A Review of the Virtual Learning Experience
With the spread of the virus not showing any signs of slowing or ceasing in the near future, we must adapt to the new ways of teaching and utilise technology to the best.
As we are all familiar with, the spread of the contagious and deadly novel coronavirus has adversely affected the lives of people all over the world. In almost every area of work, tasks that were previously done on-ground and through personal interactions have now been restricted to virtual environments.
COVID – 19 has taken a large toll on the education sector by making it necessary to shift the learning processes of students completely online. Be it schools, colleges or post-graduate institutions, all teaching organizations have been forced to move forward with the virtual learning process.
Recently, the University of Delhi started its new academic session 2020 for students in the third, fifth and seventh (odd) semesters in their UG and third semester in their PG courses through online means. Teachers are trying their best to make this new method of online learning easy and accessible for all students. Video conferencing platforms like Google Meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc along with online classroom applications such as Moodle, Acadly and Google Classroom are being used to make the process of teaching more smooth and accessible for students. All assignments and other study material are shared by the professors on these platforms for easy access.
Yet the students are missing out on a lot of things like the unforgettable memories of college life that they would have made had there been no lockdown and classes were being held as usual. The interactive discussions that used to take place among students with each one of them giving their opinions, inputs and ideas are now unviable. Continuous online classes with short intervals for rest and hectic time-table add to the strain on students which often leads to problems like headache, backpain etc. This online mode of learning is a completely different experience for students as well as teachers. With the spread of the virus not showing any signs of slowing or ceasing in the near future, we must adapt to the new ways of teaching and utilize technology to the best.
But not every student in our country is privileged enough to continue with their learning through online modes. Kids living in villages and other remote areas of the country do not have access to stable high-speed Wi-Fi. They may not be able to afford multiple smart devices which are a necessity to continue with online learning. Many organizations, teachers have found alternate solutions for teaching these students like sending recorded lessons to the phones of their parents via which they can learn. Teachers have also come together and collected money for the data recharge of the phones of the parents so that the mobile data expenses doesn’t discourage them from providing education to their children. But still it is much more difficult for these students to continue with their studies online. The quality of education was already much below the required standards in the rural and remote areas of the country but because of the pandemic it has deteriorated even more.
The government needs to take some immediate steps and address this major problem of the lack of digital infrastructure in the remote areas and less developed parts of the country. We need to come up with innovative solutions to keep them engaged and invest more in the digital infrastructure of the country so that no student is deprived of education cause we must remember that investment in youth today will directly affect the economy of our country tomorrow and therefore, will lead us toward a massive global change.