The rise of online learning during the pandemic

The pandemic has severly affected all the sectors ,and Educational sector was one of them ,but thanks to technology because of that we have an alternative mode of learning.Online or virtual mode of education became asset for the students life in the pandemic situation,but who thought that this online mode of learning would remain with us for such a long duration and still no one knows how long.

ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE LEARNING

Several arguments are associated with e-learning.

• Accessibility, affordability, flexibility, learning pedagogy, life-long learning, and policy are a number of the arguments associated with online pedagogy.

• It is said that online mode of learning is definitely accessible and may even reach to rural and remote areas.

• Flexibility is another interesting aspect of online learning; a learner can schedule or plan their time for completion of courses available online.

•Students can learn anytime and anywhere, thereby developing new skills within the process resulting in life-long learning.

•The government also recognizes the increasing importance of online learning during this dynamic world, as in future online mode of education would be the most helpful and trending part.

DISADVANTAGES OF ONLINE LEARNING.

• Personal attention is also a huge issue facing online learning,as no one knows who is paying attention during the classes and who is not.

•Sometimes, online content is all theoretical and does not let students practice and learn effectively,which is a huge disadvantage of e-learning.

• A lot of distraction sources are available during the online mode of teaching .

• A lot of health related problems can be developed in this mode be it mental or physical , continuous learning from electronic gadgets can lead to eye problems as well as mental stress and exhaustion could also be felt , physical movement is negligible in this mode.

What should be done to get better mode of education in the time of pandemic?

Combining face-to-face lectures with technology gives rise to blended learning and flipped classrooms; this type of learning environment can increase the training potential of the students.

Digital Education in India.

With the world getting a virtual transformation during the ongoing pandemic, the open digital education has become the need of the hour to assist the students with bridging the gap between time and knowledge. As Covid-19 gripped the world with its microscopic spikes and brought the entire world to the standstill, several sectors of the economy and market took a hit and had to be shut till they could be operated without risking the lives of their foot soldiers on duty.

Lockdowns were imposed all over the world and with that came the need to keep the world running and the virtual world came to the rescue. In India, lockdown started from 21st March 2020 and is expected to last till 14th April 7, 2020, however, given the rapid spread of coronavirus in the community, the decision of uplifting the lockdown remains much anticipated.

One of the major schedule and lifestyle change occurred in the life of students all across the country as the schools and colleges were shut down immediately under the protocol of lockdown to safeguard the future generations. Nevertheless, with the termination of the lockdown still being the topic of debate it is not known for sure when the classes could be resumed and hence many universities have now opted for the digital education as a step forward to help the students stay focused on education.

What is Digital Education?

The term digital education refers to the innovative use of digital tools to deliver learning through teaching using effective modern day technological tools. Learning services could be in the form of face to face, blended or fully online courses. This provided the benefit of accessing the content at a convenient time and location to the learner thus resulting in a more personalized learning experience.

Besides that, this new tool is known to improve the interaction between the educator and learner, and the ability to provide the teachers with better feedback which further helps to enhance the quality of teaching.

Digital initiatives in Higher Education by Indian Government

To ensure the smooth learning process during the lockdown and for students to avail the full benefit of e-learning, Indian HRD ministry has launched various digital initiatives which will allow them to participate in online classes as they would do it physically in colleges, and also utilize the study material to its full potential.

We provide you below with the list of digital platforms curated by various branches of HRD ministry.

Audio-video e-content

This initiative by the human resource department ministry provides the e-Learning platform for all the courses from class 9 to post graduation. Courses are hosted in four quadrants:

  • Video learning
  • Reading serial material
  • Self assessment test
  • Online discussion portal

The learning is provided free of cost but to avail the certification an amount has to be made to the department.

SWAYAMPRABHA

As described by the ministry, The SWAYAMPRABHA is a group OF 32DTH channels devoted to telecasting of high quality education programmed on 24*7 basis using the GSAT-15 satellite. Every day, there will be new content for atleast (4) hours which would be repeated 5more times in a day, allowing the students to choose the time of their convenience. The channels are uplinked from BISAG, Gandhinagar.”

The content includes

  • Curriculum based course content for University students
  • Curriculum based course content for students from class 9 to 12
  • Curriculum based courses that can meet the need of life for Indian citizens
  • Competitive exams preparation sets

Access Journals and E-books

National Digital Library

This initiative has led to the excess of free educational material to all, ranging from primary to post graduate level. It is believed to be extremely beneficial to all kinds of learners, students, teachers, lecturers, professors, research scholars etc. The material is available in more than 70 languages and extremely free of cost.

e-PG Pathshala

This is the platform providing e-Learning facilities to the postgraduate courses and it works through the following three verticals

1. e-Adhyayan

This platform provides video content and 700 + eBooks for various post graduate level courses

2. UGC MOOCS

UGC is one of the national level coordinator of SWAYAM and works on producing Postgraduate e-learning courses on SWAYAM.

3. e-Pathya

This is the vertical particularly created for the offline access of the e-learning material for the postgraduate students.

SHODHGANGA

Shodhganga is the platform that allows the Ph.D. scholars in all the streams deposit and publish their theses for access to the upcoming professional in their respective fields. Till now 250000 theses have been published on the esteemed site.

E – SHODHSINDHU

As stated on their respective website, e- Shodhsindhu aims to provide access to more than 15000 journals and a number of bibliographic and factual databases in a wide range of disciplines at a lower cost to educational institutions.

Accelerated hands on learning

1. e-Yantra

e- yantra is the platform founded by the IIT Bombay to train the engineers to solve the practical problems with practical solutions utilizing their engineering skillset.

It has divided its aim by inculcating various branches to look after the respective issues. Some of the initiatives are

  • e- yantra robotics competition
  • e- yantra ideas competition
  • e- yantra lab setup initiative
  • e-yantra symposium
  • e-yantra resource development canter

FOSSEE  (Free and Open Source Software for Education)  

This platform promotes the use of FLOSS(FireEye Labs Obfuscated String Solver)tools in academia and research.

