Online education is a pressing priority. As per the regulation of Central and State Governments, the academic institutes in India have been shut down because of the current pandemic, to ensure social distancing and prevent infection.
When there is a preference between ‘no education’ and ‘online education,’ but faced with a series of obstacles and inconsistencies one should opt for online learning. In view of the confusion surrounding the opening of educational institutions, online learning has been strongly anchored by the Departments of MHRD and State Education. The prevailing leitmotif of this online education is to involve the learners in accordance with the curriculum and stamp out the learner ‘s emotional academic burden and depression as educational institutions are closed down.
In order to push forward the task of online education, the teachers and students are now making strong use of the ICTs, which are now starting to open new opportunities for the teaching-learning process. Today, nationwide teachers continue their scholastic learning process via phone calls, emails, WhatsApp, Telegram, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Videoconference, etc. Substantial use of digital training is very unproblematic, particularly among academic institutions of national significance such as IITs, IIITs, NITs, IIMs, ISI, IISER, NISER, etc., as most instructors and learners are acquainted with technological tools.
A study with over 2,500 students conducted by Hyderabad University’s Prof Vinod Pavarala and Prof Vasuki Belavadi is a prime example. According to the study, the majority of learners who are rural areas face extreme internet and electricity access issues. The institution has, therefore, had to abandon the concept of mandatory online education. Those apart, digital training is a crazed affair in virtually every state-run academic facility, such as schools, colleges, and universities. Such organizations face a range of challenges, including institutional challenges, academic challenges, accountability challenges, economic difficulties, infrastructural challenges, connectivity difficulties, and ethical challenges. As a result, the online education process is nothing short of a simple slogan.
The term ‘digital’ has become a lifestyle; electronic tickets are booked, online food is ordered, online goods are bought and online life partners are found. So, why are we not able to learn digitally? We know that ‘online education’ can not replace the student-friendly and teacher-friendly offline mode of traditional classroom experience, but it can be a great accompaniment or extension to learning practice, particularly during the disease outbreak scenario of COVID-19. We are proposing an enticing structure that will not only help tackle problems but also promote a comfortable online learning atmosphere.
Suggestions For Online Education
This provocative structure incorporates ten proposals:
- There is the immediate necessity of improvement in institutional infrastructure for online learning. This will certainly lay the foundation for online learning at the institutional level.
- Instructor efficiency is another important suggestion. Since we are new to this practice, it requires an immediate arrangement of teacher training and orientation programs, so that the teachers can develop the range of skills required to teach online effectively.
- The learners should have appropriate access to basic instruments like android phones or laptops for online learning. The Government needs to provide ‘students scholarship’, which would assist them to buy these instruments very comfortably. That apart, these instruments should also be available in subsidized rates to the students.
- There must be a student supportive data pack (SSDP). The network companies should come forward in providing this SSDP, especially during the current pandemic situation.
- There must be a provision for internet connectivity either through wired or wireless. The State should instantaneously prepare an action plan in this regard.
- A low-data consuming online meeting app is another significant suggestion. This app should be accessible in limited internet connectivity.
- Considering the technological and electrical glitches especially in inaccessible areas, we can immediately promote educational broadcasts through television and community radio with the help of solar power.
- The wise use of open educational resources (OERs), such as e-pathshala, shodhganga, MOOCs, SWAYAM, e-GyanKosh, etc. is another helping resource for online learning.
- Adoption of hybrid or blended learning is a crucial suggestion for learning. It integrates online learning interactions with traditional place-based classroom methods.
- Change of mindset and teacher-student-parent accountability is another significant aspect of online learning.
Still, are we going to deal with those issues? Else, are we to deal with any possibilities? We’d rather exist inside possibilities. Instead, what the probability might be? The possibility is digital education which would shift us from a paralyzed learning state to a potential learning state. Only time will tell.
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