Online Learning: A New Reality for Educational Institutions (Part 1)
This is part 1 of a two-part article on Online Education as a New Reality for Educational Institutions. This part focuses on contextualizing e-learning within the larger system of education and the need to switch from traditional education.
The internet has, no doubt, taken over the world. It is a silent spider, casting its sticky web in every direction, catching in its calculated threads, the most unsuspecting subjects. The good news is, this web helps connect us to each other better and grant us access to rich sources of information.
It is, then, no surprise to see that the internet has pervaded into and transformed the workings of traditional education systems around the world. Though ‘e-learning’ has become a household word only in the last decade thanks to internet connectivity widening in reach and accessibility, the concept of distance learning itself is not an invention of the 21st century. In as early as the 1840s, English teacher Isaac Pitman developed a correspondence system where his pupils, remotely located, could learn shorthand lessons from him. In the 1960s, a computer-based learning system was developed. Contemporary models of online education that we see today are based on these pioneering works, building on their strengths and fixing their shortcomings.
“Online Education is like a rising tide, it’s going to lift all boats.”
– Anant Agarwal (CEO of EdX, a leading e-learning platform)
Online education has slowly been gaining traction ever since because of its ease of access and scope for outreach but unforeseen emergencies like the current global lock-down have hastened the need for educational institutions to adapt to online models of teaching, with the additional need to go through the transition much quicker than they organically would have had to. Now, educational institutions ranging from playschools to world-renowned universities have begun conducting classes online. Although it might cause transitional difficulties at early stages, online education is beneficial in the long-run because it can facilitate continuous learning in-spite of obstructions that might have put traditional learning on-hold.
Choosing an online platform for e-learning can be a hard task because while one platform might offer better features, another might be more user-friendly. An ideal platform should be able to use the advantages of technology while keeping the core values of traditional education intact, thus making a space where learning can flow uninterrupted.
 Source for History of E-learning: https://www.talentlms.com/elearning/history-of-elearning
 Image Source: Pixabay