Importance Of Online Learning For Students 

Did you notice any change during this lockdown phase? Of course, you did! Especially with the (slightly) chaotic mornings wherein as parents (some days) we are all over the place to get our children ready for school! But these days you are having that well deserved long break (besides summer break) of not having to do all the waking up you and waking children up in the morning (you know it is a challenge sometimes when there is that invisible ‘stomach pain’ hanging around), breakfast preparation, tiffin-packing, and so on. But now there isn’t a need to pack tiffin, iron clothes, pack the bag, search for socks and polish shoes, etc. The schools have been shut for two months as the pandemic tossed everything to a ‘new normal’. Exams were cancelled (almost for all the schools), classes were and are being held online through various platforms, and the preparation for the post-lockdown and social distancing norm is always on. As parents, we are a little anxious about our child’s studies and overall development.  The pandemic has also made us discover the importance of online learning like never before. You might already know but let’s revise. Online learning refers to education over the internet with the help of information technology and communication systems. Teachers teach online with the help of the internet. In the absence of on-campus learning, online learning can transform the approach to gain knowledge and excellence. Let’s explore how and why.

According to research and statistics in The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2018, in India, only half (50.3%) of class V students can read class II textbooks. Mere 54.2% of private school & 40% of government school students can do a simple division. The roots for such a dismal situation lie in the traditional academic skills and rote-learning. But online learning brings in the focus on critical and creative thinking, brainstorming, problem-solving attitude, and adaptability which are the skills essential for the students to prepare for a brighter future. Supplemented by a range of technical tools and engagement methods such as screen sharing, customised portals to conduct tests and submit assignments, there is no stone left unturned to make the online experience impeccable. 

Cost-effectiveness highlights the importance of online learning even more. With the substandard quality of teaching, delinquent attention, it is a price too high to pay for Indian parents to miss out on quality education for their children. Online learning also facilitates the option of revert and replay. Hence,  students can learn the subject as many times as they want. 

We are not away from the new era of education where ‘depth’ has more focus than ‘breadth’, where ‘how’ has more focus than ‘what’, and where ‘passing the exam’ is a part of the learning process instead of being its ‘result’. If we focus on exploiting the opportunity of learning online well, the outcome would be better.

Indeed, it is challenging to make 6-8 years old children concentrate during virtual classes. Undoubtedly, social interaction, communication and relationship building with peers are a crucial part of a child’s personality development. That’s where the responsibility of parents comes in.

While for primary classes, teachers are using puppets, posters and toys to narrate the story, it is the role of parents to make their ward both- physically and mentally involved. They must try to engage with the child in playful ways to make sure that the child recalls what he learnt in the class later on.

With the adoption and perceived ease of usage of digital media across India, learning online is not only readily accessible but a smart solution for children to master from varied sources. The usage of context, virtual world, stories to teach, improves the cognitive ability of a child. It makes the context exciting and makes a child curious. Importance of online learning for students is not only limited to the vast array of courses offered and access to teaching methods of competent teachers. It can also make a child realise his field of interest at quite a young age due to exposure and endless information.

The sole purpose of education, indeed, is not to get a job. Nevertheless, it must not become a hurdle in getting one.