The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 forced everything to shut down. The whole educational system collapsed and the demand for online education rose significantly. Overnight the educational systems were changed from normal classrooms to e-classrooms. With the help of technology, institutes adopted an online pedagogical approach.
Once e-learning was considered both revolutionary and scary but today it has become a trusted source of quality learning. With the sudden transition of in-person classrooms to e-learning, students experienced unexplored ways of learning. However, senior teachers faced difficulty while adopting the online educational process. Online education which was least preferred once, is now a necessity. According to a study, younger people are preferring e-learning over traditional educational methods.
Is Online Learning A Boon Or Bane?
The pandemic has made educational institutions go from offline mode to online mode. E-learning has made the teaching-learning process more innovative, student-centered, and more flexible. There are various technologies available that will make online education accessible. Some examples of such technologies are Google meet, zoom, Webinar, Google classroom, and the list goes on. In the same way, advancements in technology have made remote education easy. Although, experts have been skeptical about online education.
Modern students depend on their smartphones and laptops to complete their projects and tasks. According to a report, 87% of students use their cell phones to search for potential programs online. Also, 67% percent of students have completed online courses.
Now coming to the question “ is online learning a boon or bane?”, obviously, online learning is a boon. The online educational process overcomes all the obstacles of old custom teaching systems like distance learning, lack of personal attention, flexible study time, and many more. Hence, if we observe keenly we will come to know that the online teaching process is advantageous in every sense for society.
With the greater flexibility to create our own customized learning environment, e-learning comes with lots of benefits. E-learning enables us to control the learning environment that helps us to develop a deeper understanding of the course.
Here, let us look at the 5 benefits of the online educational process.
E-learning offers an efficient way of learning. With it, we no longer have to worry about what to learn next or the class location. It is convenient for teachers too as they can share all the PDFs, resources, and presentations with students. Various technological tools make studying fun and easy. With all the available technological tools, teachers can become more efficient educators.
Online learning reduces financial costs thus making it affordable. Virtual classes are both time savers and cost savers. Students will not have to travel, most of the resources can be found online, and will not have to spend on meals, bags, uniforms. Also, virtual classes will reduce the institutional fees.
Accessibility of time and space
The biggest advantage of online learning is the accessibility of time. Students can attend the class from any location. They will no longer have to worry about missing the class. As no transportation means no lesser chances of getting late. Also, the classes can be recorded and shared. With online education, there will be no geographical barriers. It can reach out to a more extensive network of students.
Enhancing technical skills
Unlike traditional education, online education will keep the teachers and students technically updated. It will help them to grow technically. Increased use of technology and tools will help students in advanced learning.
Most of the students hesitate in a physical classroom to ask queries or answer the question. With virtual class, there is no such issue. Students gain more confidence in virtual class and feel free to ask questions. There is no necessary need for verbal expression, students can text and get their answers.
Now after going through all the pros of the online educational process, the question arises whether the online teaching-learning process can provide quality education or not. Some hurdles come along in the way.
The disadvantages of the online educational process are mentioned below.
E-learning requires internet access and a good network. It may be a problem in the area with the network issue especially, in the rural areas. Having a smartphone or laptop or any electronic device is a must. Sometimes network issues can trouble and disturb the class from running smoothly.
Limited social interaction
In online classes, there is no personal interaction. Kids love to enjoy themselves with their friends in schools. Students learn a lot from being in the company of their companions. Virtual class limits face-to-face interaction. This can hinder the students’ socializing skills. This can create a sense of isolation for students.
Increased screen time
We all know that screens are bad for our eyes. The sudden increase of eyes problem among students was noticed when online classes started. Staying hunched in front of screens for a long time not only affects the eyes but results in bad postures and many other physical problems. Also, the back-to-back online classes can make the students’ minds tired which can eventually result in headaches, eye pain, etc.
When it comes to exams and tests, virtual class is no good option. As the student is at home, he may cheat in many ways without getting suspected. Also, as most of the time, the camera of the students’ device is not on, the teacher may not know if a student is actually paying attention to the class. As there is no physical interaction, teachers may find it hard to evaluate a student based on their discipline and performance.
Teachers accepting technology
The sudden adaptation of online classes left many teachers amused. Some were good with technology but many faced issues. Creating presentations, PDFs became an extra headache to them. Proper training is essential for teachers so that they can be effective in their teaching.
Technology rescues us from the crisis by providing innovative and resilient solutions. Online teaching is no more an option, it is a necessity. Though there are some issues with online education, we can not ignore the perks of it.
With e-learning, the grades will be no more barrier. A Student can learn anything he wants. Online education knows no boundaries.
The online educational process can not replace the old custom classes. Although it is an add-on to traditional methods of teaching.
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