Spoken tutorial

The aim of spoken tutorial is to popularize software learning. It provides wide range of subject learning for the utilization by school level to the university students especially addressing the Math and Science as areas of interest. The contents are available in multiple languages thus making it further accessible to our multilingual population.

Track your progress

VIDWAN

VIDWAN consists of database of profiles of research scholars, scientists and faculty members of leading academic institutions. It provides important information about their background, contact details, skills, accomplishments etc. This information is maintained by information and library network center and is very essential for the selection of various task force meant for different evaluation purposes in the country.

Shodh Shuddhi

Under this scheme, plagiarism detecting software, URKUND a Web Based Plagiarism Detection Software system, is provided to the thousand plus registered institutions across the country.

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The Top Online Learning Platforms To Kickstart Your Career in 2021

Whether you want to gain new marketable talents or just want to learn something new for pleasure, online learning platforms are a terrific and convenient way to learn on your own time. These platforms, as an alternative to online universities, tend to be a little more flexible and may even offer more unique or uncommon classes that you wouldn’t find at a typical college, but prospective students should weigh their options to determine which is best for them.Here are just a few of our top picks for the greatest online learning platforms, ranging from Masterclass to Coursera, so you can get started right away.

My top selections for the greatest online course platforms to use this year are listed below.

Coursera

Coursera has created a name for itself in recent years by offering top-tier university courses to online students. More than 50 million students have accessed courses from universities such as Duke, Stanford, and Yale thanks to this California-based elearning network.I have to add that their iOS and Android mobile app is one of the best I’ve used. It actually makes it quite simple for students to follow courses while on the go — it even allows free courses to be viewed offline.

What are the advantages of Coursera:

  1. Course quality: As you might expect from universities like Stanford, Duke, and Yale, Coursera’s courses are among the best.
  2. Coursera offers a wide range of courses, including individual courses, specializations, and higher education degrees.
  3. Because Coursera collaborates with these colleges, you’ll be able to receive authentic certifications for your courses.
  4. Free courses: You can enroll in practically any Coursera class for free if you don’t plan on earning a completion certificate.

EDX

With over 34 million students having registered in one of their 3,000+ courses, edX has a large user base. The premise is similar to Coursera’s in that it makes top-tier university courses available to the general public.You can also enroll in a variety of different course kinds. MicroBachelors, MicroMasters, Professional Certificates, and Master’s Degrees, for example, are available. You’ll find the one that’s right for you.

What are the benefits of edX:

  1. Official certifications: As edX works with colleges such as Harvard, Berkeley, MIT, and Boston University, you’ll be able to obtain authorized certificates.
  2. Courses are available for free: Most courses will be available for free (assuming you aren’t seeking for a certificate).
  3. Many courses can be started at any time that is convenient for you. In addition, you can enroll in a variety of courses.
  4. Course quality: As you may expect, the quality of edX courses is extremely good because they are created by premier universities.

Udemy

It’s likely that you’ve heard of Udemy, an online educational platform. With over 50 million students and over 155,000 courses, Udemy is perhaps the most popular elearning platform.

Udemy is a global marketplace for online courses where you can discover classes on almost any subject from a variety of instructors (even in languages like Spanish, German, French or Chinese).

What are the advantages of Udemy:

  1. Choice: Udemy has the most courses, so you’ll be able to locate
  2. Free courses: Udemy has a large number of free courses. Make sure to check them out if you want to learn for free.
  3. Return policy: A liberal 30-day refund policy is in place. Return the course if you are dissatisfied with it.

Skillshare

This online education platform, which originated in New York, has over 5 million students and provides a wide choice of courses for $99 a year ($15 if you pay monthly). Skillshare began as an elearning platform for creatives, but it has since expanded to include a wider range of topics (e.g. IT, business, language-learning, etc.).

Skillshare’s advantages are as follows:

  1. Free courses: Skillshare offers 10% of its courses for free, and there are currently over 2,000 programs accessible. Please note that free members do not have access to offline viewing.
  2. Choice: With over 25,000 courses, there aren’t many choices (aside from Udemy) that can match Skillshare’s selection.
  3. Price: A Skillshare premium subscription costs $99 per year (if paid in advance) or $15 per month (if paid monthly) – less than Spotify.
  4. Course quality: Because anybody can publish, course quality ranges from one to the next. Some lessons, however, are created by Skillshare and renowned firms such as Mailchimp or Google, and are usually of high quality.

MasterClass

Although MasterClass provides more than simply creative classes, its most popular are those that feature A-list actors, writers, painters, singers, and others as instructors.

And they aren’t just one-time “talk” sessions: Like a regular course, most courses feature roughly 20 lessons, allowing you to delve deeply into your chosen topic. If you want to understand more about these often-mysterious professions, there’s no better way than to hear from those who have previously succeeded.

These video-based courses combine straightforward lectures, workbooks, and class discussions with practical guidance and demonstrations.

You can take as many sessions as you wish within a monthly membership because MasterClass is a subscription-based platform. The cost of unrestricted access is around $15 per month, but students must sign up for a year at a time.

Conclusion

The most important thing is to make the most of your educational opportunities. This is the rule to follow when deciding which platform to utilize; select one that will help you get the most out of it.

ONLINE LEARNING: Expanding A Whole System Accidently

Two years ago from now, no one had thought about that the entire learning system will go online. No one was prepared for this change completely but now it is the only option left for the people to choose.

Basically, online learning provide students to learn in a complete virtual environment. Rather than going out to school or coaching centers students can access to their classes easily sitting at their home comfortably. Some will find this method a good one and some will not. Actually it all happened sudden and no one was prepared for it. Before we discuss further, let’s discuss about a little bit of history of this kind of education system or method.

