In many respects, the pandemic has altered our lives. We have no choice but to adapt our lifestyle in accordance with the government’s guidelines and preventative actions. Online education is one of these changes.
Educational institutions have been shut down. Previously, this would have meant that pupils would no longer be able to acquire an education. However, thanks to technological advancements, we have been able to find a way out of this situation. We have unlocked the door to a more convenient educational system by using technology as a key. But one question remains unanswered: is internet schooling a blessing or a curse?
500 million kids are affected by the COVID-19 problem. All schools and colleges in the areas have been closed. In a virtual world, online learning has come to the rescue of these kids. Is there a difference between classroom education and new media education in terms of teaching standards? This has certainly become a contentious topic in recent months, as everything has advantages and disadvantages, and online learning is no exception.
Online lessons are 30-45 minute long learning sessions in which books and other study materials are converted into digital format. Students participate in a conference meeting with their teachers and classmates using various tools such as zoom, skype, or google meet. They virtually gather in one location, and the classes are available on smartphones and PCs.
CHALLENGES OF ONLINE EDUCATION:
Lack of face-to-face interaction– When we can not find someone to explain anything to us, we may misinterpret what we see or read. A single punctuation error alters the genuine meaning of the entire text, and as the saying goes, half the information is worse than no information. Face-to-face contact is therefore critical for effective learning.
Neither regularity nor discipline– It is self-evident that the curriculum will not be maintained as it should be since the pupils are not limited by the rules and bounds of a suitable classroom atmosphere. They may stop studying the contents on a regular basis and begin to take things for granted. There is a good likelihood that kids will be distracted when learning online.
Challenges in technology– Only students with a reliable internet connection and equipment such as laptops and computers can benefit from online learning. Without it, students can not rely on online learning.
Increased dropout rates– Students are more likely to drop out if they do not apply themselves fully to their studies and treat them casually. There will be no designated mentor to keep track of the pupils’ development and properly handle their doubts. They may simply drop out of school in nations where online education is difficult to obtain.
BENEFITS OF ONLINE EDUCATION:
Flexibility– The most significant benefit of online education is its adaptability. A student can alter his or her study schedule to suit his or her demands. Indoors or out, in a room, or while riding the metro, one can study. It also saves time, energy, and money by avoiding the need to travel to a certain location in order to gain knowledge.
No language barriers– There are no language obstacles because internet education is available in most vernacular languages. It is also possible to learn new things in one’s native tongue. They are not required to grasp a specific language in order to follow the material; instead, they can read the text or watch a video connected to it in any language they choose, boosting their self-esteem and confidence.
Ease to access– If a student does not have time to take notes while studying online, he can always save the page or convert it to a document and download it. Unlike in traditional classrooms, where the subject is removed from the board once the teacher has finished teaching, one may always refer to what he or she studied earlier online by simply clicking on the site history.
Decrease in workload– It has reduced the amount of work that teachers have to do. They simply enter the answers to the questions on the exam answer sheets, and the computer analyses the marks for them. Furthermore, they can deliver students’ updated files, in which they can just underline the errors so that the students can rectify them themselves.
IS ONLINE LEARNING ACTUALLY BENEFICIAL TO STUDENTS?: We can only say yes in part! However, online education has a negative impact on mental health since students are confined to their computers and are unable to interact with their peers or experience the real world. Students are given first attention in educational institutions, which allows them to extend their horizons. They learn to collaborate as a group. Also, you will be able to meet new people and learn about new cultures and cuisines. If online schools become a reality, most students will lose out on important life lessons. Not everyone in a nation like India, where there is no internet connection anywhere, can make use of these services and go offline. Many students do not even have a laptop, internet access, or the financial means to accomplish this. Online education is unquestionably beneficial and can be used as a compliment, but it is not a substitute.
PROBLEMS FACED BY TEACHERS: During the continuing pandemic, teachers have unique challenges, particularly those who are not technologically adept and are expected to undergo a technical change overnight by the school administration. They are compelled to educate without resources and with only the bare minimum of resources available on their smartphones. They struggle to do their jobs since they have no knowledge of the kids’ psychology, behavior, or physical interaction. It is also tough for them to conduct online tests and correct each student’s examination sheet via email.
EFFECTS OF HEAVY COMPUTER AND MOBILE PHONE USAGE: Excessive usage of mobile phones has been linked to a variety of health problems, including headaches, drowsiness, irritability, insomnia, and depression, particularly among teenagers. It also raises the chance of cancer and has a negative impact on our nervous system.
Eye strain from digital classes, on the other hand, is a big health problem for students who spend long periods of time on the internet. Excessive computer use can cause eye discomfort, fatigue, impaired vision, headaches, dry eyes, and other eye strain symptoms.
CONCLUSION: In the same way that every coin has two sides, so does online education. Online education, on the other hand, is, in my opinion, a gift for us, particularly for students. If a student creates a well-balanced timetable and adheres to it religiously, he or she can avoid numerous demerits, retain good health, and pass with flying colors all at the same time.
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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