Online learning boom in lockdown

The coronavirus break came to knowledge on December 31, 2019, when China informed the World Health Organisation of a group of cases of pneumonitis of an unknown cause in Wuhan City in Hubei Province. Afterward, the disease spread to more Provinces in China, and the rest of the world. The WHO has now declared it a pandemic. The virus has been named SARS-CoV-2 and therefore the disease is now called COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in to shut all the schools across the world, over 1.2 billion children are in their homes. Education has increased significantly with the increase of e-learning, through education is offered remotely and on digital platforms. The pandemic has allowed many people of the world to enroll in online courses and upgrade themselves to keep up with the latest technology. Indians have emerged as the most passionate peoples to enroll in online courses.

To meet the significant demand, many online learning platforms are giving free access to their courses, including platforms like CodeKaroYaaro, a Nagpur-based educational technology, and online tutoring firm founded in 2020.
Many people believe that the sudden and speedy progress to online learning- without training or proper preparation, insufficient bandwidth, will result in a poor user experience, which is impossible to sustained growth. Some believe that a new composite model of education will rise, with significant advantages. Wang Tao, Vice President of Tencent Cloud and Tencent Education says, “I believe that the integration of information technology in education will be further accelerated and that online education will eventually become an integral component of school education.“

The challenges of online learning
There are many challenges of online learning but, we have to overcome them. Students without strong internet access and technology will struggle to participate in digital learning and this gap is seen across countries. According to OECD data, the percentage of students who have computers to complete their schoolwork varies from country to country.

Is learning online as effective?
The students who have access to precise technology for learning online can be more effective for them in several ways. Research has shown that on average students learn 25-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom. The students can learn faster online; e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom because students have a facility to learn at their speed, going back and re-reading, skipping, or accelerating through concepts as they want. Although, the effectiveness of online education differs amongst age groups. The consensus upon children, particularly younger ones, is that a structured environment is required because children are more easily distracted. The full benefit of online learning can be achieved by taking concerted effort to provide this structure and go beyond replicating a physical class/lecture through video capabilities, rather using collaboration devices and engagement methods that increase “inclusion, personalization, and intelligence”, according to Dowson Tong, President of its Cloud and Smart Industries Group and Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent.

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