What do we gain and what do we lose when classrooms go virtual?
Virtual learning and classroom lessons have their own importance. In these times of pandemic, virtual learning is more important so that the education of children is not hindered. Classrooms are important as the children sit together and concentrate on a particular topic. They are able to learn new skills in such an environment and the teacher has their full attention.
Online education allows for learning something beyond the norm. A learner has access to unlimited topics and global experts in niche subjects – something otherwise not affordable or imaginable for many. Online programs allow people of a wide age group to learn at their own pace, without inhibitions, and without compromising on their other responsibilities.
Using the internet for entertainment is common, but for online lessons is a big challenge. Teachers may not be well-versed with creating digital content, and conveying it effectively online. A sudden expectation from them to upgrade, and from students to adapt, is unfair.
Finally, education is not just about subject knowledge but also about developing social skills and sportsmanship among the students, which is built over years. Relying solely on online education may hinder the holistic development of children, and many may underperform later in their professional and personal lives.