Although the concept is not new for everyone. In the form of distance learning it was there. Online learning is about 170 years old concept. Great Britain’s instructors used to send the lessons via e-mails and received assingnments from the students through the same. So, this technique gave birth to distance learning. Students sitting geographically anywhere around the world can access to courses available on distance mode. Yes, not all  courses were available for distance learning but now the condition is different.

Why expanding accidently

COVID-19 pandemic had forced everyone to adapt online learning techniques. Not only universities, schools and other educational institutions are also now bound to provide education through virtual mode. Pandemic had led to develop the whole education system accidently. Although, the same was the future but we are now compelled by the situation to adopt all this early.

Many higher education courses were made available on this platform to promote this kind of method which is followed by many advantages like anyone, anytime and from anywhere to access their lectures ,if lectures are provided in recorded form and if not then the students need to manage their time as instructed by their teacher. For many educational institutes it is a complete new way of providing education that they have had to adopt and some were a little of habitual of it as we were planning to adopt the method in coming future. Along with several advantages, online learning have some disadvantages also. Let us now discuss them briefly.

ADVANTAGES

  • Accessibility : This is the major advantage of e-learning. As stated above, anyone, anytime and from anywhere can easily access to their lectures. Educational institutions are also expanding their network of teaching breaking all geographical boundaries and connecting on virtual platform.
  • Improved students attendance : In the recent scenario it came to notice that the percentage of students attending lectures or classes have increased in online classes. In physical mode classes, a normal attendance was used to be 70-80% in schools which has now increased to 90-95% and it is only because of accessibility.
  • Affordability : Online education is far more affordable than physical classes for both students and institutions as well. It’s because e-learning eliminates the cost of infrastructure, maintenance, travelling, etc.
  • Better time management : Rather than moving from here and there, people can manage their work from where they are. Like, students and teachers both don’t need to travel to meet at institution to deliver or receive a lecture. This travelling tine is saved in e-learning.

DISADVANTAGES

  • Technology issues : No one have control over these issues. Biggest example that you can relate to this situation is network connectivity. Disturbance on either student or teacher side eliminates the smooth conduct of classes.
  • Inability to focus on screens : Many students cannot focus on screens for a long duration. Despite of online classes, other social platforms are also there where students use to spend there time.
  • Require strong self motivation : S student can only learn through online mode when (s)he is strongly self motivated. there are numerous factors to distract students from their studies. In this kind of situation, only self motivation can help one to stay away from those hurdles.
  • Lack of practical knowledge : This factor can be identifies as a biggest drawback of e-learning. Students are not able to do practicals and due to this they may become inconfident. Rather than practical , it focuses more on theory.

So, in order to gain complete benefits of e-leaning  it is important to make everyone use of the gadgets used in e-learning and a proper training of staff  members id also necessary as many people don’t know how to operate.

ONLINE LEARNING


The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered new ways of learning. All around the world, educational institutions are looking toward online learning platforms to continue with the process of educating students. The new normal now is a transformed concept of education with online learning at the core of this transformation. Today, digital learning has emerged as a necessary resource for students and schools all over the world. For many educational institutes, this is an entirely new way of education that they have had to adopt. Online learning is now applicable not just to learn academics but it also extends to learning extracurricular activities for students as well. In recent months, the demand for online learning has risen significantly, and it will continue doing so in the future.
As with most teaching methods, online learning also has its own set of positives and negatives. Decoding and understanding these positives and negatives will help institutes in creating strategies for more efficiently delivering the lessons, ensuring an uninterrupted learning journey for students.
Advantages of Online Learning:

  • Efficiency-Online learning offers teachers an efficient way to deliver lessons to students. Online learning has a number of tools such as videos, PDFs, podcasts, and teachers can use all these tools as part of their lesson plans. By extending the lesson plan beyond traditional textbooks to include online resources, teachers are able to become more efficient educators.
  • Accessibility Of Time And Place-Another advantage of online education is that it allows students to attend classes from any location of their choice. It also allows schools to reach out to a more extensive network of students, instead of being restricted by geographical boundaries. Additionally, online lectures can be recorded, archived, and shared for future reference. This allows students to access the learning material at a time of their comfort.Thus, online learning offers students the accessibility of time and place in education.
  • Affordability -Another advantage of online learning is reduced financial costs. Online education is far more affordable as compared to physical learning. This is because online learning eliminates the cost points of student transportation, student meals, and most importantly, real estate. Additionally, all the course or study materials are available online, thus creating a paperless learning environment which is more affordable, while also being beneficial to the environment.
  • Improved Student Attendance -Since online classes can be taken from home or location of choice, there are fewer chances of students missing out on lessons.
  • Suits A Variety Of Learning Styles -Every student has a different learning journey and a different learning style. Some students are visual learners, while some students prefer to learn through audio. Similarly, some students thrive in the classroom, and other students are solo learners who get distracted by large groups. Disadvantages of Online Learning
  • Inability To Focus On Screens-For many students, one of the biggest challenges of online learning is the struggle with focusing on the screen for long periods of time. With online learning, there is also a greater chance for students to be easily distracted by social media or other sites. Therefore, it is imperative for the teachers to keep their online classes crisp, engaging, and interactive to help students stay focused on the lesson.
  • Technology Issues -Another key challenge of online classes is internet connectivity. While internet penetration has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years, in smaller cities and towns, a consistent connection with decent speed is a problem. Without a consistent internet connection for students or teachers, there can be a lack of continuity in learning for the child. This is detrimental to the education process.
  • Sense Of Isolation -Students can learn a lot from being in the company of their peers. However, in an online class, there are minimal physical interactions between students and teachers. This often results in a sense of isolation for the students. In this situation, it is imperative that the school allow for other forms of communication between the students, peers, and teachers. This can include online messages, emails and video conferencing that will allow for face-to-face interaction and reduce the sense of isolation.
  • Teacher Training -Online learning requires teachers to have a basic understanding of using digital forms of learning. However, this is not the case always. Very often, teachers have a very basic understanding of technology. Sometimes, they don’t even have the necessary resources and tools to conducts online classes.To combat this, it is important for schools to invest in training teachers with the latest technology updates so that they can conduct their online classes seamlessly.
  • Manage Screen Time-Many parents are concerned about the health hazards of having their children spend so many hours staring at a screen. This increase in screen time is one of the biggest concerns and disadvantages of online learning. Sometimes students also develop bad posture and other physical problems due to staying hunched in front of a screen.A good solution to this would be to give the students plenty of breaks from the screen to refresh their mind and their body.

