Is online learning a boon or bane- The pros and cons
In COVID-19 situation, 500 million students have been affected. All schools and colleges have been shut down. Online learning has come to the rescue of these students in a virtual world. Does new media actually have better teaching standards when compared to classroom education? This indeed has become a debatable topic over the past few months as every single thing has its own pros and cons, similarly online learning has its pros and cons.
Drawbacks of online learning
No face to face interaction:
It’s often possible that we misinterpret what we actually see or read when we do not find somebody to actually explain it out to us. A single punctuation error changes the real meaning of the entire sentence and as it is said half and the improper information is even more harmful than no information. Hence, face to face interaction is very important for proper learning.
No regularity or discipline:
As the students are free from the regulations and boundaries of a proper classroom environment, it is quite obvious that the curriculum will not be maintained the way it should be. They might not study the materials in a routine manner and may start taking things lightly. There are high chances that the students might get distracted while learning online.
No time commitment:
Since there is no one to inspect them studying they might just not complete their work and leave it unfinished further harming their own selves in the long run.
Higher dropout rate:
Students are more likely to drop out as they are not giving their full commitment to their studies and take their studies too lightly. There will not be any particular mentor for the students to keep a track record on their progress and solve their doubts effectively. At places, where online education is difficult to reach, they might just drop out of the schools.
Online learning is helpful to only those students who have access to a proper internet connection and have devices such as laptop and computers. Students without it cannot rely on online learning.
Advantages of online learning
The main advantage of online education is its flexibility. A student can adjust his study timings as per his own needs. One can study indoor or outdoor, in a room or while travelling in a metro. It also saves time, energy or money of travelling to a specific destination to attain knowledge.
Online education not only saves time and energy but also money. Education has mostly become a business in educational institutions these days be it coaching, schools or colleges, everyone is just trying to extract more and more money in the name of donations etc. Online education saves students from falling prey to such fraudulent practices. All one needs to do is have an internet connection in their system.
Wider choice of courses and subjects:
In online education, one is free to choose his own combination of subjects regardless of the percentage required for taking up that particular subject. One can even take up odd combinations such as science with psychology or commerce with mass communication fearless of the fact that someone might judge them for their choices.
No language barriers:
Since online education is available in most of the vernacular languages, there are no language barriers. One is free to learn new things in their own mother tongue as well. They are not bound to understand a particular language in order to follow the text, they can read the text or see a video related to it in whichever language they please, this gives them self-pride and confidence in themselves.
If a student does not has the time to take down notes while studying online, he can always save the page or convert it into a document and download it. Unlike in traditional classrooms where the matter gets erased from the board once the teacher is finished teaching, one can always refer to what he or she has studied previously online by simply clicking on the history of the site.
As we are aware of the World Pandemic of Coronavirus, the demand for online learning has surged up. Many institutions who have proper resources have gone online to take classes. But in a country like India, where internet connection is not available everywhere, not everyone is benefited with such resources so that they can go digital. There are many students who do not have a laptop, internet connection and money to even buy that. It totally depends on one's personal opinion as to what is more convenient for him/her- the old traditional teaching or the new online education whoever is having a choice between both. But our country is not yet ready to turn fully digital. Online teaching is definitely a boon and can be an add-on to traditional teaching but it cannot replace it.