Online vs offline education: Amid edtech boom, Covid is blessing in disguise for traditional players too

August 31, 2020 11:55 AM

Increased action on the edtech scene is a blessing for offline education brands as it helps to further fine-tune the online learning experience on offer to the students.

The future of education is going to rely heavily on a blended learning approach.
  • By Narasimha Jayakumar

The Covid pandemic has forced educational institutions worldwide to adopt the online mode of teaching in a bid to ensure that learning continues unhindered. While the transition from offline to online learning has been a forced one, necessitated by the virus, it does herald a change in the current system of education, thereby proving to be a huge opportunity to restructure the current methodology of teaching and learning.

The future of education is going to rely heavily on a blended learning approach – an approach that combines the best of both worlds – offline and online. Preparing to bring the best of online education into the classroom by taking advantage of the technology at hand, companies will be looking at gearing up to offer the students powerful learning experience.

It must be pointed out that while pure-play edtech startups are witnessing an exponential adoption of online learning due to the pandemic, it is much easier for traditional offline players to launch a hybrid model of education and adopt the blended learning approach given the logistics of physical infra and set-up.

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So, increased action on the edtech scene is a blessing for offline education brands as it helps to further fine-tune the online learning experience on offer to the students. As a result, when students come into contact with the hybrid model of learning, they get a superlative, flexible and engaging experience. Below are some unique advantages of the hybrid or blended model of education:

  • Personalized attention and continuous supervision: The blended learning approach makes it possible for every student to get personal attention from the teacher, something not very easily doable in the classroom set-up.
  • Increased flexibility for students: The students can attend classes from the safety and comfort of their homes. This often translates to increased attendance in the classes. Whenever there is a need to supplement online lectures with personal interaction with the teacher, the students always have the option.
  • Saves precious time, money and energy spent on commuting long distances
  • Technology for personalized learning experience: Use of Artificial Intelligence will help to customize learning to suit every child’s unique needs and the one-size-fits-all approach followed in traditional classrooms will make way for a more customized approach that eventually leads to better learning outcomes.
  • Becoming self-directed learners: By maintaining high levels of motivation and discipline consistently over time, the student can ensure that he/she is able to make significant gains. This helps the student to gradually move to a self-directed learning style – a style of learning that is very effective in the long run, particularly for higher studies, where the onus of learning rests with the student, to a large extent.

When students learn how to ward off distractions of the internet and those of the remote learning environment to concentrate on their lectures, they tend to make a conscious decision which can favourably impact their learning. The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted education in a big way, but surely some of the long term effects of the pandemic and the resultant lockdown has had some really far-reaching consequences on the structure of education and a re-jig of sorts is definitely in order.

Narasimha Jayakumar is the CEO of Aakash Edutech Pvt. Ltd. Views expressed are the author’s own.

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