third Place In Essay Writing Competition: THREE WAYS TO USE TECHNOLOGY FOR LEARNING THE LAW (IN A PANDEMIC RESTRICTED WORLD) by Martinson K. Y Bediako

As several countries pass their anniversaries of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become clear that the pandemic and its associated restrictions have become our new reality. Although initiatives are being taken to ensure we can go back to our “normal” lives in the shortest possible time, some aspects of life cannot be halted indefinitely. Education, as a prime example, continues unabated with the help of technology. So, how can the law be studied in these pandemic restricted times?

I shall begin with one word. Zoom. Prior to the pandemic this app was almost unknown. Within a few months of isolation, it was one of the most downloaded and used apps around the world. Basically, technology, using video conferencing software such as Zoom, creates a virtual classroom. Here, lecturers can teach with reference to slides they share from their screens in real time and students can make meaningful contributions. Lectures may also be recorded and streamed later. Apart from the occasional embarrassment from a poor network or a deviant who insists on doodling on the slides, technology in this regard continues to be of massive help. 

Away from the formal classroom, technology can help to connect more with varying ideas and simpler means of tuition. Take for instance various channels on YouTube and accounts on Twitter who are solely dedicated to ensuring that convoluted areas of law are explained to students in a simple way. A personal favorite is @taxlawgh on Twitter, which continues to make the study of tax law an easier ordeal with funny innuendos and relatable explanations. It goes without saying that everyone knows they have to pay tax on the value of the gift basket they received on Valentine’s day!

Finally, online learning platforms such as edX, Coursera and Skillshare provide varying self-paced courses to law students as well as certificates as evidence of completion. Popularly known as Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs), they allow students to access courses from top universities remotely. Apart from essentially granting students perspectives from other jurisdictions, it looks amazing on a CV to have qualifications from Harvard or Yale, from the comfort of one’s home. 

Technology has immensely improved our lives in practically every aspect. Although the resources and means mentioned above existed before the pandemic, they have now become an inseparable aspect of modern life, at least to those who are learning the law.