With the advent of modern technology and a communication revolution of sorts, the world is shrinking and shrinking and shrinking till it all gets compressed into your phone. And amidst all this hullabaloo, can the education sector stay far behind?
From Gurukuls and Ashrams to schools and classrooms to Udemy and Coursera, education has come a long way. A decade ago, the sight of blackboards and chalks and dusters and worksheets was more common than it is now; and it’s no surprise that it might be an even rarer phenomenon in the next decade. A lot of philosophers have often reiterated the oneness of the entire world, and the universality of existence. The emergence and establishment of e-learning and virtual classroom has ensured the practical implementation of this idea. Today, teaching has become a way more flexible and virtual phenomenon, where teachers are earning double the amount while teaching with the same zest and passion, while students are able to access the educational content at their convenience, as opposed to having rigid timetables to abide by. According to Learndash, approximately 4.6 billion students are taking at least one online course today. On that note, here are some of the defining features of digitization in education:
1) ATE (Any Time Education): The limitless reach of e-learning has ensured that teachers and students hailing from extremely diverse backgrounds can interact and hold discussions, and the ocean of knowledge can transcend all boundaries of geographical locations and time-zones.
2) Say goodbye to that ‘AB’ marking: Teachers can safely bury their thick attendance registers. With e-learning, absenteeism and truancy can be monitored and reduced, since teachers can upload and students can view their content as per their convenience. The teacher’s sick leave, or the student’s day out will not affect the education process.
3) They learn more, you earn more: Across the globe, teaching has always been regarded as a noble profession, but a thankless job. With e-learning, teaching continues to be as noble as ever, only with the teacher being rewarded handsomely for his/her efforts. Teachers can now earn double their usual amount, while teaching with the same zest.
4) Now, no more “raise hand to answer”! – With many e-learning platforms offering discussion panels and internal chat facilities, classrooms discussions could never have gotten easier and less chaotic. Enjoy peaceful discussions in your online classroom today.
5) Three hours of lectures, five hours of travel? Not anymore. E-learning helps you get somewhere, without going anywhere for it. You may be at home, inside a café, at your hometown…doesn’t matter. Teachers and students can operate from anywhere.
6) Learn while you earn! – As a busy employee, e-learning values the employee’s lack of time, and need for further development. And so, organizations and industries can train and educate employees using e-learning.
While e-learning has received an overwhelming response across the globe, and is rewriting the age-old definitions of education, personal contact and face-to-face interactions are still of immense value and relevance in today’s era. It’s probably best to conclude with the golden words of Professor Pierre Dussauge:
“The beauty is in finding the right balance between online and in-class learning, and the best way to make progress is to experiment with different combinations.”