Disadvantages Of An Online Examination System

Online assessments have gotten something beyond a pattern in India. The remarkable ascent in internet learning has made online tests an important asset for instructive organizations and corporates. While understudies pick serious tests like Feline, JEE, Door, etc, working experts select tests like UPSC, GMAT, Bank PO, or CAT. The shared factor here is online assessments.

Pen and paper tests are as of now being enhanced or rather subbed by online evaluation stages, because of quick digitalization. An investigation by KPMG states that the online assessment industry is required to develop into an amazing USD 11 billion market by 2021. Appropriately so, since it is the second-biggest e-learning market after the US.

Let us look at the disadvantages of an online examination system:

  • Challenges in Technology Adoption
  • Infrastructural Barriers
  • Difficulty in Grading Long-answer Type
  • Susceptible to Cheating
  • Transitioning to Open-Book Exams
challenges in technology adaptation

Executing another framework may make a minor interruption and require time of acclimation by the clients. Any change from conventional procedure to the online mode will require some speculation from instructive establishments to update the frameworks. Nonetheless, acclimating the two understudies and educators with the progress is the ideal route forward. Such preparation would instruct understudies and educators about the new highlights and advantages of an online assessment framework.

infrastructural barriers

One of the significant weaknesses of the online assessment framework surfaces in distant areas where admittance to power stable web association and other fundamental framework prerequisites are hard to meet. Such boundaries obstruct online tests. Along these lines, while moving to the online mode, establishments should consider whether everything understudies can show up for the test and what plans can be made to guarantee something very similar.

difficulty in grading long-type answers

Despite the fact that online assessments have facilitated the invigilators’ work, the issue emerges generally with long answer-type questions. Abstract answers require manual reviewing, for which inspectors need to contribute extra time. This is the place where the cutting-edge framework covers with the customary one. As innovation in the instruction area keeps on advancing, the reviewing of emotional answers would get simpler.

suspectable to cheating

One of the significant impediments of an online assessment framework is cheating. Particularly in high-stakes tests, understudies regularly resort to pantomime, making colleges speculate test-takers’ character. Understudies may likewise get outer assistance through cell phones or smartwatches. The frameworks utilized by up-and-comers likewise offer various bamboozling openings, for example, interfacing outer capacity gadgets, screen sharing, and so forth.

transtioning to open-book exams

Normally, the configuration of online tests is seen as much the same as open-book tests. Dissimilar to a customary test setting where outer materials are not allowed inside the test corridor, there is no such arrangement in the advanced organization. Truth be told, it is hard to prevent understudies from alluding to their investigation materials during an online evaluation. Also, there is an absence of oversight during the test meeting, which risks the validity of these tests.

HOW TO STUDY AMIDST PANDEMIC

“Victory comes from finding
opportunities in problems.”

Do you prefer to study at home? We millennials have an inherent ability to sneakily use social media during classes, whether in the classroom or online. During our lectures, we know how to eat, sleep, and chat, and that tradition will continue online as well.

But, by the end of the day, don’t we get to do anything useful? It may be navigating congested roads in the rain, maintaining positive social relationships, or engaging in practical learning. During this online process, we will miss out on all of that. So, in such a situation, how does one become productive? It all comes down to self-control, in my opinion. Nobody is pressuring us to read, study, or do something productive; there is no pressure, and we have complete control of how we spend our time.

Which is better: online or in a classroom? Since it is much more receptive and engrossing, the solution is a classroom environment. Learning online, on the other hand, has its advantages. With more spare time on our side, we become more productive time managers. Having said that, I am aware that most of us fall victim to the vicious cycle of procrastination, and to combat this, I have begun to use the Pomodoro technique, which appears to be successful. It divides work into 25-minute chunks, with a 5-minute leisure break in between and a 20-minute reward break after 2 hours or so. It assists me in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Nobody knows how our educational environment can shift in the coming months, so we must make the most of the time we have and learn some useful skills while we’re at it.

INEQUITY UNMASKED

The Indian education system is based on elitism, with educational accessibility serving as a major dividing line between various socioeconomic groups of a culture. The hierarchical organization of society based on caste or ‘varna’ – the caste system (‘varna vyavastha’) ascribed a rank to the person that marked virtually every aspect of Hindu social life – was one way in which this inequality manifested itself in ancient society. The caste status of a person dictated their privileges (or lack thereof). Many social, religious, and economic advantages were conferred on the upper-caste ‘brahmins,’ including education, while the lower castes were denied entry. The government of the post-colonial Indian state attempted to resolve and abolish such disparities by enacting the Right to Education Act, which required all children under the age of 14 to attend school, as well as the Reservation Policy. In today’s coronavirus-shaped world, inequality is once again exposed: access to the internet and mobile devices, rather than one’s social status, has become the deciding factor.

The repercussions for the general population were immediate and serious when the Indian government declared a full lockdown on the 24th of March 2020 in the hopes of controlling a COVID-19 outbreak. The lockdown, in addition to triggering its own set of issues, revealed the education system’s existing flaws and deteriorating structure. This population did not include families living in poverty who could barely afford regular meals, let alone technological devices, emphasizing the ever-widening divide between the wealthy and the poor.

Online learning has had a positive effect on the education sector; it has sparked a desire for Open and Distance Learning (ODL), as the curriculum promotes self-learning and customization of the syllabus to the students’ needs. However, since the latter is only reaped by a small percentage of the population, the negative consequences greatly outweigh the positive.

