Prior to Covid-19, Online learning was an existing method. Byju’s, Khan Academy, Unacademy had been useful then and now it is used now more than ever. These apps were helpful because children should not miss out on content taught in school if they were absent or didn’t understand a certain topic in class.
Since online learning or e-learning has become the new normal. The new normal has led to an increase in the use of online learning tools. In this new normal, all around the world, people are relying on online working and use of technology in almost every field. Today, digital learning has emerged as a necessary resource for students and schools all over the world. For many educational institutes, this is an entirely new way of education that they have had to adopt. Online learning is now applicable not just to learn academics but it also extends to learning extracurricular activities for students as well. In recent months, the demand for online learning has risen significantly, and it will continue doing so in the future.
Pros of E-Learning
- Efficiency – Due to Covid-19, the past year faced a total lockdown in India which led to businesses (all kinds) to close. Even e-commerce websites failed to deliver products such as books to students. E-learning has provided numerous ways such as videos, pdf, podcasts, google classrooms and teachers can use all these tools as part of their lesson plans. By extending the lesson plan beyond traditional textbooks to include online resources, teachers are able to become more efficient educators.
- Easy Accessibility – A very big advantage which follows online learning is that it allows students to attend lectures from any location of their choice. It also allows schools to reach out to children without restrains of geographical boundaries. Plus, the lectures can be recorded, archived or can be shared for future references.
3. Affordability — Another advantage of online learning is reduced financial costs. Online learning eliminates the cost points of student transportation, student meals, and most importantly, real estate. Additionally, all the course or study materials are available online, thus creating a paperless learning environment which is more affordable, while also being beneficial to the environment.
- Attendance – Since online classes are taken in the comfort of any location, there’s a less chance of students missing out on the content taught.
5. Suits A Variety of Learning Styles – Every student has a different learning journey and a different learning style. Some students are visual learners, while some students prefer to learn through audio. Similarly, some students thrive in the classroom, and other students are solo learners who get distracted by large groups. It is the best way to create a perfect learning environment suited to the needs of each student.
Cons of E-learning
- Inability to focus on screen — For many students, one of the biggest challenges of online learning is the struggle with focusing on the screen for long periods of time. With online learning, there is also a greater chance for students to be easily distracted by social media or other sites.
- Issues with Technology – This is the most challenging aspect of online learning. Internet connectivity issues causes a big barrier for students who misunderstand few things in their subject while teachers are unsure when they teach if they could make their pupils understand. Lack of consistent connection with decent speed is a problem, there can be a lack of continuity in learning for the child. This is detrimental to the education process.
- Sense of Isolation – Students can learn a lot from being in the company of their peers. However, in an online class, there are minimal physical interactions between students and teachers. This often results in a sense of isolation for the students. In this situation, it is imperative that the school allow for other forms of communication between the students, peers, and teachers. This can include online messages, emails and video conferencing that will allow for face-to-face interaction and reduce the sense of isolation.
4. Teacher Training – Online learning requires teachers to have a basic understanding of using digital forms of learning. However, this is not the case always. Very often, teachers have a very basic understanding of technology. Sometimes, they don’t even have the necessary resources and tools to conducts online classes. To combat this, it is important for schools to invest in training teachers with the latest technology updates so that they can conduct their online classes seamlessly.
5. Manage Screen Time – Many parents are concerned about the health hazards of having their children spend so many hours staring at a screen. This increase in screen time is one of the biggest concerns and disadvantages of online learning. Sometimes students also develop bad posture and other physical problems due to staying hunched in front of a screen.
Solution to this can be providing plenty of breaks from the screen to refresh the body and minds of children. Hosting cultural competitions and festivals can be extremely motivating and can reduce the sense of isolation for both students and children. It may help develop skills as well.
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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