The outbreak of the pandemic and the beginning of the lockdown had resulted in the closure of all educational institutions. The immediate need for this closure and the rapid shift to distance learning had left very little time to plan or reflect on the opportunities that should be used as strength and the loopholes that should be taken into a major concern.
The urge of maintaining social distance through lockdowns had enhanced the use of the digital mode of education. Almost all educational institutions had adopted various internet applications to reach out to their teachers and students. Learning should always be interactive, and thus, face-to-face learning is way better than online classes. But if we let go of this conventional thinking, we can see through the opportunities that come with the online method.
Being a New Way, Online Education is Much More Exciting to the Students
This immediate transition from the monotonous canvas or blackboard to the platforms such as Zoom or any other app is sure to prove it valuable. Not only for the students, but it proves exciting for the teachers as well, as they get a chance to explore and experiment with these online tools.
Schools are not just mere buildings where students go to learn, and the online mode of education had proved that —amidst the lockdown, it had facilitated teachers and students to come in interaction with one another and take learning to a different level and by doing so, the educational institutions are receiving respect, appraisal and support for their role in society.
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Digitalized education is much more curate and has a wider prospect. The institutions are not only connecting their students with their teachers but also with scientists, researchers, educators, and storytellers all across the globe. Even teachers of one institution are collaborating with teachers of another and working together by sharing ideas and resources.
With opportunities comes drawbacks, and this remains constant for digital education too. The first and foremost problem that arises is for the poor students, thus creating an equity gap between them and the others. Lack of devices (computers, laptops, smartphones) and internet facilities prohibit the poor from joining the online classes. They also access their daily resources at school (meals, clothing, etc), that the online mode is unable them to provide with.
Online Education can be a Problem for Average or below Average Students
Not all students are excellent in academics and not all are attentive or sincere. The home environment may make them more playful and thus cause a serious lack in their studies. Not only for the students, may this online process be problematic for the teachers too. When the teachers are at home, especially women, they are bound to their family responsibilities and it, at times becomes difficult for them to manage both.
Education is not only a means through which a student gathers information or knowledge from the teachings, and proves his/her intellectual during an examination. Education is much more than that. As the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that every person should be Atmanirbhar or self-reliant, to become so, every person should implement the education they receive, for them and society. And for that, the intermingling of face-to-face education, as well as online education, is necessary. Accepting one and rejecting the other, will surely not help.
Sources: The Wire, Brookings