A Mechanical Engineer with a master's degree and having10+ years of work experience with an online learning experience of few subjects.
Learning will be forever part of human life. Formal education is becoming imperative and costlier with time. The covid-19 pandemic resulted in a steep rise in using digital technology even for conventional schooling. Somewhere in the 1700s and mid-1800s, the distance learning concept came into existence, and today, correspondence or management courses at bachelors or masters level with private tutoring got practiced by working folks or industry stalwarts to enhance their knowledge, skills, and proficiency, but they learned basics through traditional schooling which was by traveling to schools and college premises. During the 1960s using Intranet and a system of linked computers students could listen to recorded lectures and access study materials with programmed logic for automated teaching operations (PLATO concept), which today social networking sites use for programming chatbox, display screen sharing, inbox messages. Also, in the 1980s Electric University Network (EUN) started its first digital course before the WWW boom through DOS and commodore computers. Although in the same decade, online learning emerged in the 1980s with the university of phoenix in the US started using CompuServe being one of the first consumer digital services. Not surprisingly, in the 1990s, when computers and the internet thing happened, the computer-assisted learning center (CALC) campus offered the first real-time online course. With the rapid advancement in the internet, technology, and connectivity many universities, institutes, and open-source sites to name a few like California virtual university (CVU), the journal of asynchronous learning networks (JALN), MIT- OpenCourseWare project were early birds to take advantage of digital learning.
Globally, as expected digital education market share to grow by $300+ billion by 2026. Folks from any part of the world can connect, collaborate and form groups through digital forums and share similar interests, ideas, the information further leading to innovations. Teachers and students connecting from different time zones as per their flexibility, time, fees through digital mediums like zoom, meetnow, social apps having the video call feature. Since recorded lectures get played often whenever needed, its evaluation and restructuring of syllabus become easy by updating the content with subject development. Digital learning is best for working professionals having no time for attending classroom sessions like E-MBA, software learning or coding, photography sessions, and such courses which may or may not need a physical presence. Variety of Courses Available - From learning ABC for toddlers to management courses for experienced stalwarts, from fashion designing to cake baking, from knowing crypto-currency to app development, and from learning sign language to sewing. If not advanced at least beginner courses are available to create zeal.
E-schooling saves travel time
Cutting down travel time and devoting to other fruitful activities. On average, it saves 1-1.5 hours of travel time overall. You can say travel time is equivalent to everyday learning time for busy office-goers. For kids, the same travel time would get used as a fun time or learning something new like painting, drawing, or developing any new hobby.
E-schooling is inexpensive
Doesn’t require infrastructure like traditional schools. Also, the number of students attending sessions can be more than there would be no sitting or space limitation like conventional schools have. In the end, the cost of teaching would become low and student fees would be less therefore. There is a requirement for a laptop, computer, or mobile phone technology with decent internet connectivity for digital education. Today, every individual on the earth poses at least a smartphone with an internet connection feature, Period!
Writing notes through the pen is less on online notes.
Noting the question-answers like in traditional schools would be difficult in online education. Noting certain important points, keywords, phrases, and textbook page numbers might be effective. But the habit of writing and its speed would get hampered which might affect writing speed during exam papers.
No practical experience.
Online teaching lacks hands-on experiences like chemistry labs, biology, botany, where you get to see and feel things. It’s said “We learn by doing things and not by imagining”, lack of physical presence and self-trials of experiments make a weaker knowledge base. Few practical sessions are a must for stronger impressions of the subject on the brain. Likewise, presentation and yearly projects would be less effective in online education as the stage phobia will exist among many students because presenting projects and talking on a small screen won’t develop the strength to stand and hold dialogues like on stages in front of hundreds of people.
Health issues through screens.
Nonstop staring at screens can damage posture and cause dry eyes because of less blinking. Sitting for hours on chairs in front of computers can cause back pain and spinal cord problems in the future. Frequent breaks at intervals would be the best practice.
The combination works best.
Earlier, many believed online courses and curriculums were not upto the mark with traditional teachings and found non-recognizable. With time it has changed the mindset of industry experts, professionals, and teachers about the potential of digital e-learning. Combining online and offline teaching would create a tremendous balance of time, money, health, and of course knowledge.
Future of E-schooling
With the rollout of high-speed internet, like 5G, every corner will have internet access and understand the significance of the digital technology world. Remote areas would benefit the most where children need to travel to other cities for basic education. People from counterparts, any age group, from any background, having an interest in learning anything can learn through a digital medium. With the advancement in artificial intelligence and the internet of things (IOT), the education would touch new limits. To add further, virtual reality technology and cloud-based solutions would catapult the entire universe into a new dawn of growth and opulence. By 2050, 90% of the student population would pursue online degree programs. Major edu-tech startups are focusing on improving the experience and quality of teaching through digital medium and partnering institutes for offline-online sessions altogether. Completely replacing traditional schools is not practically possible with digital schooling at least for the next 25 years.
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