As technology continues to revolutionize the ways of teaching and learning, online classes are accepted as an alternative classroom setting for students across all age groups. These classes are a perfect substitute for typical in-campus learning in this age of digitalization. And in the past couple of years, these are embraced as a smart solution to complete education, and even to develop skill sets.
Post the pandemic, online learning is a known concept. Most of us have had a hang of it. And several institutions are offering these classes over and above the in-campus learning options (already in place). Let’s take you through the concept of virtual classes today and see how this option can help our Indian students in this dynamic educational landscape.
What are Online Classes?
As the name suggests, these classes can be attended or conducted through the internet without any need for one’s physical presence. These classes are highly convenient, as students can attend these from any location, without any hassles like traveling to a different location. These are also called synchronous learning opportunities/classes.
How Do Online Classes Work?
Online classes for students are an opportunity to establish connections with teachers and peers in real-time. Students and teachers log in at a scheduled time and interactions happen as per the prior planning/schedule/lesson plan. Discussions, collaborative activities, doubt-clearing, and cross-cultural interactions are some of the highlights of online classes for kids.
Most online schools in India offer a certain number of these classes for students for adequate educator handholding. This concept is becoming highly popular amongst Indian parents. Because it is highly convenient for parents to carry on with their work while the child attends these classes under trained teachers. If you wish to know about the best online school in India, please visit this page https://onlineschoolsindia.in/list-of-online-schools/
Virtual Learning during School Closure
In the past couple of years, we have learned how to live with the ongoing pandemic threats. Most of us have had our own experiences with online schooling classes during lockdown And academicians across the world have reflected on the scope of this option in the future. Globally, this option is accepted as a positive trend despite the hardships of the pandemic.
<67% of the girls in Indian slums did not attend online classes during the 1st lockdown.>
In India too, this option is considered viable to resolve varied challenges faced by the students and stakeholders.
Why are Online Classes Important?
As a densely populated developing nation, India faces numerous challenges in addressing the issues of educational equality. Around 68.86% of our population resides in rural areas. and the literacy rate is only 74.04%. Virtual learning and hybrid classes are a superlative support to lift the barriers to education in this post-pandemic era. These alternatives can help us in retaining students within the mainstream system. At the same time, this choice can also help our Indian students to improve their employability prospects and earn a livelihood.
Some Advantages of Virtual Classes for students and professionals
The global growth of online education is creating new opportunities for students and professionals to future-proof their skills. The future of work demands more skilled individuals. And virtual classrooms are great support for preparing the world for the ‘Jobs of the Future’ (Examples in the chart below with the growth rate of these jobs in the first quarter of 2021)
Closing Skills Gap-
E courses are great support for students to close the widening global skills gap. This industry has seen tremendous growth in the past couple of years. And India stands as the 2nd highest country with the maximum enrollments in Coursera’s online courses (13.6 million Indian students got enrolled by the year 2021).
Providing academic support-
According to UNICEF, the learning gaps created by the disruption due to the pandemic are quite serious for many students including migrant children. Many of them struggle with the acquisition of foundational skills. And alternative educational opportunities and supplemental learning (like BYJU’s and Unacademy etc.) are reaching out to such students as a support to bridge their learning gaps.
<The primary and secondary supplemental online education market in India reached 770 million US dollars with a CAGR of 60% in the year 2021.>
One interesting fact is that most of us believe in the advantages of this option as online classes college level. However, online school classes are now available from the preschool stage. And that too through highly prestigious institutions such as accredited online schools. If you wish to know more about the best online school in India visit this page “The Most Popular Online Schools in India “ .
Let’s get back to our topic and see how these classes are beneficial for all types of students.
Are Online Classes Beneficial?
Globally, virtual learning is a growing trend that is fitting the best quality education within the lifestyle of students. These are ideal to help students who are at risk of dropping out. And highly suitable for many more types of students such as the ones with physical or learning disabilities, introverted learners, or gifted ones. Here are some more striking benefits of these classes for all students:
This technology-based solution reduces the time, costs, and effort to travel to a physical campus. As per U. S News, students save lots of hidden charges with online courses. This includes the costs of travel, parking, parking fine, class material, and even accommodation in many cases (with no need to relocate to another place).
Improves Educational Productivity-
Leading education systems of the world have acknowledged the power of technology in education to reduce the per-pupil cost. The U. S Ministry of Education highlights in a report that an online learning environment can produce better outcomes at reduced costs as compared with traditional or blended learning. This medium is believed to improve educational productivity and has a much lower per-pupil cost (Refer to the chart below).
