ONLINE CLASSES – THE ONLY VIABLE OPTION
In 2019 December, Zoom Meetings had around 10 million users. By April 2020, the number of users had risen up to 300 million. The covid-19 pandemic has made offline classes nearly impossible because after the discovery that the coronavirus is airborne, it is not practically wise to conduct classes in schools. Since the virus may affect anyone from all age groups, school-going children may not realize the seriousness of the issue. Teachers will get the blame and will have to take responsibility if one or more students get tested positive.
With offline classes coming to a halt, the education of children cannot be neglected. The only remaining option is online classes. Various platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Cisco Web Meetings came into light. Of course these were active earlier on but were used only by business professionals and maybe a few college students. However, after lockdowns were imposed and “Stay-at-home” campaigns were made popular, every student from kindergarten to 12th grade as well as college students were having online classes.
Every new practice has its own Advantages and disadvantages. Hereunder I have tried to list down the same, based on my experience of online classes for the last one year.
The advantages of online classes are:
- Work from home: In these tough times, students will not have to go out and travel much. Instead, they will be able to attend classes from home.
- Interesting: The lectures can be made interactive if the professors and teachers use PowerPoint and slides. If the teachers show videos and audio-visual representations, then students will be more attentive and may understand better.
- Easier for teachers: In classroom, the teacher has to take more effort and strain to ensure that the students are not distracted. This may lead to teachers having to raise their voice which may lead to throat pain. Another issue that teachers face is hand pain due to long hours of repetitive writing on the board. In online classes, teachers may speak less loudly and still be audible.
- Lesser work periods: Colleges used to have daily timings of 6 hours but online classes get over within 3-4 hours.
- Learning how to use technology : Teachers and students who are not accustomed to using laptops and phones are getting a chance to learn these and develop themselves.
- Easily accessible: Students can easily attend online classes especially if it’s theory. They can travel and listen to the classes.
Like a coin has two sides, even online classes has its cons:
- Network connectivity: If the student is residing in an area where there is bad network connectivity then he/she may miss out on important topics.
- Practical subjects: Online classes might be suitable for theory subjects but it is difficult for teachers to explain practical subjects like accounts, mathematics etc through online lectures.
- Tests: Conducting tests might be a pain both for students as well as teachers. The questions should be preferably in MCQ format because it is difficult to type in long answers within the stipulated time.
- Physically inactive: Students and teachers become physically dull because of sitting in one place for long time
- Lack of interaction: In classroom, many good friendships are formed and students help each other and there is that bond formed between classmates as well as between seniors and juniors. In virtual classrooms students do not get an opportunity to interact beyond their classes.
Hence, online classes has its pros and cons but these should be weighed according to the current scenario. Countless lives are being lost due to the pandemic and virtual classes are the only way out. Colleges must use their funds wisely and invest in improving their methods of online education so that the students are given proper training.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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