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Why is Online Learning Important?

This post is a segment of the Online learning series that explores various Online tools available for facilitators and teachers to use in their classrooms. It is primarily aimed at K-12 and HigherEd educators in India who have moved to an Online setting recently for teaching.

MAKING THE SHIFT TO ONLINE LEARNING
MAKING THE SHIFT TO ONLINE LEARNING

The world has changed. The shift towards online learning in the past few months has been remarkable. If you are an educator, you must be doing Online teaching considerably often than what you were doing last year. Many of us have adapted fast since we were familiar with basic applications like email and video call software. But is that enough to offer the same quality of learning that we provided as part of in-person classrooms?
This series explores the challenges, gaps in moving to Online classrooms and the means to fill them and even go beyond what was in traditional classrooms

I took my first online course 7 years ago! It was a course on python by one of the popular MOOC Platforms Udacity. That was my first encounter with online learning. It was an exhilarating experience. Learning an advanced course, without having to leave home? It was an unusual concept for me.

But is it new? Distance learning in various forms has existed for several decades before the edTech industry.

History of Online Learning
History of Online Learning

Then why the buzz now?

Get ready to a new normal

With the current COVID-19 situation, Online learning has become more a necessity and reality rather than a faraway future or a comfort factor. Is this a temporary shift? I think not. It has merely sped up what was coming. And very little is going back to the old normal

Why should educators care about online learning
Why should educators care about online learning

Complete online learning may not be the long-term way for young children – but blended learning which combines online and in-person learning experiences will become the norm. 

Online learning is no longer a choice
Online learning is no longer a choice

If you are a learner or an educator, this alone should be enough to convince you of why to explore online learning further. But many more pressing reasons prevail to build your repertoire with online learning skills.

Benefits of online learning for the learner
Benefits of online learning for the learner

For the Learner

  • Availability: You can learn almost anything! Cooking, Artificial Intelligence, even sports classes are being offered in the online medium today. Imagine what skill you wish to pick up and you can find it online.
  • Flexibility: You can study from anywhere and in most times
  • Modular and individualized: Say you fancy learning a new language – you can enroll in the introductory course from one website, grammar from another, literature from a different one, so on and so forth. You get to hear from the finest and what suits you. Not just that. You can play, replay, and understand at your own pace.
  • Cost: Many of the online courses cost way lesser than an offline course. A lot more are free.
  • Efficiency: With no need to travel and planning, you save time. You can study at the apt time for you.
  • Credentials: Increasingly online courses are being recognized by workplaces. And many schools and universities are moving online
Benefits of online learning for the Educator
Benefits of online learning for the Educator

For the Educator

  • Reach: The number of learners you can reach and impact with your knowledge and facilitation increases manifold with online learning
  • Flexible: You can choose when to work (with asynchronous learning) and even in cases of synchronous learning, scheduling is easier
  • Efficient: The plenty of tools handy to make your life easier in managing the boring work associated with teaching. With no travel, it gives you even more time to focus on what’s important.
  • Effective: With the abundance of resources available to teach and learn, you don’t have to rely on using only your notes. You can use the choicest materials to explain concepts, measure student mastery, or increase engagement.
  • Collaborative and Global: As educators, we aspire our learners to be relevant and learn 21st-century skills. Online learning natively builds these competencies.

ONLINE LEARNING IS HERE TO STAY! NO CHOICE BUT TO ADAPT

From taking an online course to teach one, it has been an incredible journey for me. Are you ready to take the jump?

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