Reinventing education – The Shillong Times

To say that the Covid 19 pandemic has disrupted learning is an understatement. The forced closure of educational institutions resulted in an abrupt end to education as we have known it. This has prompted school principals to evolve and develop digital learning tools. For over a year, online education has become the buzzword. The pandemic has pushed schools around the world to adapt to online education. With every new initiative, there are bound to be hiccups, but once a model sets in, teachers and students benefit from online education. Experts suggest that the biggest advantage of the online education system is that knowledge can go global. In India, at present, institutes such as IIT, IISc and NIT have globalized online education, while universities have attempted to nationalize their online education system. With the third wave of Covid looming, many countries are planning a long-term dropout from the classroom and adaptation to better e-learning modules. However, this change is not without challenges. Experts believe that the unforeseen and rapid shift to e-learning – without training, insufficient bandwidth and little preparation is bound to result in a poor user experience that is not conducive to sustained growth. Others, however, believe that a new hybrid model of education will emerge, with significant benefits. The integration of information technology in education will be further accelerated and online education will eventually become an integral part of school education.
However, there are challenges to overcome. Students in remote villages without internet access and / or reliable technology find it difficult to participate in digital learning. This gap can be observed between countries. But those with access to the right technology have benefited. Research shows that, on average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online, compared to just 8-10% in the classroom. This is mainly due to the fact that students can learn faster online; Online learning takes 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom, as students can learn at their own pace, coming back and re-reading, skipping, or speeding up concepts as they see fit. Lately, there has been heated debate over a learning app developed by a particular educational institution for schools in the Meghalaya that follow MBoSE programs. As with any new initiative, there are start-up issues for teachers and students as adaptation takes time and a change of mindset. Not all teachers can switch to online education at the same speed. It is a new learning for teachers and students alike. But time is the best teacher, and soon students, teachers and parents will experience the benefits of these apps and praise the efforts of the app developer.


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