The meaning of schools has changed after the COVID-19 outbreak. Classes are being conducted in an online medium. This is the ‘new normal’ for the students of India.
How do the students learn?
When I was in 9th standard, we had a chapter in our English textbook about the education system in future. The students there studied through computers and did not go to school. At that time I often thought that I would never have to study and learn via computers and laptops. It has been almost ten months at home and I guess this has taught me that online education is possible but, I do miss going to school.
Online education is often called – distance learning, distance education, virtual learning, online learning, learning web-based training. Online education is electronically supported learning that relies on the Internet for teacher – student interaction and the distribution of class materials.
Some online educational programs are conducted exclusively through assigned lessons and assessments administered online. Others take the form of remote lectures where students join the class via the cameras on their laptops, and the instructor teaches or lectures from his own computer. Other courses are a combination of the two, requiring students to do a fair amount of independent research.
In my school, the classes are taken through Google Meet. The google meet link is shared in the class Whatsapp group. In my friend’s school the classes are conducted through Zoom. Teachers also present their screens in the meeting so that we can understand the concept clearly. After the class, the teachers assign us different assignments which we have to complete and submit in PDF form in a limited time. We also have exams online. First, the teachers share a Google Form for one mark questions; then they share the descriptive/writing part of the paper in Google Classroom. We are given half an hour to solve the one mark questions on Google Form and two and a half hours to solve and write the descriptive part. We have to write this part in our notebook, scan the pages and submit it in Google Classroom in PDF form within a fixed time period. These modern day learning applications are compatible with desktops/laptops as well as any smartphone.
Pros of online education
- Study from anywhere. There is no need to go to a particular place to study. We can study indoors as well as outdoors. Even if you are ill, you can attend the classes easily.
- Flexible learning schedule is observed in online education. A lot of time is saved in learning online. You can also do a part time job and learn.
- Students can control study time because of the flexibility in the timetable. They also get extra time for sports and hobbies.
- There is no transportation fee to reach the school that lowers the overall cost. (There is no need to buy shoes and socks!)
- The minimum infrastructure required for online learning is a smartphone and internet connection. As the country is witnessing a digital boom, it is expected that the poor people can also afford and access these classes easily.
- Improves the student’s technical skills. To join the classes, a student needs to learn to operate computers and various other apps.
- There is no bullying or ragging involved in this method of education. The students are also free from stress and anxiety. Hence, each student is physically and mentally healthy.
- Teachers can also share subject related videos to students to make the learning fun and interesting. In a traditional classroom environment, this would require projector and sound system setup.
Due to the following reasons, many people choose online education over the traditional classroom interactional education.