For almost a year now, online education has replaced going to school. While parents are rid of struggles like getting their kids ready in time, catching the school bus, packing a million snack-boxes and endless PTA meetings, they are facing newer and more demanding ones. Questions like- “Will online school affect my child’s development?”, “How do I keep my kid engaged at home 24/7?” and “Will online education damage my child in the long-run?” are popping up and stressing them out. However, some of this tension may be unnecessary! Online schooling is not as bad as it seems and it has benefits that are often overlooked.
Today is International Day Of Education, and since online education is rampant we wanted to learn all about it. We got in touch with Ritika Kumar, the Co-Founder and CEO of The Young Chronicle, an online interactive educational newspaper & content platform for children of all ages, to tell us more about the benefits of online education.
Children get bored because there is a ‘lack of discovery’ in the class. Children need to get that ‘Aha’ moment when they learn. If they get that, irrespective of the medium, the class is a success. That said, online learning has some great advantages!
Online school uses advanced analytics and software that can track both, gap and acceleration areas concerning each child. They identify where a child needs help, and where the child is brilliant and needs acceleration. This allows the child’s classes to suit his strong and weak points, thus making sure he/she learns better.
In a classroom, the teacher delivers the same teaching content to the entire class. This is disadvantageous for kids who are super-smart and also those who need extra help. Online classrooms solve this issue by tailoring the lessons to the child’s abilities. They also allow teachers to identify student’s strengths and weaknesses quicker. In conclusion, online school isn’t ruining the child’s development, but rather accelerating it!
A huge benefit of online learning is that it removes any and every problem associated with travel, including international travel. Many online schools are getting world-famous lecturers on board to provide their students with the very best. Kumar says that her platform has helped students from smaller towns like Baharaich in Uttar Pradesh get access to India’s best teachers and international experts, which would have been impossible with physical classrooms. Just imagine learning about feminism from Malala Yousafzai or wildlife from Bindi Irwin. How incredible would that be?
“Online teaching is full of fun elements like games, stories, trivia, quizzes, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, videos, puzzles and other interactive mechanisms. It’s more creative than traditional classroom learning, and we’ve noticed that children not only enjoy it more but also learn faster.”
, says Kumar who uses STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based modules to educate her students. She strongly believes in the creativity online classrooms provide and their benefits on students’ education.
With online learning, students have the option to learn at their own pace and they don’t have to go along with the rest of the class. This helps them spend more time understanding concepts they have difficulty with as well as moving forward with concepts they grasp faster than the rest. This DIY concept of education is extremely helpful!
Kumar says that while online learning is beneficial, it is not without its problems. She adds,
Shorter attention spans, negative impact on eye-sight, limited social interaction and lack of gadgets are the downsides of online schools. However, they can all be worked upon, especially when it comes to the availability of gadgets, making lessons more interactive and using anti-glare coatings. As for social interactions, they are restarting as well since our COVID-19 situation is becoming better. Kids can now meet and play with their friends, which is a big relief.
Another concern has been internet connectivity which is vital for online learning. While it is an ongoing issue, Kumar firmly believes it will be resolved in the future as the rate of technological development and data coverage in the nation is increasing at a fast pace.
Many parents are stressed about keeping their children engaged once their online classes end. Keeping them busy at home is a real task. Kumar agrees and insists on offline learning methods that not only keep kids busy and engaged but also stimulated. She suggests the following activities:
COVID-19 may become less severe, but it will be a while before it’s completely safe. I believe we will have a form of blended learning – a mix of both online and offline education, till things go back to normal. This will combine the positives of an online and classroom setup and help children reach their maximum potential faster.
It is safe to say that schools will not be opening their doors anytime soon, and even when they do, they won’t be open to all. Online learning is here to stay, but knowing that it carries its own benefits and will actually help children with their growth and development is a giant relief. What are your thoughts on online learning? Share it with us in the comments below!