The world today is rapidly progressing on the road to deployment, with the ever-increasing number of technical applications that are used to communicate and impart knowledge. Do you know that almost everyone who possesses an electronic gadget (computers, laptops, tablets, or smartphones, etc.) has completed some type of e-learning? In a traditional classroom, knowledge procurement is limited to the teacher’s amount of information and that which they can access. Whereas, students’ connection to the outer world through e-learning enhances their knack to create new thoughts and ideas. E-learning has a significant role in the education of students in higher classes. With the introduction of handy and easily operable smartphones, online learning has become easily available, affordable, and a quick way of gaining knowledge.
The Internet has made life easy. The greater advantage of online learning is its reach to every corner of the world. A student sitting in Ethiopia can comfortably learn from a teacher at Stanford, provided he has uninterrupted internet access and a smart device. Traditionally, distance learning has focused on part-time students, such as permanent workers, military personnel, and non-residents or individuals in inaccessible regions who are unable to attend physical classroom lectures. However, today distance learning has become a reputable part of the educational world, with trends pointing to unending growth. And with the speed that it is growing, especially with the emergence of the novel coronavirus disease, the education sector will be seen as trustworthy to it.
The Virus and the Lectures
Online Learning can be defined as a form of education in which the fundamentals include physical separation of teachers and students during tutoring and the use of various technologies to assist student-teacher and student-student interaction. Digital learning is exploited to convey formulating, training, and collaborating among students and educators by utilizing different electronic media, tremendously, the Internet, whose tools have encompassed the main chauffeur of e-learning. E-learning has impacted students’ insight, critical thinking, and other dynamics along with other benefits including, the availability of a variety of quality material, global reach, extents to multiple devices, time and requirement based, more resourceful, and cost-effective.
With the emergence of COVID-19, the walls are coming down for schools from class nursery to 12th. For some this educational shift has been a small move but for others, this is a completely new way of education. Most nations have already initiated digital learning in their schools. Teachers from every school and students, even from Kindergarten, are heavily absorbed by the introduction of online learning at such a tender age. For students belonging to higher classes, the academics and regular classes are commenced on digital platforms including Google Meet, Microsoft Teams & Zoom. Numerous advanced schools had already done a lot for the required implementation of technology and infrastructure in their schools, which facilitated a rapid transformation to completely online delivery of teaching during the current crisis and with noteworthy success.
Coping With the Life-changing Process
The COVID-19 situation has resulted in the progress of digital learning platforms and methods. However, while it is feasible to progressive institutes, the schools and colleges in remote areas are still finding ways to cope up and render their services to their learners. The fact is, virtual classrooms are not as guileless as hiding and seeking. We know how schools are structured. They flourish on structure, timetables, daily attendance, and lesson plans – a thorough, planned operation that has been made to transform into an online mode practically instantaneously. The backward schools and colleges found that challenging and could not deliver their 100 percent. Similarly, the students belonging to rural regions of the country faced challenges in the form of lack of awareness with Digital Technology, network issues, inadequate availability of technological devices, and deficiency of well-trained professors.
The challenges mentioned above imitate the ground reality of the propagation of digital education in rural areas through various programs that have been taken by the Government to promote online learning. Some of the initiatives include SWAYAM, SWAYAM Prabha, National Digital Library (NDL), Spoken Tutorial, Free and Open Source Software for Education (FOSSEE), Virtual Lab, e-yantra programs, and Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs).
Rural education is important not only for the augmentation of life quality of the backward society but also for the overall progress and development of a country. Considering such limitations, implementing the new digitized education tools in remote parts becomes essential. Apart from the government, several organizations are coming forward to find ways. They need to exaggerate their efforts to develop accessibility and affordability of quality education services to underprivileged zones.