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 these restrictions later to minimise economic losses. The pandemic has proved to be an unscalable wall for the on-campus system of education. Schools, Colleges & other academies opened for a short period; however, the second wave made it impossible to maintain. During these turbulent and uncertain times, technology has helped in continuing education afloat and consistent.
The unprecedented situation forced schools to secure their campuses and shift the entire learning & education process online. This transition was not clear for most of the schools in the country. A recent report by the central government states that 78% of schools in India do not have an internet connection & around 61% do not even have computers.
While students from those schools have been unfortunate, others, especially those in the city centres, have accessed education with the help of technology. Online platforms like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet & Zoom provided customised solutions to help schools maintain their endeavour.
While campus education has grown with time, online education is still in its nascent stage. Nonetheless, it has proved to be a boon. Furthermore, the prominent features of technology-enabled education can prove to be useful for everyone- the teachers, students and the institution.
Benefits of Online Education:
1. Professional development:
The teachers were accustomed to the conventional teaching methods, and specialised training sessions on certain platforms helped in their professional maturity. Their digital hiccups were removed as they learned many new techniques associated with online education.
2. Better prepared lessons:
Technology helps the teachers in providing personalised & engaging lesson plans. While the traditional teaching plan was motionless, education with the help of technology has become interactive. Teachers can develop a better-structured lesson design by inter-weaving the whole possible digital resources with their lesson plan, eg: videos, images interactive quizzes, etc.
The assessment method on digital platforms is relatively quick, simple and transparent. Teachers can gauge the progress of their scholars and accordingly make alterations to the teaching plan. Since physical supervision isn’t possible on this online platform, these assessments help the students develop a sense of responsibility as well.
4. 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 comfort of their homes. Teachers can update the parents regarding the development of their wards, while the parents can interact among the teachers to give their feedback. Further, parents can help the teachers get their ward’s problem areas, and the teacher can try to give the best-suited solutions.
5. Parental participation:
Children, especially young ones, require regular supervision, which calls for improved parental participation. While the reliability of parents ends at the school gates in the traditional education process, they have more roads to participate in their child’s development in this online education system.