Another effect of the curfew on Indian education has been a dramatic rise in the number of students dropping out. For most poor families, the economic fallout from the lockdown resulted in unemployment and a decline in earning power. Children were forced to drop out of school as a result, forcing them into the job market.

The Mid-Day Meal (MDM) programme, which aimed to provide food for students in government schools, was also lost as a result of the lockdown and subsequent school closure.

Ramesh Nishank, the Union Minister of Human Resource Development, announced an increased allocation of funds of Rs. 1700 crores to ensure the provision of MDMs to students even during the lockdown. During the lockout, however, it was discovered that 40% of the qualifying children did not receive MDMs. On the 1st of February 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the Union Budget 2021, which outlined the allocation of funds to various sectors. The budgetary allocation for the government’s flagship education programme, Samagra Shiksha Abhyaan, has been reduced from Rs. 38,751 crores to Rs. 31,050 crores for the coming fiscal year. If the government fails to place a high priority on public education, the detrimental consequences will last for generations and decades. Unemployment would eventually rise, affecting almost every part of society and the economy.

Thanks to the lockdown, schooling took on a new structure overnight, requiring students and teachers to navigate a novel system of adjusting to an online education forum. Humans are social animals that rely on face-to-face communication for successful communication, and the educational field is no exception. In the absence of this face-to-face learning, ground-level proficiency is broken, especially for students studying fundamental concepts and skills that they will need during their lives at the elementary level. Furthermore, students’ practical effectiveness in the field of STEM, where conceptual comprehension and practical applications are at the center of learning, has decreased.

The curfew has forever changed the face of Indian education. The advantages of the blended learning system are only available to those in the upper echelons of society, making the rest unprotected. The issue of quality education accessibility has always existed in the Indian system; it is only now that it has been exacerbated in the face of the pandemic and revealed for all to see.

5 Best Websites for Online Courses

Everything is available online nowadays, be it food, clothes or furniture. Everything is just one click away, even education.

We’ve all wished to gain education from the top universities but were unable to do so for unforeseeable reasons. Some found interest in a subject they were completely unaware of. While others just want to gain some extra skills and learn something new.

With the availability of online education, your dream to acquire a degree from top universities has come true.
Thousands of courses are available on these websites to choose from and they have flexible hours. So you can complete the course according to your own pace.

Here’s a list of top 5 websites for online courses:

  1. Khan Academy:

Started in 2006 by an educator named Salman Khan, Khan Academy is a non-profit academy. It aims to provide free education to everyone and all around the world. 

It is free for both teachers and students. It provides education from the root level, i.e., kindergarten to early college level. 

All the subjects are available on Khan Academy. Be it maths, grammar, history, science and even SAT exam preparation. 

The lectures are not very long and do not make studying boring or monotonous. 

It has some of the most famous partners as its founding partner. Namely, Google, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Reed Hastings.

  1. Coursera:

Coursera is one of the most famous and loved websites by students. It has over 35 million learners and has partnered with 150 top universities from around the world. To name some, Yale, Stanford and the University of Michigan.
Talking about the courses available, Coursera has 2700 courses, 250 specializations and four degrees. Some courses also provide certificates on completion. 

It is the leading provider of massive open online courses.
Some of the courses are free and the paid courses mostly range between $29-$99. But the specializations and degrees have high prices. 

  1. Udemy:

Udemy has around 30 million students and 100,000 courses for you to choose from. Courses are taught in over 50 languages.
It has some of the most expert faculties. With 42,000 instructors and 22 million minutes of video instruction, Udemy is a widely loved website for online education. 

Courses on Udemy are not free but don’t cost much. The price ranges between $9 to $500 depending on the type of course. 

It does not partner with universities but it allows independent creators and educators to create courses and teach online in the subject of their specialization. 

  1. edX:

A non-profit education platform, established by Harvard and MIT, edX aims to break the three barriers in education: cost, location and access.

It has 20 million learners from all around the world. And provide 2400 courses, the majority of which are provided by top-ranked universities in the world.
Some of the courses are free while you may need to pay for some. One of the best things about using edX is that on completion of your course you are rewarded with an official certificate as proof.

  1. Stanford Online:

It offers free online as well as professional certificate, advanced degrees and executive education. Currently, Stanford Online is imparting education to millions of teachers and students. 

It offers courses from Stanford Law School, Stanford Business School and Stanford medical school and many others. 

Many other websites provide online courses that are free or paid. These were some of the most loved and preferred ones. 

Education should be accessible to all and everywhere around the world and that’s exactly what these websites aim for. 

They are simple to use websites and accessible to people of all ages because learning has no age. 

It will not only help you learn something new but will also add skill to your professional career. 

Happy learning!

Online Education

The meaning of schools has changed after the COVID-19 outbreak. Classes are being conducted in an online medium. This is the ‘new normal’ for the students of India.

How do the students learn?

When I was in 9th standard, we had a chapter in our English textbook about the education system in future. The students there studied through computers and did not go to school. At that time I often thought that I would never have to study and learn via computers and laptops. It has been almost ten months at home and I guess this has taught me that online education is possible but, I do miss going to school.

Online education is often called – distance learning, distance education, virtual learning, online learning, learning web-based training. Online education is electronically supported learning that relies on the Internet for teacher – student interaction and the distribution of class materials.

Some online educational programs are conducted exclusively through assigned lessons and assessments administered online. Others take the form of remote lectures where students join the class via the cameras on their laptops, and the instructor teaches or lectures from his own computer. Other courses are a combination of the two, requiring students to do a fair amount of independent research.

In my school, the classes are taken through Google Meet. The google meet link is shared in the class Whatsapp group. In my friend’s school the classes are conducted through Zoom. Teachers also present their screens in the meeting so that we can understand the concept clearly. After the class, the teachers assign us different assignments which we have to complete and submit in PDF form in a limited time. We also have exams online. First, the teachers share a Google Form for one mark questions; then they share the descriptive/writing part of the paper in Google Classroom. We are given half an hour to solve the one mark questions on Google Form and two and a half hours to solve and write the descriptive part. We have to write this part in our notebook, scan the pages and submit it in Google Classroom in PDF form within a fixed time period. These modern day learning applications are compatible with desktops/laptops as well as any smartphone.

