Future of Education Post Pandemic COVID -
19: Online VS Classroom Learning
It’s a whole new world for students growing up during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. Confined indoors most are turning to the virtual world and with schools and colleges shut that also means learning online. More city schools have turned online in cloud and schools usually teaming with students are now deserted. Even before the lockdown came into place this was the new way of school life in times of corona virus. Schools started organizing virtual classes for students effectively when students stopped visiting the school campus. To enable online classes schools began using a cloud based video calling application. Though it is a challenging experience for both teachers and the students it has become a must for this group. Many schools are now following this model to make sure that the exact school experience is replicated. But, life is not the same anymore. Teachers miss the interaction with the students faceto-face and the energy which comes in managing big or small size classrooms. The uncertainty over when schools will reopen has forced the educational institutions to look for different avenues of instructions on the internet. Students on the other side, turned to popular educational learning applications to understand concepts that teachers in schools and colleges might have taught. Students are eager to make sure that they aspire to utilize the time by learning something new online. It is made possible through the internet by various learning platforms either free or paid at least one or two hours a day learning new concepts from different subjects. Young adults are spending their days in anxiety being schools and other higher educational institutions are shut indefinitely worldwide and are worried about their future. Various governments globally are organizing online educational campaigns to crowd source ideas for improving the online education ecosystem in their countries.
Covid-19 essentially sent all our school children and college going students and everybody home. In the past few months in the year 2020, life has completely and absolutely changed everybody. Before March 15, 2020 about 3% of the world was learning online and post March 15, 100% of the world went online. This is mass mobilization of a new technology in a way that is completely unprecedented. On edx.org, an online learning platform for example the traffic globally is up by a factor of 10 by 900% over the traffic in the first week of March 2020. Everybody is going online and trying to learn online and this is a new skill that not many people have. Online learning gives the student a lot more flexibility on learning, however it is very different from sitting in a classroom lecture for one hour and most students after five minutes go to their sleep mode. Online, you get new flexibilities: You can listen; you can pause; you can rewind and you can learn all kinds of things from over the best universities from the world, which is an incredible explosion in popularity. For instance, Coursera another online learning tool has picked up new trends dealing with the global picture of this emerging situation. Coursera has seen a globally about 1100 percent increase compared to same time last year 2019. Online platforms are seeing incredible demand for learning and teaching tools worldwide. Given the fact that Covid-19 is going to prevail for some more months but not years’ educationalists feel that virtual learning is a good alternative which ensures and enables students allowing to continue learn from their homes and to be safe from the pandemics. But it is not something professionals and executives see virtual learning which replace classroom situation or an in-campus learning because the relationship between a student and a teacher which happens when you are physically present in the same space is phenomenal. That occurrences acts like a glue to making a learning environment what is to be, while we cannot do that this online teaching is a good alternative and an option available for the time being. This alternative has been applauded by all stakeholders in education: the parents, teachers, investors, students have risen to the challenge we have faced in learning and teaching. It is to be noted that most educationalists are extremely happy with the way we have learnt and made this huge quantum leap in our technological skills: the way we organize our classrooms, and deal with the medium which was rather unfamiliar for almost the entire learning community. May be a very minor percentage of the younger generation could have been familiar with these technologies but the teachers need to be appreciated as they have overcome their fears and faced these challenges in a very positive manner. They have learned unlearned, made mistakes, asked each other and moved forward and currently we are in a good space and hope this situation goes away and we are allowed to go back to our classroom soon.
It could be the new normal that will emerge from this disruption of COVID-19 lock down is going to be a blended way of looking at learning but still could strongly believe that Online learning will have a very strong presence in new learning in the new normal that will emerge, but the importance of actual physical contact in the school or in a university classroom would not be taken away. The current pandemic per health experts’ opinion, will continue its reactions for the coming few months or years. Hence, to avoid risking the lives of the younger generation students, Online learning is a new modality and so why can’t we take learning to the students rather than bringing them to a classroom, let’s mix it up! Students will be more engaged if they mix it up with online and in person and there are many ways of social interaction also in this innovative model.