Online - Understanding Online Education's Impact On Students
January 25, 2022

Online Education: A Boon Or Bane For Students?

Even after two years since its onset, the pandemic still rages on. No one knows when, what, or how the curtains will fall for this global crisis. But life still goes on, and so does education, thanks to online classes. 

If it weren’t for this tech solution, the entire education system would’ve collapsed. As hospitals grabbed oxygen tanks and ventilators for life support, online classes served the same purpose for millions of educational institutions worldwide. 

Online Education's Impact On Students

Online classes provided a lifeline for CBSE schools in Chennai, like Babaji Vidhyashram School, by opening virtual classroom doors. Isolated teachers and children connected via digital screens. Some schools even asked their children to appear in uniforms to impart the feel of a physical class! 

After two years, it is time to review this online class scenario. Is this here to stay? How has it impacted students and their academic progress? Does it fare better than in-person classes? If so, how? Let’s delve deeper into this topic to find the answers to these questions. 

Online Education & Its Positive Impact On Schooling

Online education is a mega transitional shift. But, it has broken the barriers and proved that education could be imparted anywhere at any time. Going by its multiple benefits, it looks like online education is here to stay. Here are some reasons that prove why:

• Flexibility

Who thought that children would one day attend their classes from wherever they wanted to? That’s the kind of flexibility that online education has bestowed upon us. It has effectively eliminated the rigid rules of traditional education that demand children to be present on the school campus. 

Students now have the freedom to juggle their extracurricular activities, coaching classes, and academics in one go. This learning mode gives them the power to choose how to delegate their time to different projects. 

• Cost-effectiveness

Gone are the fees for school buses, autorickshaws, and vans. Online education has also eliminated other associated costs such as fuel, parking fees, public transportation, and private vehicle maintenance. 

• Self-reliance

It is natural and, in many ways, beneficial for students to seek autonomy and intellectual freedom as they grow older. Online classes promoted individualised learning, thorough assessments and exercises. Older children learn to do subject-based projects by gathering information from various online sources. This training will help them deal with tougher subjects as they progress to college.

• Easy access

Most IGCSE schools in Chennai, including the International Village School, have online databases to store curriculum-related documents and learning materials. Students can easily access these materials from anywhere at any time. This convenience is extremely useful for older students who must complete projects and assignments and submit them for attestation. 

• Collaboration opportunities

Online education is an inexpensive way to connect with peers across nations and continents. Students can collaborate with other students, experts, or mentors to complete projects and gain incredible insights into various subjects. At the same time, this exposure will mould their adaptability and make them culturally sensitive. Such attributes are priceless for pursuing higher studies or careers. 

• Increased resources

Online classes have opened up incredible opportunities for children from weaker socio-economic backgrounds. Many children with limited access to textbooks and study material can now source them from online learning resources. Students can also connect with global learners, educators, and education sponsors otherwise hard to track.  

How Does Online Education Fare Amongst Educators?

The transition to online education may not have been as smooth for many teachers. Teachers have had to make extra effort to align the curriculum with online learning programmes. 

Moreover, unlike today’s student generation, not all teachers are tech-savvy. Many have faced initial struggles to understand and implement the complexities of this tech solution. Fortunately, many schools are imparting online training programmes for their staff. This institutional support is critical in helping teachers develop new tech skills and capabilities to deal with interdisciplinary approaches. 

So, is everything rosy when it comes to online education? Apparently not. There are certain drawbacks to this modern-day solution.

The Challenges Of Online Education

Even as educators around the world hail online education as the biggest saving grace, they also list its many disadvantages, which are:

 

• Lack of focus due to online and offline distractions.

• Technical issues like poor internet connectivity and glitch-ridden devices.

• Lack of seriousness to complete homework and assignments.

• Increased incidences of copying during online exams.

• Poor interaction between students and teachers.

• Inability to provide individualised attention to academically weak students.

• Absence of aspects like idea-sharing, anecdotes, and brainstorming.

• Boredom if the class is not engaging or interactive.

• Cost of buying new devices and Wi-fi connection, which may be an extra financial burden for many families. 

Many teachers report that students simply log in to class to record attendance but do not actually attend the session. 

So, what’s the takeaway? 

Well, any new solution will have its pros and cons. As far as online education is concerned, the pros outweigh the cons. Therefore, in due course of time, technology itself will find better ways to enhance this solution it has given us. Until then, students will need parental and teachers’ guidance to use online education and optimise its benefits. 

The day will come when we will perfect the art of balancing both traditional and online education for future generations!

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