By Dr. Manju Lata Sharma

Change in the education system-From face to face learning to E Learning.

In 2015, Elliot Soloway and Cathie Norris made some predictions about what Education Technology would look like in 2020.And the prediction proved to be true in late March 2020, when COVID-19 outbreak suddenly transformed 2020 education system into a massive remote learning system.
In CBSE, NCERT book, Beehive, prescribed for students of 9, Iaasac Asimov,in the lesson,” The Fun They Had”, has also given a similar futuristic prediction about change in the teaching learning process. He predicted that by 2025,Computers will replace the classroom teaching methods. All these predictions were thought to be mere prophecies, but they have turned out to be true in this present scenario when coronavirus changed the everyday life completely. Much of the global economy has ground to a halt. But there is one industry that hasn’t slowed down to the pandemic, and that is the Global IT industry, which has shifted into high gear to accommodate the sudden demand for remote working and collaboration solutions as majority of businesses have gone digital-only.

The Nation, at the present moment is at the epicenter of the biggest remote-work experiment not to mention remote-learning. Tools that let us digitally communicate and collaborate, like Slack, JIRA, Dropbox and Zoom, are enabling unprecedented remote work. It is said that Data is the new oil in today’s digital economy. The pandemic has transformed the centuries old chalk-talk teaching method to one driven by technology. Online teaching-learning has become the order of the day. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected educational system worldwide leading to the closure of Schools, colleges and all Universities. In response to the Schools closures, UNESCO recommended the use of distance-learning programs and online educational applications and platforms that schools and teachers can use to teach learners with remote and limit the disruption of education.

Change is an intrinsic part of human life. Accepting, adapting and acclimatizing with the change is the wise approach. Education system which was confined to rote learning needed a change. A change that would judge a student by talent not by the rote memorization. Though COVID-19 is a serious threat to every field of economy, but it can be termed as a catalyst for change in the field of education. As ‘necessity is the mother of invention, ‘this crisis has made it a necessity to change the traditional face-to-face learning to digital learning. It has created a significant shift of stationary economic equilibrium of traditional teaching methodologies to a new balance of virtual teaching. It has set a new path for teaching and learning mechanism.

The era of technology has started and web-based teaching is leveraged. The world is now revolving around technology, any student can join any course in a foreign land without leaving his native land. Although schools, colleges have been completely shut down for1.7 billion children and youth in 161 countries, COVID-19 could not succeed in stopping educational activities. Education system has rolled by switching from traditional classroom (face to face) to digital remote learning, especially E learning. Educational apps like Zoom, BYJU, Wikipedia, UnfoldU, Mycbseguide and many more are trying to invent better techniques to develop teaching learning standards.

All changes have pros and cons and this rapid change in the educational field is no exception. A lot of effort needs to be put into developing, maintaining and sustaining a reliable and easy to use platform which caters to the need of every child. As the age is becoming digital, we should also be aware of the challenges of the digital divide which causes a lot of inequity in education. This digital shift may alienate economically disadvantaged students who do not have access to digital infrastructure such as internet and computer.
Life of children have shrunk to their homes and their screen. Doctors are reporting many cases of eyestrain among children. Some are detected with computer vision syndrome, blurring vision, dry-eyes and headache. The online classes might be helping educational institutions around India but the trend has raised many concerns among parents, educational experts and health experts. They have expressed alarm about the potential danger to health due to continuous exposure to internet.

Looking at all the pros and cons, the positive side of online learning outweighs the cons, especially during the present scenario. While an overnight shift to the digital e-learning is not possible, a gradual yet permanent shift does not appear to be far away.
With a nationwide lock down, physical classes are unlikely to begin in the near future. To ensure that the academic calendar does not suffer a lot of disruption, the ministry of Human Resource Development have advised schools and colleges to continue online teaching and learning, but the reading hours needs to be shortened.

Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world. Come what may but learning never stops.