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Online Learning- Pleasures and Pressures

 Online Learning- Pleasures and Pressures

Unexpected, indecisive, and phenomenal, are the preferred adjectives to describe the Covid 19 world of 2020. The pandemic and lockdown had embraced every segment of the globe and the education sector was also badly affected. Though the impact of Covid 19 is observed in every sector of the world, without any doubt we can say that the education sector is one of the most suffering among them, no matter, where in the world you are or what you study.

We have clearly sensed just how the year 2020 now finished has been difficult for the education sector, as well as for most the other sectors. It is a fact that we cannot escape from the sufferings and pains of this pandemic. Though we cannot control what happens to us, with strong determination and willpower we have to fight with it and must be overcome with the help of a strong mind. Now the pandemic Covid19 is a more problematic issue than any other issue that has happened to mankind.

Online learning, fortunately, gives solutions to the problems of the education sector to a great extent. It is the question of tradition versus a situation that has brought us in front of digital devices. The education sector has been fighting to survive the crises with a different approach and they were forced to migrate to online mode for the teaching and learning process. Necessity is the mother of invention and all the developments and innovations around the world are the results of necessity.

Let us look at some positives in online learning or the pleasures of online learning. The first point to come up was, it has forced us into raising awareness and taught us that change is inevitable. It also prompted educational specialists to rethink the traditional mode of training. Another pleasure of online learning is location flexibility, students can attend classes from any location, from their own house, or from a relative’s house. It also allows them to attend classes in open spaces instead of being restricted by closed rooms. 

Another pleasure of online learning relates to an improvement in attendance. Since online learning is available at the location of their choice no need to miss the class even if they are not well. Besides, the students can stay with their parents and it helps to reduce stress and improves emotional well-being.  Next, online learning suits a variety of learning styles, some of our students are interested in visual learning and some others prefer audio learning. Without looking into textbooks they can hear recorded audio again and again.

For those who are interested in visual learning, the online learning method, with its videos and PDFs creates a perfect learning environment. Another advantage is that some shy students who weren’t active in the classroom before, are responding much better through digital learning. Next, recorded online lectures allow students to access the class at a time of their comfort.

However, with the arrival of each new method of learning, a feeling of doubt is registered in the minds of the public same as in the case of online learning. We all have a tendency to look into the bad effects rather than the good. Here are some pressures of online learning. Online learning is entirely different from the traditional chalk-and-talk method. Online learning is a relatively new concept for most of us and shifting to online mode was rather sudden. It has posed several challenges to teachers as well as students. The first challenge is the lack of appropriate digital devices such as laptops for conducting classes online.

The lack of adequate internet bandwidth escalated the problem. It is very sad to say, our teachers were not in a position to conduct online classes because of a lack of training. Yet they tried their level best. Adapting technology for online teaching within a short period was a major challenge, with no choice, teachers started online classes from their homes. The teachers, as well as students, have to invest their own money in devices, software, and the Internet. Only about 20% of teachers and students can access online education on a larger screen. Nearly 80% of students are typically attending classes on their mobile phone, even a mobile phone costs near to Rs. 10000, something that is unaffordable.


  If education is a fundamental right, then we must think about the right to devices also. We must make sure, the devices for online learning are accessible to all. In addition to the lack of devices like laptops and sufficient bandwidth, they also faced problems because of the frequent visits of family members during online classes. Online teaching and learning in a home environment are entirely different from classroom environments. The home environment of some students is not always perfect for learning, may be very noisy or very sensitive. Even if they have sufficient bandwidth, some students are forced to switch off their videos because they don’t want to reveal their domestic circumstances.

For many students, long screen time may result in headaches and eye pain. Some of them turn off their cameras and may not respond to teachers. There is a chance of cheating in their exams by opening the books or searching Google for answers.  Teachers, as well as students, may not be able to function well if there are power failures or internet problems. It may be very difficult to assess lab-based courses and fieldwork-based courses.

To conclude, despite all these pressures, the pleasures are definitely more and thus the pressures are outweighed. The vast importance of online learning cannot be denied in these testing periods. The cost of digital devices for online learning should also be reduced so that even poor people can afford to purchase them.

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