Pros of online education

  1. Study from anywhere. There is no need to go to a particular place to study. We can study indoors as well as outdoors. Even if you are ill, you can attend the classes easily. 
  2. Flexible learning schedule is observed in online education. A lot of time is saved in learning online. You can also do a part time job and learn. 
  3. Students can control study time because of the flexibility in the timetable. They also get extra time for sports and hobbies.
  4. There is no transportation fee to reach the school that lowers the overall cost. (There is no need to buy shoes and socks!) 
  5. The minimum infrastructure required for online learning is a smartphone and internet connection. As the country is witnessing a digital boom, it is expected that the poor people can also afford and access these classes easily.
  6. Improves the student’s technical skills. To join the classes, a student needs to learn to operate computers and various other apps. 
  7. There is no bullying or ragging involved in this method of education. The students are also free from stress and anxiety. Hence, each student is physically and mentally healthy.
  8. Teachers can also share subject related videos to students to make the learning fun and interesting. In a traditional classroom environment, this would require projector and sound system setup.    

Due to the following reasons, many people choose online education over the traditional classroom interactional education.

Are online classes being able to replace traditional classrooms?

With the rise of the pandemic and the extended lockdown, educational institutions have been prompted to shift towards online teaching. While initially digital classrooms seem to be a great alternative, whether it can successfully replace traditional classroom teaching is a question yet to be answered. Online teaching has also posed a threat to students belonging to the economically backward sections of the society. In a country like India, a great percentage of students do not have the access to such means or find it difficult to avail those options.

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According to survey findings there is a noticeable change in behavior and habits following the forced lockdown among the school goers. The sleep cycle and sleeping pattern of nearly 50 per cent children have been disturbed. It also indicates that 13 per cent of children have no regular pattern of sleeping. As a result, 67 per cent of parents think that their child’s screen time has gone up by at least 50 per cent during the lockdown. Increased screen time is known to severely affect concentration levels and leading to insomnia and other sleep disorders. The fear of pandemic has affected children in the worst way, nearly 40 per cent of the children who were surveyed, have been known to have mental health and unaddressed anxiety issues.

Schools and Colleges have set timetable in such a way so that there are breaks in between classes but because of network connectivity issues, students have started logging in earlier, which have lessened the break times. A teacher said in an interview, “In the first month, things were fine but with time students are losing interest and a kind of boredom is setting in even for the bright kids. For students in senior classes or those who will appear for board exams there is pressure from teachers and parents which is taxing.” After attending classes online, many students are also sitting for online tuition or extracurricular activity classes.

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Teachers of many schools have reported that students have become “more subdued” in class and their energy levels have decreased than before. According to psychiatrists and teachers, months of being inside and attending classes from within the screen has made students “fatigued” and “demotivated.” Even students who are academically strong have not been responding in class like before, teachers said. They have observed that the “naughty and mischievous” ones who would always be up to some mischief in classrooms have become “quiet and subdued” during online classes.

Psychiatrist Jai Ranjan Ram said to a newspaper, “Teachers are trying but online classes are not the same as what school was for children. No wonder they are feeling demotivated and fatigued. They have to attend continuous classes on the screen, at times not on laptops but on phones. All this while there is monotony of the same environment. It’s difficult to maintain a sense of well-being. In an online class the nuances of non-verbal communication are completely lost.”

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Sneha Priya S, Co-Founder & CEO of SP Robotic Works, has said, “Covid has proven to be the turnstile for education in India. The current situation has unearthed the immense potential of platforms with experiential and interactive learning which engage children in practical tasks and logical reasoning.”

In a physical classroom, students and teachers would even discuss things not related to academics and eagerly share their experiences. While there are downsides, there are also some positive aspects to it. Educational institutions have been closed for months at a stretch. With online classes there is the possibility to catch up with studies. Many students feel that at least in an online mode there is some form of interaction which helps them in these trying times. Online classes have made possible for students and teachers to get back to their routines within safe conditions. They also provide students with something to look forward to everyday. But amidst the current social conditions, students long to go back to their campuses. As we adjust to the ‘new normal’ many young people who are at the beginning of their career are also uncertain of what challenges they might face in the future.

ONLINE LEARNING-PROS V/S CONS

The Majestic year 2020 is marked by two major events.One is the Onset of the worst pandemic that the entire world is reeling under and the other as the title suggests is Online learning!

The Use of Online Learning or E Learning has skyrocketed in the recent times as the only mode of education in a social distancing setup.Indeed it is a necessity as education cannot be put to rest halting the progress of millions of students.As a coin has two sides,similarly online form of education has it’s own perks and drawbacks.So lets find out more!

Online schooling is a popular alternative to attending a brick-and-mortar college or university. Though online students don’t get the face-to-face experiences of a typical on-campus student, there are many benefits and advantages to online learning, also known as distance learning or e-learning.

While not every program or school imaginable has an online option, a large number of them do, and many programs are nationally or regionally accredited. Students can learn through online lectures, projects and discussions. Online degree programs are available at every level, from certificates to doctorates.

Owing to the Covid situation,organisations that used to vouch for traditional methods of education are now radically shifting towards online education because there is no other alternative.Earlier online education used to be an alternative, now it is the only choice for those who want to desperately continue their education.

When Online Education is the new reality,it is very essential to keep in mind it’s advantages and disadvantages to take maximum benefits out of it and also minimize stress levels.

Advantages

-Convenient Learning:It can be undertaken anywhere ranging from a tiny corner in the living room to a study table in the bedroom and without a particular dress code(still modest dressing is expected).

-No Infrastructure:No physical infrastructure such as building,classrooms and benches are required for online education.

