Essay on Online Education During The COVID – 19
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on daily life, including school closures. It has affected over 240 million school-aged children in the country. Extended school closures may cause huge learning losses. This meant that schools needed to not only remodel and reimagine how they taught and learned, but also implement a suitable method of teaching and learning that combined home and school-based education. Students who are mature, self-disciplined, motivated, well-organised, and possess a high degree of time management skills have found online education to be an extremely effective alternative method of education. But it is an ineffective learning environment for more dependent learners who struggle to assume the responsibilities required by online education.
Online education, or digital education, has a number of advantages over traditional classroom instruction. It is one of the most effective methods for ensuring school education continuity. While online or digital education cannot completely replace face-to-face instruction, it does have some advantages. It enables adaptive and personalised learning at the learner’s pace, and content can be enhanced and expanded continuously through digital means. Rapid internet adoption and various government initiatives, such as the Digital India campaign, have facilitated the transition to digital education.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted schools. Students face a unique situation with no clear future. Disruptions in academic space are alarming. Unfavorable circumstances forced undergraduate and graduate students to drop out. The pandemic situation evoked exclusion, highlighting academic inequity. As a result, online education can help instructors and students learn more effectively and efficiently while reducing stress. While online and classroom education produce similar learning outcomes, online education is perceived as less interactive.
Online education offers increased flexibility and learning opportunities: easy access to experts, exposure to educational environments, a wide range of course types, and joining student communities. Online education has several disadvantages, such as internet browsing issues, computer compatibility issues, and technical issues.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, students had to adjust their daily routines to an environment of isolation. Those studying abroad had to return home, but many were unable to do so due to airport and border closures. The lack of socialisation harmed students’ social-emotional balance, especially those with pre-existing issues. Anxiety and depression were cited as main effects of isolation .
Online education is a rapidly evolving field concerned primarily with the process of teaching and learning via digital media. This has progressed from activities such as sharing text resources and submitting online assignments to the availability of various types of content such as audio, video, and multimedia resources. The continuous advancement of information and communication technology (ICT) and the internet has made multiple modes of digital education possible.
The process of preparing teachers for digital education is twofold. The first is the requirement for teacher preparation in order for them to teach students effectively using digital technology. The second is to utilise digital media to stay current on educational developments in order to further their professional development. Teachers must be prepared to take advantage of digital technology’s potential to stay current professionally. The instructor may:
• Investigate digital technologies e.g., LMSs, apps, web portals, and digital labs, as well as a repository of Open Educational Resources on a National/State/Global Scale.
• Attend webinars, online training programmes, and online courses on a variety of topics related to ICT, pedagogy, and content integration.
• Effectively utilise appropriate technology in the classroom, during instruction, and during assessment
• For various stages, utilise digital resources embedded in NCERT’s Alternative Academic Calendars (AAC).
• Connect with peers and learn about how other countries approach digital education by participating in forums, interest groups, and online communities.
• Acquaint yourself with both copylefted and open-source (FOSS) electronic content as well as educational tools. Teachers can be educated on the value of open resources, as not everything on the Internet is freely downloadable or shareable.
Transitioning to digital modes of education is fraught with difficulties in a country like India, which is characterised by a wealth of diversity and resource constraints (ICT infrastructure, electricity, budget, and skilled manpower). Local, decentralised planning and implementation are required, and various State/UT-level organisations such as SCERTs, School Boards, DIETs, BIETs, CTEs, and IASEs, as well as national-level organisations such as NCERT, CBSE, NIOS, KVS, and NVS, must collaborate to ensure that the change is sustainable post-COVID-19. This type of collaboration will enable us to continuously improve the quality of education and skill development for our large student population and will position us to benefit from the demographic dividend in the coming years.