The COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of a nemesis for humanity, but it has made one thing crystal clear: technology is the sole solution to all of our existing woes, constraints, and incompetence. As a citizen of mankind, I am most concerned about the future of education, despite the fact that every soul on the planet, every enterprise, and every small activity has suffered equally.
It’s no longer a given that students and teachers will be physically present in a classroom on a regular basis. Fortunately, that is no longer the only choice. Unfortunately, the alternatives supplied by Information and Communication Technologies, as well as the teachers and students who are required to use them, are not fully prepared. In fact, technology, as it is currently used in schools and universities, is more of a problem than a solution, particularly in India.
Not every teacher or student in India is computer and smartphone savvy. Hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren, for example, lack access to smartphones. There are extra connectivity concerns for those that do. Some people feel that because students’ body language can’t be read and engaging activities can’t be planned online, communication sessions are unproductive. Then there’s the issue of a lack of attention when it comes to small children because no one is present to keep an eye on them. While the list of technological, financial, logistical, and geographical reasons why instructors are struggling to deliver the goods in the online medium is infinite (with the exception of a small percentage of those who work in high-end schools in urban areas), it is the fact that they are.
This raises another question: Does the ordinary human mind react in the same way to all types of change, particularly when it occurs suddenly? Consumer objections such as “It’s not a real store,” “They’ll misuse all our info,” and “What about credit card theft?” were common not long ago when concepts like e-commerce and internet retailing were introduced. as well as other ‘bad’ reactions Today, we have some of the world’s largest e-commerce behemoths controlling the roost. Even everyday meals that could be readily cooked in our kitchens are now ordered online.
Further back in history, the telephone was first chastised for invading people’s privacy! Not only that, the inventor of the radio, Guglielmo Marconi, once questioned his own creation, saying, “Have I done the world well, or have I created a menace?” To top it off, ancient Greeks claimed to be scared of anything as essential to the human mind as writing since, according to Socrates, it would create forgetting.
In other words, it is a historical reality that no change, no matter how sensible, that was subsequently approved and accepted by society was first welcomed by those who lived through the transition. In this post-pandemic environment, the human race is in a similar situation. We have newer, more advanced, and constantly growing communication technology, yet we’re either fearful of the future or confused about whether the change will result in increased productivity in everything we do.
Yes, it’s difficult to comprehend the idea of abandoning the traditional classroom, especially when faced with this huge area known as the Internet. Is this to say that there isn’t any hope? Certainly not! As community online teaching becomes a global option, a lot will change. Not only would an infrastructure that can meet the demands of students and teachers in the most remote parts of the country alleviate technical inadequacies, but it will also increase acceptance. Stakeholders, particularly students, are wary of online services since they aren’t convinced that they will be available to everybody. Preparation and inclusivity are required to instill that confidence.
There should be a sense of belonging, and everyone should feel connected and empowered. Online technologies are essential not just for giving additional academic help once normalcy has been restored, but also for conducting regular classes in the future in the event of similar situations. We may see the creation of centralized teaching systems across the country as online education becomes more relevant and accepted, and stakeholders get more familiar with the technology.
Students and teachers will have more flexibility, more alternatives to choose from, the ability to attend classrooms from anywhere in the world, and it will undoubtedly be more time and cost-effective than traditional methods of imparting education once this concept gains traction.
In conclusion, it is reasonable to assume that the mental transition from a well-established and time-tested teaching methodology to a completely new virtual world of teaching will be difficult; it was never intended to be, but with the luxury of leveraging technology in education suddenly becoming a necessity.
Disclaimer: Views are personal