Covid-19 struck us without a warning and left all educational institutions scrambling to respond to its urgencies. It has also created a need to creatively deal with such unforeseen and once-in-a-century catastrophic event that is being called the ‘new normal’.
When the lockdown was announced in the last week of March after which the country came to a sudden halt. Everything was announced to be stopped for 21days, only essentials were allowed to be sold. Under this circumstance all educational institutions had to close their campuses, students living in the hostels were sent back home if possible. Nobody had imagined that it will eventually take more than 6 months (and still counting) for the situation to normalize.
Now the education system is lagging behind its schedule, but to make the situation sufferable online classes have been started by institutions. Which can result in keeping up with the schedule of the education system, but with every new change comes both, good and bad. Today we will discuss the about the impact of these online classes extensively.
The negative impact
With the online classes, neither the teacher nor the student feel the same kind of energy as in face to face learning, so it may result in less enthusiasm from both the sides which will hamper the student-teacher relation.
Students who live in villages or places where the internet connection is not good or with great speed are unable to attend the online classes. This proves to be disadvantageous because the online classes are for students which if they wont be able to attend then what’s the point in conducting them?
Many institutions have decided to take online examinations too, now what will happen to the students who have poor internet connection during the exam time. They will fail because they will not be able to connect or reconnect due to bad internet connection.
Most of India’s population belongs to lower-middle class family, they don’t earn enough money to buy their children smartphones and gadgets, as a result many of the students do not have devices, smartphones and laptops or money to keep the internet connection while also paying the school fees.
Some teachers also struggle to get to know the technology. They are expected to make PowerPoint Presentations (PPTs), record the video lectures, and take online classes through different apps and online platforms, which not all of them are able to do properly. This is more common among the teachers because most of them didn’t had to that their whole life, and to learn something that is this vast, takes plenty of time.
A major problem has emerged for the teachers who often complain about some Students doing mischievous activities for entertainment. They share links of online classes that are sent to them by their teachers. They also tend to create Zoom IDs in random, unidentifiable names and troll teachers. Some switch off their camera and call teachers by their names from these IDs, some use them to send memes to teachers.
Teachers also have to face common issues like, Bullying by students, argumentative parents who often peep into classes, and distracted children and a story that I personally heard was about a student’s relative used the link to log into the class and “see what the teacher looks like, what she teaches and how she speaks”, and I am sure many others also must have experienced something like this.
The positive impact
There is an abundance of benefits that students and teachers will get from online learning as well few of them could be:
Online learning can be done from the comfort of one’s home, especially during COVID-19 outbreak, which definitely does not mean that you can lay down on your bed and attend your classes, what it means is that it is easier for you to stay at home safely and attend classes.
Different student has different level of understanding some can learn something new easier than the other whereas some may take some time, with the online learning you can learn the lesson on your pace, you just have to record the lectures, the PowerPoint presentations are uploaded for you by the teachers.
Unlike the classroom learning, here the lessons can be constantly updated and uploaded so that students can continue on if they have finished the previous lessons.
Many students in traditional classroom environments don’t feel comfortable speaking in front of everyone but In an online environment, it can be much easier to share thoughts with others. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 74% of people suffer from speech anxiety, online classes will help them to improve and build their confidence.
Even if the exams are conducted online there is no harm in it on the plus side you will get your results instantly without having to wait for a long period of time.
Most importantly this swift shift to online mode of learning has resulted in less use of paper throughout the world as teachers and students both use technology to write notes or create presentations, thus protecting our environment.
As we saw above, that online learning has it’s good and bad aspects, so at least for now in this case of emergency, the online mode somewhat works for the students but still the government needs to come out with alternatives for the students with no gadgets or no internet connection or both.
For the future, that is after the pandemic is over online learning and the face to face traditional learning has to co-exist, because we can’t be fully dependent upon the virtual learning. Yes it does make the learning process easier but it still has to improve alot and also has to inculcate the values that the students learn while in the traditional learning system, and also has to eliminate the barriers in online learning so that no one is disadvantaged from this system.