Is E-learning Taking A Front Seat, Interim Or Firm?

Academicians believe that technology has been influencing our lives for long and online education is no exception.

Progressing introduction of technical breakthroughs as a means to communication and knowledge transmission, invariably indicated that e-learning would be the future of education. But its early advent owing to COVID-19 seems hard to handle for students and teachers, wherein parents are victims to spill-over effect. Since e-classes have begun, outcomes witnessed are manifold. Institutions pile it on the best interest of the children while receptors have mixed reactions. 

Academicians believe that technology has been influencing our lives for long and online education is no exception. Interaction affordability, efficiency, accessibility, and less absenteeism are some of the favourable upshots. Moreover, it helps in developing aptitudes like critical thinking and adaptability. “But in the case of young kids, considering their tender age, lengthy online classes are not advisable. Blended learning could rather be a viable option. Technological failures, health concerns, behavioural problems, lack of peers, and supervision are some downsides to be dealt with parental supervision.” asserts Garima Gupta, Professor, Bhupal Nobles’ University. The anticipated loss of quality quotient can be controlled by following set protocols coupled with constant monitoring and evaluation, is an added observation by the professor. She is also quite optimistic about e-learning getting integrated with mainstream education. 

However, reviews coming from parents’ front are both supportive and confuting. Lengthy screen time harm the kids’ eyesight is the primary concern. Follows is the engagement issue resulting from the informal learning environment at home. “Missing teacher-student connect contributes to the loss of interest, especially for pre-primary and primary classes. The absence of monitoring and assessment methods is equally dissuading. This non-strategic unplanned move without defined learning formats is making it difficult for kids, parents, and teachers to adapt swiftly.” states Mayuri Upadhyay, mother of a 4-year-old son. 

For some parents, it’s a two-fold challenge. They have to manage salary losses and withstand the strain of so-called new normal. “We are not only asked to pay the fees but also yearly increment is imposed on it. Schools who have opted for e-learning, reduced the staff by 30%, foundering the overall operations costs. Therefore, they should share the savings and reduce the fees by at least 25%,” comments Mahendra Verma, father of 5 and 10-year-old daughters. “We seem to be burdened more as we are personally handling every chore correlating our kid’s education. The school fee still includes tuition, sports, and library component. Why are we made liable to pay the same in full?” remarks Harsh Kulshreshtha, father of a 10-year-old daughter.  

Teenage students who are amongst transceivers of this channel, find e-learning to be effective. It’s easier to learn and re-learn by accessing recorded sessions, while isolation fuels the concentration. “A balance of online and classroom learning can judiciously address the requisite of acquiring social skills. However, online learning enables me to set my own pace and also to customize the schedule, giving me more time to study. Freedom to learn beyond geographical barriers adds to my convenience, thereby augmenting my learning experience.” voices Aditya Gupta, Class XII student from Maharana Mewar Public School, Udaipur. 

Institutions active in the sector of international studies might also have some bearing of this essential shift. “International colleges give a hang to the method of learning. What we are concerned about is the student’s performance which as anticipated will descend for a larger lot, affecting their dreams of hatching higher education,” confirms Arpit Ajmera, International Officer-India, University of East Anglia, UK.

With all the highlights and challenges, accepted or rejected, this reportedly cost-effective, interactive, flexible, and consistent learning method is here to redefine the way knowledge is acquired. Whether it will completely replace the traditional classroom learning or will create an equilibrium with the same, the answer to the question lies not too far in the future. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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e-learning online education COVID-19

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