An unprecedented situation has fallen upon us which has majorly altered our lives and work, and it has created a measure of disruption.
During this time of contingency, we are completely dependent upon the digital devices to not get our work piled up and meet deadlines effectively.
The education sector has started online classes for schools and colleges to give learners, who are not in a physical location, access to have online materials. This method of in-person education is being called Remote Learning.
This learning approach is for the children to engage in studies without losing the flow. Here, the classroom lectures will be delivered through an online medium where both teachers and students actively respond to each other at a time. In this way, students would be engaged throughout the learning process without missing out on important lectures
E-learning and Remote Learning
As the remote learning has become quite popular during this pandemic phase, it appears that there is a difference between e-learning and distance learning. However, these terms are often used interchangeably but they are separate entities in reality. Let’s look at how these differ from each other
The e-learning is designed to make online communication between teachers and students more feasible. With the advent of numerous online applications, many schools are taking e-learning as a means to complement the learning done in the classroom. For instance, the homework, quizzes can be taken within the classroom using e-learning apps.
On the other hand, Remote learning is to reduce the distance between teachers and students through technology. The whole lecture would be taken online by teachers for students being at different places and engage in studies without being present physically.
In both the learning methods children are connected via the internet but the former is used in the classroom and the latter is used outside the class premises. In e-learning distance does not matter. Teachers can get involved with students by being in front of them. And it also gives teachers more options on how to design engaging lesson plans. Nonetheless, Remote Learning is conducted when faculties and wards are not able to be present in the classroom. At this time, distance learning comes into the picture as a blessing in disguise. Many schools have adopted a remote learning method as a means to involve students in the learning activity. It can be done through Webcam or chat programs.
Benefits of Remote Learning and E-Learning
Low expensive education: if you are looking for an education that does not require you to move away to a different city or country, this is the best option. You only have to spend money on online courses which are very cheap.
Take classes wherever you are: it provides an opportunity to get access to have classes anywhere and at any time. That is why remote learning is getting popular during this quarantine period.
Learning beyond the classroom setting: This kind of learning does not directed towards the need to have a classroom. Learning can be done effectively by engaging in online pedagogical tools.
Increase in Interaction: communication between teachers and students would increase due to various online activities which makes the learning process more interesting and entertaining. It only requires teacher’s guidance which helps them to retain information better.
Suitable for adult learners: More than children, it seems convenient for adults because they have got more to study. For instance, writing or reading apps would help them to hone those skills during their free time
Flexible for learners: learners can take part in the learning process at their own pace. They don’t have to worry about falling behind or being ahead of the rest of the class as they can have access to e-learning materials any time as per their convenience
Remote Learning in India due to Lockdown
A school going student opens her WhatsApp, downloads PDF study materials, and listens to the audio lecture sent by her teacher and then video chat with him. This is mostly the condition of all students during this lockdown period who are accessing the online study material just by sitting at home. There are many online tools like Youtube, google classroom, etc where the students have the provision to continue learning without taking a gap. As per the reports, more than 60 million students worldwide are involved in some form of online lectures during the coronavirus outrage. The online learning is not new in India as many private schools had been conducting digital classes. However, COVID- 19 has made online education sector as the preferred platform
Top 4 Remote Learning Online Tools
1. Coursera: it provides free access to quality learning materials. This has more than 2000 different courses taught in 29 countries so that anyone can learn them sitting anywhere in the world. It was founded in 2012 by two professors from Stanford University.
2. Encode: it gives learners a chance to learn coding by mainly focussing on java and python at different levels.
3. Skillshare: app for content creators to learn about photography, animation, design, illustration, writing, web development.
4. Brilliant: somewhat similar to skillshare but it mainly emphasizes on maths, science and computer science.
These online applications signify that no crisis can hamper the flow of education but it appears that students find it more feasible by learning at their own pace. It has only increased the level of interest among them to study not limiting themselves doing their day-to-day activities. They are not placed in a closed environment where they have to pay attention for a prescribed period. This is a relief for students to invest their energy in other activities besides studies.
This is the best time to introspect and reflect on your innate abilities to utilize it in the future. For instance, if a child has a flair for reading and writing, he can consume more books to develop those skills. Generally, our lives are so hectic that we don’t get enough time to concentrate on the things that we like. It seems to be a great time for those who were looking out for a break from their busy schedules.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.