Online Education: A Game-changer For India
When unexpected events strike the world, one could find humanity accepting unusual things at an unforeseen pace.
It’s a phenomenon that has been widely seen and accepted only in certain echelons of the society till now, wherein senior professionals and the much-touted techies, mostly from the millennial group, would further their education by catching up with lectures from overseas universities, at odd hours and in all sort of odd places, so that their work schedule doesn’t get disturbed. It was also witnessed in a handful of global schools, which ensured the Generation Z gets a taste of the future of education, by offering periodic virtual lectures and online assignments. Beyond this, the mention of Online Education would have sounded just as a fancy imagination of a technophile.
A rarity turns commonplace – overnight
When unexpected events strike the world, one could find humanity accepting unusual things at an unforeseen pace. COVID-19 is a tsunami that turned our world upside down and forced us to change the way we live, work, shop, play, entertain, socialise… and the way we learn too. Forever. Having ourselves, and our family members, locked inside homes for safety, everything suddenly revolved around the only connection we had with the rest of the world: the Internet. Parents too had to accept that education of their children, which was hitherto believed as something that can’t be taken out of a physical classroom, had to go virtual. So, in no time all schools leapfrogged onto the online bandwagon and the teacher-centric pedagogy turned to student-centred lesson plans and delivery mechanisms including virtual classrooms, online assignments & tests, webinars & e-forums and video meetings with parents, to name a few.
The new normalcy
The changes brought about by the threat of Covid-19 is so revolutionary in education that even 3 decades of deliberation would not have managed what has been achieved in less than 3 weeks of lockdown. Teachers prepared lesson plans on spreadsheets while schools helped them make illustrative PowerPoint presentations using graphics and videos to help students understand new concepts. Innovative education techniques such as Flipped and Collaborative Learning, touted as part of Education 4.0, were being practised with much ease across all schools today.
The changes have become complete, as not just learning turned interactive with the active participation of students, but even parents started acknowledging the positives of virtual learning. Their apprehensions changed to appreciations overnight, as they could themselves witness the extra efforts been put up by the teachers to explain the concepts on a virtual platform. The learning loop too was completed as real-time reviews of lessons and sorting out doubts were also possible like that of an actual classroom. And most importantly, parents now feel that they are part of their children’s education.
One of the major side-benefits of education going online was that the schools could elicit a greater involvement of students in Extra and Co-Curricular Activities as well. By virtue, online participation makes even the shy ones come out and showcase their creative abilities without the usual stage fright, as the comfort of home removes their inhibitions. It also encourages them to do the proactive groundwork on every co-curricular activity. Cross campus events across countries such as the Global Student Exchange programme conducted by Global Indian International School (GIIS) having students participating from its 12 campuses in 5 countries is quite normal now. Such events will help students interact with their counterparts, discuss, debate, deliberate, collaborate and learn the best trends and practices from across the world.
Geography is History
This is one aspect of online education that would appeal to every utopian: the online mode breaks all barriers in terms of the digital, demographic or geographic divide. Today, it is quite easier to take the same high-quality education to the inquisitive minds in every nook and corner of the country as it is to the children in metro cities, making it easily accessible for all classes of the society.
Being able to learn from the comfort of home makes many students do well in their studies as possibilities of distractions are minimised in the controlled environment of a study room at home. The quality of learning goes up by many notches. Besides, as with most things online, education gets a great fillip as students learn to discover the huge repository of reference material and learning tools available online to supplement their learning. The net result is that students and parents find online education a far more improved form of learning.
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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