The year 2020, at first meant another 365 days of the same life in 2019 and a chance to execute our plans, but everything came to a halt with the unexpected spread of the pandemic. Human contact became our enemy and the four walls of our house became our safe room. Amid this chaos, when ‘work from home’ challenged the corporate sector, the education sector began facing one of the most trying situations.
Schools closed down, exams got cancelled, and it became seemingly impossible to connect teachers with students. Determination forged through, starting the trend of online classes. Computers, tablets, and phones became the new classroom for several children. Almost all educational institutes started teaching online.
Online learning came in with the growing understanding that education is a holistic process. Good education is not about rote learning but critical thinking with work-ready skills has become more essential. Academic excellence and co-curricular activities are equally important. These also created challenges, as in the past, students were able to meet, attend programs, execute projects, and hone their skills with extra activities. The pandemic has forced students to sit at home, and has halted almost all activities which was commonplace before.
While the definition of successful education has not changed, the means to the end has changed. The pandemic provides a new world of opportunities which are there for grabs. Capitalizing on the same will allow students to forge ahead at a much faster rate than before. Time availability, digital potential and evolving mindset has made life easier than before in several aspects.
First, online education has helped students to manage time more comfortably. Time is being saved as travelling is no longer required to attend schools or other activities. Social activities have also reduced, further freeing up time. Students can now engage in other extra-curricular activities to hone their skills better. Reading, learning new subjects, internships, are all up for grabs.
Second, Colleges stress on meaningful experiences from their potential applicants. Internships, event management, and community service are great opportunities. They give students real life experience and allow them to apply their knowledge as well as help them take best-fit decisions for their future. Now, companies, non-profits and organizations are all promoting online work with no physical-presence or office attendance. This has made it extremely easy to carve out a strong profile. Check in with www.worldviral.in for several such free activities.
Third, schools have also adapted very well to online education. Students can now study from not only textbooks but also videos and presentations which make learning more fun and interesting. Individual effort and distraction is also kept to a minimum and students are now becoming more familiar with online tools essential for work-place success.
The pandemic has forced us to think and all the realities which were ignored are now being addressed leading to the change in our perspective of education. For example, according to the latest NCERT guidelines, pen-and-paper mode of assessment will be avoided and open-book exams stressing on critical thinking and projects will be more emphasized upon. Initially skepticism has changed, and the increasing use as well as reliability of electronic gadgets has encouraged online learning. Exams are happening, assignments being issued, and attendance is being recorded strictly. As the realization sinks in that the pandemic is here to stay, its best to maximize our potential in the new normal. We have all the resources we need in our reach, it now depends on us to utilize it to its optimum potential.