Once upon a time, education meant interactive learning in a classroom. Although the required technology for online education has been available for quite some time now, yet the adoption isnâ€™t very high.
So when Soham, a student of class 9 in a Kolkata school learned that his school would adopt online education because the school is closed for Covid-19, he was both excited and sad. He was excited because he would be able to overcome the disruption in his school classes but was sad as he would miss the school â€” games, friends, and the funs of campus life.
Nevertheless, Sohamâ€™s parents were happy. His father, an engineer in a large IT company, is excited about the prospect of enhancing his professional knowledge and skill through courses available online. His mother is already planning to launch a cookery class online.
Technology to further Online Education
Technological progress has made it convenient to learn online, sitting at home, by using a mobile phone or a computer and the internet. Schools are using video conferencing applications, Google classroom, YouTube, and other methods to organize virtual classes, and even taking examinations.
There are a lot of online education startups such as Byjuâ€™s, Udemy, Unacademy, Upgrad which are helping students to learn, professionals to augment their knowledge, even learn new skills and make a career switch.
We expect that more and more technological innovations will take place to make learning online far more interesting. In fact, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies can massively transform online education.
How Online Education is Advantageous to Students
Online courses and degree programs are more convenient and cheaper than their counterparts in traditional education. Those are the two main advantages of online learning that lead many students to opt for online platforms when they want to earn a degree or certificate.
The best thing about online learning is that you can learn in a relaxed manner even if you donâ€™t want to get certified. You only need a passion for learning and a quick online search that will take you to the right course. From that point on, you will be the master of your own education.
There are quite a few advantages of online education compared to the traditional way.
You can learn whatever you want
You can pick the program of your dreams in traditional education, too, but that would often involve traveling away from home, living in a completely unknown city, and struggling in an extremely competitive learning environment. With online education, you can take any programme or course present in traditional universities. Even top global universities offer a multitude of courses these days.
One of the biggest advantages of online education is that you can easily complete the course from the comfort of your home. In addition to saving travel time, this means saving substantial expenses in travelling or staying expenses (if your institute is not in your hometown).
When you start browsing through interesting online courses and programs, youâ€™ll notice the Self-Paced label on most of them. What does this mean? Self-paced learning means that the students can start completing the targets at any time, and they can arrange a learning schedule that meets their individual needs.
Although this is not applicable in the case of schoolsâ€™ online classes in the current situation, still it offers some flexibility in the use of time.
Lower cost of online education
Online education is hugely cost-efficient compared to the traditional method of education. Many free online courses are made available by top institutes.
Online education saves a huge amount of costs by the educators and students get the benefits of this cost savings. The average course fee for an online course is generally far less than its traditional counterpart.
Pros and Cons
Online education has, of course, its pros and cons. Todayâ€™s holistic school education is impossible to replicate online. It is not possible to practice games and sports, science practical classes, and interpersonal interactions online. Technological glitches such as internet outage are also limiting factors.
The need for online education and working from home in the current pandemic situation demands reliable internet connectivity and dedicated space at home. In fact, space requirement at home has increased, especially in homes where children are attending online classes and parents are working from home. There is a need for ample space so that conversational sounds do not disturb each other.