Learning during Lockdown- Education & Life Skills
While the entire country is under lockdown owing to the deadly pandemic Coronavirus, which has brought the entire world to a standstill, almost all the people are spending time online searching for forms of entertainment and education.
The virtual world is helping us in a great manner, to connect with people around us, gain skills and even study online. Several universities, schools, and colleges are conducting online learning sessions which are helping the students learn easily while practicing isolation. There are apps like Zoom, iCloud and Easyclass that can help the children learn easily in these times of quarantine. Children can learn daily through online classes as the entire classroom is replicated.
While pre-school children are learning rhymes and letters online, other children are taking classes in maths, science and other subjects through video conferencing. The country’s education sector is now ready to adopt the new reality, which are the online classes. The educational institutes are setting up the infrastructure for virtual learning and are transforming the manner of imparting education using the latest technology.
The government of India has launched an initiative for the same, namely “Bharat Padhe Online” in order to obtain ideas for improving online learning in the country. With the launch of the campaign, the development ministry received more than 3700 suggestions for the initiative.
The Coronavirus situation has forced the children to adopt online learning and there are several modes of online learning that can help children continue their studies from the proximity of their homes. The difference between online and actual classrooms is that children can pursue their classes through videous conferencing and can interact with their teachers using technology and a steady internet connection. Instructors deliver information in a different way and students can record the lectures and listen to them later if they need to.
Modes of online learning:
- Asynchronous online learning: This means that the learning is not live and this teaching does not have a particular set time for classes. Students are provided the lecture material and assignments to complete within a given time period. The coursework is available to the students 24/7 and the students make use of discussion boards, emails, and wikis to gain knowledge.
- Synchronous online learning: the literal meaning of synchronous is at the same time, so this mode refers to the live sessions conducted by teachers for education. In this type of learning, the professors and enrolled students can log on to the virtual classrooms. This mode invites the students to interact through video conferencing, chat rooms, audio calls or internet podcasts. This mode of online learning requires proper schedules but there is no need for traveling or any type of commute.
- Hybrid or blended courses: Hybrid learning is a combination of both face-to-face learning and access to online coursework. It is a great alternative to fully online programs as the students can access lectures anytime or have discussions and doubt clearance during live sessions. Assignments and tests are also given to the students along with live classes and these types of blended courses can help the students gain knowledge easily.
- Massive Open Online courses: These open enrollment courses are accessible for anybody without any tuition fee using an internet connection. Students can get free education from elite institutions without spending money. MOOC students can receive the content digitally and can interact with other people.
- Web-Enhanced courses: Web-enhanced courses make use of all the above-stated modes but they are more like the traditional classes. The content in this mode is available online 24/7 and the teachers make use of canvas, blackboard or other systems to impart education. Students can post on the discussion boards, submit homework or review audio files. With the use of technology, students get access to the study material and can interact with the teachers through online conferencing.
Here are the tools that can help students with real-time communication:
- Streaming video platforms
- Live chats
- Web conferencing
- Email communication
- Forums and discussion boards
- Downloadable pre-recorded lectures
- Microsoft PowerPoint presentations with or without voice
The relevance of using online mode of teaching during this time:
In view of the lockdown, children are not able to attend their schools and they need to study from their homes. The above-stated learning modes help the schools deliver high-quality e-learning to the students so that the students are exam-ready by the end of the semester. More and more schools in the country need to adopt this method of learning using tools like Skype, Google Classroom and Zoom. The teachers can also make use of detailed emails and WhatsApp for better communication so that children stay home and stay safe.
Online modes of teaching can help the students study in the safe and sound environment of their homes without any need to step out. Learning can be given through digital personal interactions, surveys, interviews, and quizzes. It is not a substitute for schools and classroom teaching but can be temporarily used during the difficult times that we are facing presently.
Benefits of online learning:
With the power of the web, online learning is becoming easier as there are many benefits of online learning:
- Easy to access: during the lockdown, children don’t have to waste their time and can get connected to their teachers and classmates through online video conferencing. The study notes and lecture videos can be accessed and shared at any time.
- Low cost: online learning fees are lower than the school tuition fees and the commuting expenses are also cut down. Books too are available online free of cost-cutting down the expenses of books. This is why online education is more affordable.
- Flexible and convenient: online learning is quite flexible as the students can easily plan their study time and with e-learning, the users can learn at their own time. The students can balance their studies and other work easily with online learning.
During this time of quarantine, we urge the students to take a step towards self-education through Virtual classes. Learning online can help you master digital skills and gives you a will power and a sense of control to cope with the stress kindled through the pandemic. Stay safe, stay home peeps!