-Less Travelling: In Online classes there is no need to undertake strenuous travelling routines as students can attend the classes from the comfort of their homes.

-Recordings:Unlike the Traditional Systems,Online Education system provides an option of class recording and hence students can re watch the class recordings to make concepts clear.

-Virtual Reality(VR):Teachers in the online mode can make use of Virtual Reality Techniques to make students understand complex topics in an interesting way.

disadvantages

-Motivation:The laid back nature of the online classes do not provide much motivation to the students.Students do not take online classes to be as serious as classroom and thus do not pay attention.

-Lack of Concrete Assessments:Online mode of education has so far not been promising for people with theoretical subjects as it is difficult to conduct heavy exams here.

-No practicals:People Who study medicine,chemistry and physics an understand how bad this can be!There are certain subjects which cannot be simply taught,practicals and experiments have to be performed to further the understanding.Online education does not support this.

-Stress on health:The negative impacts of online mode of education on the health of the students is indisputable!Several students have complained of migraines,back aches,eye pain and so forth.Students psychologically too have not been able to cope up with the sudden shift and are suffering.

Thus,Online mode of education is a tricky one and should be suitable for certain conditions,Since it is the only alternative now, educationists and policy makers should study the pros and cons to make amends in the present online education structure to suit the demands of students.We have to always remember that Education is fruitful only when it reaches learners effectively!

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Stay Knowledgeable!

student life on online classes during pandemic.

Online education is very treading during pandemic season has been increasing in popularity over the past decade. By the according of studies the number of college student taking online classes double over the past five years high school student enrolled in students are online courses are steady increases as well, and then direct middle school have jumped on the type of e-learning bandwagon. The minds of parents and educators is the weather or not of online courses can give on student the discussion-rich, rounded and learning experience traditional classrooms can.

BENEFITS –

The online classes are specially college online courses, can be quite beneficial for busy student. The flexible as far as give time management because student don’t have to commute and class at a given time during of a week. Classes can often be a more cost- effective than traditional than the classes are done by at a pace student is comfortable.

For middle and high and middle school as college student are the logistics of online courses also be a beneficial. Adding online classes to their regular class load help struggling or risk students make failed other wise make credit attributable to being transient. By able to play the online student can graduate on time with the classmates.

BAD IMPACTS DURING THIS PANDEMIC SEASON –

But the student accustomed to an of a learning are already exists of concern over the loss of social, interactive of education. Logging form the home problems for some students. of other internet access of the campus have been the vacate.

The during corona virus pandemic has an a unprecedented rise in screen time and Dr. Howard Taylor said by the strict containment measure mean and more are replying on the technology and digital solution to the children learning, entertained and outside world but not have necessary knowledge, skills and resources of themselves safe on online.

Their are more than children and young and elders have been affected by school closures. Many those student are now taking the classes as well socialization more more than online.

The long of lock down for the pandemic time has been closed school, colleges, institute and citywide classroom of the ten thousand students are cities and also villages, towns are in computer and smartphone through screen take to online apps tutorials and assessments. And, the E-learning poses as a challenge of both teachers and over technology access, but keeping by everyone buys with workshop, lectures and assignment. Some of the institute are uploading lectures to you tube, while lectures on DTH online to the help of student, And Andhra pradesh is trying tap Doordarshan remove access barriers. The some institute have a adopted the zoom app, google classroom, google meet,Yet are the instruction are unable to say how effective and not every tuning in here of system has rolled out. The parents are finding are difficulty to adjust of online system of children. ?Due to lock down. Some parents says are the school are going only justify the fees in April. Without textbook of new session on studying material as terse message.

The Changing Landscape of Education During COVID-19

illustration by Sara Gironi Carnevale

Learn about the impact on children due to COVID-19 that has forced the schools to adapt with online education.

Imparting online education to children amid the COVID-19 crises has emerged as the go-to solution for schools looking to resume the classes amid the need to continue social distancing till a vaccine for the pandemic is found. Conducting online classes is helping education institutions across the world to beat the coronavirus lockdown and push ahead with the academic calendar. 

However, this trend has raised numerous concerns among the educational experts, at the United Nations Children’s Emergency Funds (UNICEF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). While some of them have expressed alarm about the potential dangers of internet exposure for young kids, others say they are scared that this digital shift may alienate the economically disadvantaged students who lack access to the technology needed to attend the digitally conducted classes. 

The internet exposure puts children at high risk of online sexual exploitation and grooming, as predators look to exploit the coronavirus pandemic. Online grooming is a worrying product of the internet and social media age, in which predatory adults builds online relationships with gullible children and trick or pressure them into sexual behaviour. 

Moreover, under the shadow of COVID-19, millions of children’s lives have temporarily shrunk to just their homes and screens of devices. It is high time we should adapt ourselves with the current situation and help our children to navigate this new reality. 

According to a report issued by the UNESCO, ‘Half of the total number of learners, about 826 million students kept out of the classroom by the pandemic, don’t have access to a household computer or a smartphone device. While 43 percent have no internet at home when the online based distance education is being opted by the schools and educational institutions to ensure continuity of academic year for students in different countries of the world.’ 

Challenges of Online Education 

There are many challenges when it comes to imparting the online education: 

Students who reside in small towns and villages struggle to get a good internet connection speed and mostly are unable to attend the online classes. This will especially prove disadvantage during the exam time as half the students will fail for sure because they will not to connect due to bad internet connection. 

Many of the students don’t have the devices, smartphones and laptops or money to keep the internet connection while also paying the school fees. These are the real challenges which hinder the process of the online learning. 

Not just students, some school teachers and educators are also struggling to get a hang of the technology. The school wants them to make PowerPoint Presentations (PPTs), record the video lectures, and take online classes through different apps and online platforms, but they aren’t instructed clearly as to how this should be done. This is more common among adults of 60 years and above who find the online medium to impart education quite challenging due to lack of hands-on experience with the latest technology.