Accommodates varied learning styles-
For decades now there is a need to address the unique learning needs as per the mix of learning styles in students. It is a huge task for a teacher in a crowded classroom to engage all students effectively at all times. But with online classes for students, this task is simplified to a great extent. Personalized learning, small batch sizes, and one-o-one interactions make these classes a superbly successful way of reaching out to all types of learners. And when it comes to success in an online learning classroom, some simple tips can help all types of learners equally. Read further for some of these effective tips:
Tips to Succeed with Online Classes and Learning
Designing strategies to manage deadlines-
Virtual learning needs to be managed through a planned approach. A student must learn to be accountable for one’s own performance. And all learning preferences/suitable learning styles should be defined as per life priorities. Some students prefer to be night owls, while others find themselves more energetic in the daytime. Selecting the right strategy can help the student to meet deadlines. And this pre-planning also helps him/her to make the most of these classes (with all doubts jotted well in advance to seek clarification).
Online classes for students can be highly beneficial if students interact and participate actively. Interactive classes through the virtual medium are ideal to socialize, clarify doubts, and create connections with peers.
A successful online student avoids overscheduling and procrastination. It is important to maintain a balance between the workload, and the student must know how to complete small chunks of the tasks/assignments each day to avoid piling up of work. These classes are a perfect support for the student. But one can utilize these only if the prior workload is managed well.
Utilize the opportunities-
With fewer distractions and the freedom to select the right pacing options, students can be masters of their learning. Online classes in India are conducted by the best educators across the education industry. These opportunities are great for regular students. And equally beneficial for the ones with physical or learning disabilities.
Virtual Classroom- A Solution for Special Students
According to WHO, globally 15% of the population is living with some form of disability. In India too, 2.2% of our total population (1.36 billion) has some form of disability. Alternative educational solutions are a great support for students who have any form of these disabilities. With the help of technology, they can learn better at their own pace, and that too without any threats (like bullying or school violence etc.) similar to a traditional classroom.
For example, 0.2% of the disabled population in India has speech and language disabilities. And these classes can help students with speech and language disabilities through the support of assistive technology (like augmentative communication). The use of technology can compensate for the impairments, thereby helping them to learn better.
The good news is that disabled students in India have already accepted this educational alternative. Research shows that most students with disabilities prefer online sessions over traditional classroom instructions.
Now, let’s discuss the vision of our policymakers to make these classes more accessible across the Indian masses.
The Views of Our Policymakers about Virtual Classes
Post the pandemic, our Indian government is acknowledged the importance of online classes for kids. Our recent education policy (NPE 2020) clearly mentions that these classes are a necessity after the pandemic (under section 24.4 part c). The government is dedicated to empower Indian masses with this blessing of technology. And it has already launched some initiatives to help all students thrive better with this smart solution.
Some Government Initiatives:
The government of India hosts courses through SWAYAM. This initiative includes video lectures, downloadable material, self-assessment tests, and an online discussion forum. Students from classes 9 to the post-graduate stage can make use of this content to strengthen their understanding of topics covered in their regular classes. This support for traditional classroom education (supplemental learning) makes use of the elements of online education like virtual classes and online resources to enrich the learning of Indian students.
The Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA) is another great initiative by the Indian government to help students in making the most of alternative educational solutions. This platform supports 36 languages. And has high-quality online tools (like energized textbooks, question banks, and online courses, etc.) for students and stakeholders.
Virtual classes can be highly rewarding and educational for all types of students across varied learning styles and intelligence types. In India, the pitfalls of our traditional system can be eliminated with these solutions. And in the years to come, India will see a bigger boom in the Ed-Tech industry, empowering the student population to thrive better with more such smart solutions!
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What are the online classes?
Students and teachers make use of the internet to join a virtual session/class. There is no common physical location. And all the interaction happens virtually through applications like Zoom, and Google Classroom etc.
- What are best online courses?
Advanced degrees, online courses for specialization, Digital Marketing, Big Data Analysis, Public speaking, etc. are some options other than the regular academic courses. You can choose the one that suits your aptitude and career aspirations.
- What is importance of online classes?
Online education is witnessing a stupendous growth rate. And online classes are substituting in-campus classes for many students. In the years to come, this option will be more popular, as it helps students to learn conveniently and promotes skill building along with many more benefits. Students from all parts of the world can join their dream schools/universities without the need to relocate. Online classes help them to thrive in this skill-driven world conveniently.
- Is it better to go to class in person or online?
For upskilling, digital skill building, and hassle-free learning, online medium proves to be better than the traditional one.
- What is the most challenging in online class?
It depends on the students. Some students can find it difficult to stay focused, while others might need continuous teacher support, it is quite subjective in nature.
- How can I improve my online learning?
You can always be a successful online learner by being disciplined, following schedules, and meeting deadlines. It is important to be intrinsically motivated to complete coursework within deadlines. And successful online learners always stick to these habits to improve their online learning.
- Are online classes free?
Some platforms offer free online courses for students. However, these are not the only options available for students. You can find an array of options from schools to post-secondary institutions that charge a reasonable amount for good quality education.