It seems like half of our daily life exists in the virtual world. From entertainment to conversations, we seek aid of the online world. So when we are so comfortable in this digital world and sometimes even prefer it to the real world, why not use it for education and learning.
There are thousands and thousands of courses available online paid and for free from all sorts of fields like science, art, language, music, dancing, photography, technology, software, spiritual learning, art of living and what not.
The first advantage of online education is that it eliminates the limitations of geographical accessibility and classroom infrastructure. A person from any country in the world can access the education and courses provided by other countries in the world without having to even leave their room and even can get certification for such courses. It also solves the problem of unavailability of a desired course near your area of residence.
According to a report by the US-India Policy Institute in Washington, based on data from the 64th round of NSSO survey 2007-08, in India only 2% of rural population, 12% of urban population is educated beyond higher secondary level because of lack of teachers, infrastructure or affordability. But if they turn to online education, all it needs is access to internet.
Online educational videos and lessons can also be used by teachers in their classroom as a tool of teaching and they can also suggest these videos to students for self-study. The benefit of such exercise is that many times, students hesitate to ask questions and to ask to repeat the concept and they are afraid that they are going to be judged and laughed at for their stupid question. But when they are taking a lesson through a video, they have the liberty to rewind, pause or replay it.
With the help of online learning, students (or anyone for that matter) can learn at their own time and in the comfort and intimacy of their room. When students are provided the freedom of learning at their own pace, time and in their own way, they tend to learn better and with more enthusiasm.
In a time when we are losing the intimacy of human interaction, some would argue that we need to discourage people from using the internet instead of encouraging it. But it has been found that prior knowledge of the subject can encourage productive interaction and discussions in the classroom because students are eager to discuss in class when they feel that they understand the subject.
Today is the time when we need better education and today’s generation is the one which is able to make productive use of the virtual world, so why not connect education with internet and have the best of both.