Considering the growth rate of all things online, be it business or social interaction, it was only a matter of time before it disrupted the field of education. The word disruption has been used in a positive sense here. It actually refers to a drastic change.
In India, the education system has always been a rigid and unforgiving one. It could very well be a reason why so many students seem to drop out of it. Students have often complained about intense pressure and competition. Movies were being made on the subject as well. Under these circumstances, a change was long overdue.
The change came in the year 2016 in the form of Ed-tech or Education Technology. It can be called the gift of modern information technology. While it has been a popular culture in the west, India has only recently started accepting Ed-tech companies as a viable alternative to an actual classroom.
Online education was first started in the 1960s. In the University of Illinois, students could access class information from computer terminus. Even though there was no internet at that time, it was an event that set in motion a larger chain of events leading to what we know today as education technology.
In 1986, the first online course for learning DOS and Commodore 64 computer was offered by Electronic University Network.
A significant breakthrough came in 2002 when MIT started offering online courses to students for free. From that moment onwards, the number of students taking up online courses has seen a steady increase over the years.
There are too many things that can be listed as features that set it apart from traditional education. These features can also be used to justify why online learning is in some ways better than the conventional system of education.
Benefits of online learning
- Elimination of distance barrier- With the help of latest information technologies like 4G network and 4G enabled smartphones, the virtual gap between student and institution has been closing in. In places like India, proper educational institutions are only confined to city boundaries. While India has a lot of premier institutions and excellent schools, the rural population suffers from severe deprivation. They either have to migrate to the cities or keep doing what their families have been doing. In a majority of the cases, moving to a city is not an option due to the shortage of financial resources. Ed-tech has the potential to be an answer to the prayers of the underprivileged. Ed-tech companies like Vedantu are the ones that are doing the needful.
- Variety- The online educational institutions have a lot of courses that one can opt for. There are academic degrees for every subject out there from literature to physics and everything in between. It ensures that no matter what course you are looking for, the chances are that some e-learning website or the other offer it. Primary education has also been added to the list of courses. Learning for children is more interactive and engaging. That helps to capture the attention of the child and leverage their curiosity to make learning a fun process and not a tedious journey.
Online education institutions like Vedantu offer courses for primary classes as well as courses for more specialized and applied knowledge.
- Convenience- There is no denying the fact that education technology has made learning immeasurably more convenient. It has eliminated the need to physically travel to the classroom to attend a class or going to a book-store or library to access study materials like NCERT books. You could be traveling or sitting in your room while attending a lecture.
- Lower cost- The cost of opting for an online course is much lower compared to conventional classrooms. That is excellent news for the economically constrained. It eliminates the need to travel to a school or college, thus removing the cost of commute every day. Majority of these institutes accept credit cards as well, which is not an option in case of conventional institutes. They even provide NCERT solutions with explanations.
- Flexibility- It refers to the flexible hours. You could attend a lecture at midnight after returning from your job or early in the morning after a good night’s sleep. People who are employed will get the benefit of remaining employed while obtaining their higher education degree. The fact that one can study and work simultaneously is beneficial for many.
- World class teacher- These online courses provide lectures of highly acclaimed teachers from reputed educational institutions in India and abroad. If you think about it, you will understand how much of quantum leap humankind has made in a way that allows us to do things that were unimaginable two decades ago.
Traditional education is still the primary source of education for many, and it cannot be undermined. In fact, it is what that has made all of the above things possible. But change is inevitable and is what makes way for the new.