Author : Seema Bhoi
COVID-19 has taught us many life-changing lessons in many ways. This pandemic also showed ways to institutes to be prepared for the worse. Further, it also taught us to have a back-up plan. One such field is education, which now needs to look at things differently and make some major changes in its mode of operation.
With 1.2 billion children out of the classroom and parents at their wits end on how to engage them fruitfully, schools are adopting the online world to reach out to their students. Digital learning seems to be the only savior for teachers, students, and school authorities to keep the learning process alive. Online education was already a trend in schools in various countries for imparting lessons. In 2019, the investment in Global edTech crossed 18 billion USD, with the projection of online education reaching 350 billion USD by the year 2025. (Fact Source: weforum.org)
Moreover, with an increased demand for online learning, many educational platforms like BYJU’s (Bangalore based ed-tech company which is most valued in the world) are now offering free live courses. There are other companies like Lark (collaboration suite which is based in Singapore), that are trying to establish a one-stop destination for students and teachers.
Additionally, the near future looks more inclined towards schools who will be smartly equipped with technology for importing lessons online. While parents will keep this as the most important deciding factor when selecting school, educational authorities may consider this as one of the criteria for granting recognition. What does that mean for the schools? It clearly points towards the need for a hybrid model of education that would result in significant benefits to all. Despite many challenges that online learning poses like insufficient training and preparation and lesser bandwidth at schools, it is predicted that this shift will come gradually and will be there to stay even after the Corona Virus wave is gone.
Improved Retention of Knowledge – It is an evidence-based theory that students who retain only 8-10% of material during classroom courses have shown an increased potential to retain the knowledge of about 25-60% if learned online.
Faster Learning – Students learn faster with e-Learning. It is shown that those with access to technology can learn faster by 40-60% than when in a traditional classroom scenario.
Change and Rethink what is important in education – Critical thinking and adaptability are what the education of today should make their goal. As opposed to the memorization techniques of yesterday which concentrated on the traditional learning paradigm, the education of today should focus on student-driven tasks that are interdisciplinary and interactive. This way students can organically move between academic tasks and technology can help in this shift by changing when and where the learning happens.
With a change, this is bound to bring in challenges. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that any shift in trend is preceded by an ecosystem of challenges that ultimately define the impact of the changes. Moving to learn online can be a catalyst for a more effective system. May big world events have been followed by innovation and this pandemic has made clear the need to spread knowledge across borders and to all parts of the society.
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