The lack of real-world interaction among the students and teachers is another challenging factor that could have a negative impact on their relationships compared to regular classes. 

A New Reality

 As the security concerns of the video conferencing apps such as Zoom emerged in the early days of lockdown with regards to conducting online lessons, meetings and private appointments, most schools have started searching for alternatives to keep the academic year 2020-21 going and not suffer much with disruption owing to coronavirus pandemic. 

The COVID-19 has spawned up an unprecedented dependence on technology that keep up the operations running across different sectors and its potential long-term impact on the economy and lives of people across the world. Studies are been conducted on the increasing dependency on the gadgets among the children and adults to monitor its impact on mental health. 

Now it is more vital to provide child protection services to ensure they remain open and active throughout the pandemic, by ensuring that the devices they use have the latest software updates and antivirus programs for precautions against cyber attacks and threats. 

Additionally, UNESCO has advised the use of television and radio broadcasts as an alternative to reduce the already existing inequalities among students seeking to continue their education with the online classes.

My Educational Learning Plan for the Coronavirus-Induced Hiatus

I, like many of you, have gone into a somewhat involuntary social distancing and isolation (mostly) due to my school and health club closures and recommendation to stay away from crowds. It’s just my cats and I (gives new meaning to home alone). Having a plan to engage my mind and body is of utmost importance. I am sharing my plan of activities, which are almost all free, as it may give other educators some ideas. If you have additional ideas, please share them in the comments.

Working Remotely with My Gifted Elementary Students

I work with gifted students one day a week. Our state and thus my district made an extremely quick decision to close the schools – heard last Thursday night and was told to send home with students Chromebooks along with lessons on Friday, a half day. Obviously most of the teachers didn’t have time to develop lesson plans and learning activities. I met with my learners quickly on Friday, as so much was going on, and asked them to check in with a shared Google doc and our Google Classroom. What follows are the general tasks they are being asked to do during our regularly scheduled gifted day.

  • Writing Children’s Book Narrative – Prior to the school closing, my learners spent quite a bit of time learning how to write a children’s book using a Dr. Seuss type of writing style (yes, I know he is controversial but I like his writing style). The goal is to have them write their stories, illustrate them with cut out shapes made with a Cricut or a laser cutter, and then create Makey Makey Talking Books out of them. They just reached the point of writing their own narratives when the school closed. I asked each of them to share their stories with me via a Google doc. They were instructed to add to their stories during our hiatus, that I would provide feedback and suggestions directly on their shared Google docs. Then when we return, we can jump into creating the illustrations.
  • Newsela – For those who don’t know, Newsela is best-in-class library of high-interest, cross-curricular current news and nonfiction texts.. They have offered all teachers access to Newsela ELA, Newsela Social Studies, Newsela Science and the SEL Collection for FREE for the rest of the school year. At home, my learners are being asked to do the same thing they do in class – pick an article of personal interest, read it, and take the quiz where they need to get at least 3 out of 4 correct. If they don’t, they need to choose another article to read and follow the same procedure.
  • Prodigy Math Game – For those who don’t know, Prodigy is no-cost math game where kids can earn prizes, go on quests and play with friends — all while learning math. With Prodigy math homework is disguised as a video-game. My learners love it. I typically don’t give them class time to play it as I prefer hands-on, learner-to-learner interactive math activities. Since they will be at home, I asked them to play it for an hour during our typical gifted days to keep up with and improve their math skills.
  • Code.org – My 4th graders have working through the Code.org Course F . They were asked to continue working on this through our hiatus while my 5th and 6th graders were asked to join and work on the Code.org CS in Algebra.
  • Maker Camphttps://makercamp.com/project-paths/ and the Maker Stations Home Pack (see download below) : Since we do a lot of making in my gifted classes, I am requesting that my learners pick a project or two to try at home. It has been posted as an assignment via Google Classroom and they have been asked to post pictures of it. I will later (at school or at home depending how long the school closing lasts) ask them to blog about their processes.

Here is their schedule that I posted in Google Classroom for them.

The online applications – Newsela, Prodigy, and Code.org – have teacher dashboards so I can track progress and give them feedback. For their writing, I can give feedback directly on their Google docs, and for their maker projects, they are to post pictures to Google classroom.


Professional Development – Virtual Style

I plan on doing some PD in my pajamas – in other words, virtual style.

Attending Some Virtual Conferences

  • 2020 Share My Lesson Virtual Conference – is a free virtual conference from March 24-26, with over over 30 webinars focusing on instructional strategies across the curriculum, social-emotional learning, activism, STEM, and trauma-informed practices. This is a fantastic conference. I attend every year. The sessions and presenters from professional organizations are top notch!
  • CUE Spring Conference – Computer-Using Educators (CUE) is a California-based non-profit that offers a premiere educational technology conference each spring. This year, because of coronavirus, they are going virtual offering sessions from March 19 through April 5. There is a $75 fee for the virtual conference.

Taking Some Online Classes

  • The Power of Mathematics Visualization – There is a nominal fee for this course but it looks good and might help me develop some interesting strategies for teaching mathematics to my gifted students.
  • Code Academy Pro – They are offering Pro free to students and teachers. It’ll give me an opportunity to learn some advanced code.

Doing Some Maker Projects

Because I use lots of maker education projects in my gifted education classes and our school has a new STEAM lab, this forced hiatus is giving me the opportunity to try out some new projects including:


My Physical Health

I work out in group fitness classes several days a week. It verges on addiction. When I don’t get to do so, I get stressed out. Plus, it provides me with needed social interactions. So when my health club decided to limit their services, I became distraught. Luckily, though, I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, so I plan to go on lots of hikes and am fixing up my bicycle to ride – hoping that the weather permits it. I am going to do online fitness classes. Oh, and, of course, cleaning my house from top to bottom will add an other fitness element. I absolutely know my physical workouts and health will positively affect my mental health.

Stay healthy, happy, and wise!