With the outbreak of COVID-19, the world came to a halt last year. While the Indian Government initially resorted to a lockdown for stopping further spread of the disease, it lifted the restrictions later to minimise economic losses. The pandemic has been determined to be an unscalable wall for the on-campus system of education. Schools, Colleges, & other academies opened for a brief period; however, the second wave made it undesirable to continue. During these turbulent and uncertain times, technology has helped in keeping education afloat & consistent.
The unprecedented situation forced schools to secure their campuses and shift the whole learning & education process online. This transition was not clear for most of the schools in the country.
A current report by the central government (Unified District Information System for Education Report) states that 78% of schools in India do not possess an internet connection, & around 61% do not even have computers.
While students from these schools have continued unfortunate, others, especially those in the urban centres, have entered education with the help of technology. Online platforms like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet & Zoom implemented customised solutions to help schools continue their endeavour.
While campus education has grown with time, online education is still in its nascent stage. Nevertheless, it has proved to be a boon. Furthermore, the prominent features of technology-enabled education can prove to be beneficial for everyone- the teachers, students & the institution.
Benefits of Online Education:
1. Professional development:
The teachers were accustomed to the conventional teaching methods, & specialised training sessions on these platforms helped in their expert growth. Their digital hiccups were removed as they learned several new techniques related to online education.
2. Better prepared lessons:
Technology helps the teachers in providing personalised & engaging lesson plans. While the traditional teaching plan stayed static, education with the help of technology has become interactive. Teachers can develop a better-structured exercise plan by inter-weaving the great possible digital resources with their lesson plan, eg: videos, interactive quizzes, etc.
3. Rote learning to real learning:
While the students are provided task-based homework in this traditional education system, a mix with online education also shows them insight-led homework. Technology also helps in creating & assigning homework. It ensures that the homework is submitted within the set timeframe. Further, digital education feeds the inquisitive world of students. They learn to utilize the comprehensive resource available on the internet.
The assessment method on digital platforms is relatively quick, simple and transparent. Teachers can gauge the development of their scholars & accordingly make alterations to the teaching plan. Since physical supervision isn’t possible on every online platform, those assessments help students acquire a sense of accountability as well.
5. Parent-teacher communication:
While the traditional education system has several designated days for parent-teacher communication, the digital learning system provides more frequent meetings from the enjoyment of their homes. Teachers can update the parents about the development of their wards, while the parents can communicate with the teachers to provide their feedback. Further, parents can help the teachers understand their ward’s problem areas, & the teacher can work to provide the best-suited solutions.
6. Parental participation:
Children, especially young ones, require regular supervision, which calls for improved parental participation. While the responsibility of parents finishes at the school gates in the traditional learning process, they have more streets to participate in their child’s development in the online education system. The online education system developed as a stop-gap arrangement due to the currency of the pandemic.