The Covid pandemic has created the largest disruption in the day to day life and activities of the people since it started back in January 2020 in India. With the lockdown being imposed indefinitely in almost every part of the country and the education systems mostly going online, the pandemic has intensified inequalities and risks reducing the productive potential of an entire generation.
By Victor Naorem
The introduction of online or e-learning in the education system to cope with the situation being imposed by the pandemic has affected not only the physical habit but also the psychological mindset of future generations. The transition from traditional face-to-face learning to online learning can result in an entirely different experience for both the learners and the educators alike. As with most changes, this shift from offline to the online method of learning brings both benefits and drawbacks to the learning process.
First, let’s look at the benefits of online learning:
With schools and educational institutions being closed, the cost of the infrastructure and maintenance has decreased which in turn results in the drop of school fees. Online learning also excludes transportation fees, meal fees , and other maintenance fees. Moreover with most courses and study materials made available online, thus creating a paperless learning environment that is more affordable.
Students can attend online classes from any place and any time according to their convenience with a good internet connection and a device like a laptop or smartphone. Furthermore online lectures can be recorded and shared easily for future references
There is a wide range of tools for online learning such as videos, PDFs, podcasts and visual presentation, which the teacher can use according to their teaching style and benefits the students with the wider range of easily understandable methods
4. Avoid the risk of exposure
With online mode, there is no risk of contact with other students. This saves them from receiving any type of infection and thus helps the students in maintaining a strong immune system.
These are some of the key advantages but there are also some limitations to this system of learning like:
1. Technological issues
Although internet connection has grown over the past few years, there are still problems in smaller cities and towns. Without proper connectivity, online learning is difficult
2. Inability to focus on the screen for a long period of time
One of the biggest challenges for many students is the struggle with focussing on the screen for long periods of time. Students can get easily distracted by social media like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram etc. .
3. Health Hazard
Since most online classes take 3-4 hours, it can affect the health of the students in many ways like eyesight issues, headaches due to long exposure to the screen, develop bad posture due to leaning towards the screen
4. Sense of isolation to the students
Since online classes are attended from home, there are no physical interactions between teachers and other students. This can result in a sense of isolation for the students which is not good.
So, for the the current pandemic situation, online classes or e- learning is the better choice of the education system to keep the students updated and informed. However, the traditional method has been and will always be the best mode of learning which can help the students grow both mentally and socially.
(The the writer is a final year student of MA Mass Communication, Manipur University)