“Necessity is the mother of invention”. This proverb is quite common and used by almost all of us. But today, when the whole world is facing the situation of Covid-19 pandemic, we are actually experiencing it. How drastically things have changed from being normal to abnormal and then finally quoted as the “New normal”. The effects of this pandemic on almost each and every sector of the economy has been drastic and Education sector has been the part of the same. Schools, colleges, coaching classes, home tutions everything came to a halt. Both the teachers and the students could not go to school because of which the studies were getting affected. With everything getting digital, education also found it’s way. The blackboard was now not something on the walls of the classroom but turned into screen sharing on your mobile phones. The bench you shared with your friend soon turned into your bed with no friend around. The questions and answers and the debates held in the classroom turned into a chaos because everybody unmuted themselves, and oh! Nothing was audible. The teachers who were too confident about their subjects had to work under a lot of pressure because their kids were no longer the faces they could see in the classrooms, they had turned into icons on their mobile screens with videos off .
Online Education has brought a 360 degree turn in the whole system of education. Online education was indeed the need of the hour. Failing which, students could lose a whole year and things would be more difficult then. As the topic suggests, Online education actually has three aspects : The good ,the bad and the ugly.
Good things first. Online Education has its own advantages.
Flexibility- Online education can be done anywhere and anytime.The hours have become flexible and even the place doesen’t matter. You can be sitting in your balcony having fresh air with earphones plugged in,listening to the lecture.
Safety- In the covid times, this is the best way to protect students, teachers and their families.
Cost effective- Online education has saved monthly transportation costs of the students. Also, with the help of the availaibility of E-books, the cost for buying books have also reduced.
Access to Expertise- An online college education might give students access to specialized degree courses that may not be available in an easily accessible or local institution of learning. It has gained acceptance over time and is proving to be really beneficial for students.
One can learn whatever they want- With so many courses online,you can learn anything from anywhere. I can sit in Delhi and learn from University of Virgina through various online platforms.
A self paced learning – When we choose an online course we can do it by according to our choices. If I feel it is too much for the day I can simply close it and do it the next day.
Provides weightage to Resumes/CVs- The online courses and degree hold a good position and is effective if the certifications are attached to your Cvs.
BUT, “ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD” . Just like there are two sides to each coin. Online education comes with it’s set of disadvantages. Few of them are :
Not enough interaction- When a student is in a class with 40 or 50 other students,he gets to interact, to keep his point to talk more. In online education this can not happen to that extent. It starts a chaos altogether.
The atmosphere- A traditional classroom has no comparison with a digital one. Atmosphere plays a vital role in one’s life. It helps you concentrate on your work.
Distractions- The online education comes with a lot of distractions .You are listening to a lecture but chatting on your whatsapp or facebook and nobody knows about it. Thus,leading to a reduced concentration level.
The side effects on the eyes and ears – Because of continuously looking at their mobile or laptop screens the cases of students facing eyesight problems has increased rapidly. Similarily with continuous plugged in earphones the ears are getting affected.
Not all teachers are tech savvy- The online education has created a lot of problems for teachers who are not techagile. They lose their confidence and get conscious.
Lack of accreditation & quality assurance in online education- If online education is to be considered as effective and authentic as traditional learning, it must be ensured that all online schools are qualified and accredited. Unfortunately, at the current point in time, there are still a vast number of online learning platforms which are unaccredited and where all the materials are quality checked by no one besides the instructors themselves.
Losing on network- The aspirants of MBA are losing their contact with seniors and allunus that is really important due to lack of human interaction.
Practical learning is getting affected- Although one is getting oppurtunities of learning in the online platform still the practical learning is far from reachable.
“ THE UGLY” – UGLY comes in the picture when there are things that are pathetic and out of tolerance or control.
The major drawback is the Cyber crimes and the leak out of certain important documents .The privacy gets affected.
Then there are also times when the students behave in a manner that is just not acceptable .The links get shared and somebody enters the room and does pathetic things like abusing or talking nonsense.
The online education has also caused a lot to the vulnerable groups of the society. The poor people who can not afford to buy a smartphone for their kids to attend the online classes. Their kids have been denied to online learning and they can do nothing about it.
Finally, everything has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Nobody and nothing is perfect. With everything changing ,everybody needs to change, to adopt and adapt in the environment. We need to find solutions rather than crying about the problem, and maybe,Online Education is the solution for the times ahead or the times now.