Necessity is the mother of invention like this proverb the recent pandemic virus COVID-19 has made everyone rethink doing their daily activities starting from work to education to entertainment. If demonetization provides an opportunity for fintech companies by disrupting the finance industry and this COVID-19 is furnishing ample opportunities by making us rethink many things on what we do, how we do and why we do. Things which we took for granted are not suddenly possible. All of us have to change our routine way of doing things starting from work from home etc.
, This is a great opportunity for everyone to rethink our habits and make changes. The virus is forcing us to make changes in our routine which we might like to follow even after a crisis. One such thing is Online Education. Online education was available even before this crisis but it was underrated or it was not considered for mainstream education. But now? Everything turned upside down.
The crisis has created a golden opportunity for an online education platform. Already many Edu tech platforms started tapping it.
The education system has evolved over a period of time. We started with Vedic classes where teachers and students used to reside together later palm leaves were used to inscribe the content then classrooms were introduced during the British period and so on. The education industry is in the next phase of evolution. Digital learning is going to be the mainstream and it is going to beat the current education practices, models and processes on its way forward.
The current lockdown should not be the reason for education to get hampered. It should move on in alternative ways.
Many schools and colleges across the world started thinking for the alternative mode of conducting classes. In India ed-tech platform has seen increasing demands due to this outbreak. Companies like byju’s, unacademy etc., and started giving free classes for students. Divya Gokulnath, Byju’s co-founder and Director said that there was 60% increase in the download since their announcement of free classes and the number of queries they receive also doubled. Unacademy said many students watching live classes have increased 3x times than the previous week. And like the other companies, online education experiment is going to accelerate the changes that were are already in.
The online education platform is not only for upskilling and reskilling. The education process is going to be revamped expeditiously due to this novel coronavirus. What is education is all about? Is it about continuous learning or getting a degree? Or is it about exploring oneself and developing one in all aspects and finally the biggest question of all is what is the return on education about current debt loads?
All those questions will be moved front as digital learning is unfolded. The biggest advantage is the drawback of digital learning. Digital learning makes it available 24/7 and you can learn it anywhere and at any time which makes the problem. We tend to deviate more often and take it for granted which is not possible in offline school education. The biggest required thing in online learning is DISCIPLINE. This mental hurdle will dissipate in the coming months and online learning will become more of an option.
Like any other technology change this also requires a cultural change. Like said earlier online education required discipline, even offline mode requires that but online is less hand-holding. Online process change is not only for students but also for teachers and they should be ready to embrace the changes. More analytics tools will be used which will be helpful to understand the effectiveness of learning management and new learning metrics will be introduced to gauge the student and faculty effectiveness.
Online education has many forms of learning environment, significant ones are synchronous and asynchronous. In synchronous mode it allows teachers and students to interact with each other like live classes. The teacher can conduct live quizzes, role-plays etc., similar to live classes and make it more interesting. They can schedule their lives classes can ask their students to submit their assignments through online etc., synchronous classes can be conducted with the help of many conferencing apps like Zoom, Cisco Webex, unacademy, Microsoft team etc., for this to happen teacher has to be ready from their side to go through the changes. It is easy to upload previously recorded video or last year’s content but it should be avoided and they should come up with innovative ways to conduct classes.
On the other side asynchronous are the forms where students will interact with the contents at their own space and time like moodle, byju’s, khan academy etc. For everything we need a start only then we can find the error over some time and we can tweak those errors to make a better product. And this is that start now. Take for example for a long period of time paytm, phonepe and other digital transaction platforms were available but only demonetization pushed many of us towards that and as result UPI was born and much more security measures were introduced when the problem is arises. Unless or until we start and proceed we will not know what our problems will become and how to make them better.
Already the required carpet for digital learning is laid. Only we have made that red carpet walk in that.Every reaction needs and catalyst to accelerate the process and this COVID-19 is that catalyst for online education.