Digital Innovations Helping Schools Keep Covid-19 At Bay

In the wake of the current scenario of a Caronavirus outbreak in India, virtual classrooms will help in avoiding any loss of students' study time.

Chikungunya, Ebola, SARS, Zika virus – Millennials and GenZ have seen it all. With a considerable part of the last decade shrouded by epidemic outbreaks in different parts of the world, global business and education have been the most affected. The latest to join this list is the Novel Coronavirus or NCov (Covid-19), which has raised anxieties among school children and parents like never before.  

The increased use of social media has raised awareness and concern around the disease like never before. During SARS (2003) and Swine flu (2009), social media was not so big. SARS was way deadlier with around 10 per cent mortality whereas the Covid-19 has less than 2 per cent, which means SARS was 5 times worse off than Covid-19. Yet, despite being less harmful than SARS, primarily due to social media, the scare or anxieties have multiplied many folds among school children. 

With the spread of Covid-19 to over 30 countries and with more than 76,000 infected and over 2000 fatalities, the nature of threat is as serious as the messaging in itself and how people cope with it.  Children and the old aged are the most affected by this fast spreading and contagious disease due to their low immunity. To stop it from spreading further, the World Health Organisation or WHO has advised limiting the human - human transmission as much as possible.  

These developments disrupt schools resulting in loss of precious time in a student's life. For instance, the Ebola epidemic had disrupted normal schooling for a large number of pupils in the past. But that was 2014. Six years later when the Covid 2019 tried to do a similar thing, education institutions were better prepared and gearing up to defeat this deadly virus attack. Thanks to the introduction of virtual classrooms. In times of social, health and environmental disruptions schools can adopt virtual classroom concept to save loss of valuable study time.  

Virtual classrooms a reality

Virtual classrooms today have become more integral to the education system more than ever. Virtual classrooms are now playing a vital role in bridging the location gap in education. Furthermore, China – the epicenter of the coronavirus and the most populous country in the world, in February 2020, amidst the reeling coronavirus outbreak launched a national cloud learning platform to ensure the country’s 180 million students can continue learning.  

Schools globally are increasingly adopting the technology of virtual classrooms. The ones who haven’t yet, especially in South East Asia are promptly moving towards it in the wake of Covid 2019. Many state governments - Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh for instance, are promoting remote learning in rural India. In the wake of the current scenario of a Caronavirus outbreak in India, virtual classrooms will help in avoiding any loss of students' study time.  

Benefits of virtual classroom 

Virtual classrooms accelerate innovation and collaboration. It facilitates dynamic exchange of ideas between students with a higher level of interactivity compared to what is experienced in a real classroom. The attention spans too are much greater with lower fatigue levels at remote locations compared to being in a real classroom. This however comes with a rider, that students who have dialed in remotely may have other distractions which may not be applicable when they are in classrooms.  

The virtual classrooms essentially bring the classrooms to mobile or other portable devices, which increases the mobility of students. Students who are logged-in remotely are able to interact with teachers and peers on a real-time basis, allowing them to respond and ask questions throughout the session. From a teacher’s point of view, Virtual Classrooms allow the entire cohort to be at the same pace even if some students cannot make it to the school. Parents concerns on sending students to foreign locations for education can also be addressed as virtual classrooms eliminate geographical barriers.   

Technology has jumped leaps and bounds. It can be considered one of the biggest boons to modern mankind. In the past 10 years, nearly thousand schools across the world have been shut down due to calamities of different kinds, putting the future of more than a million students in jeopardy. This situation will now be avoided thanks to the introduction of virtual classrooms and remote 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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