With J&K administration once again extending closure of educational institutes till further orders, a recent parent-teacher highlighted the concerns of Kashmir students craving for campus life while grappling with “monotonous” online classes proving to be a “marvelous” learning experience elsewhere.
ON August 3, 2019, Farhana Hakeem—then 9th standard student from Srinagar’s Hawal locality—realized amid rumours that her classroom outing would be soon cut short. She brusquely prepared small learning engagement for her forthcoming home confinement. But her ‘plagued’ screen-learning overwrote her entire schedule during consecutive lockdowns.
“Initially, the 2G-powered online classes were utter nuisance,” Farhana, now Class 11 student, says. “And once the high-speed internet was restored, we were engaged in the syllabus-completion race. The monotonous classes hardly kept the curiosity alive and drained us so much that most of my classmates hardly feel motivated for other online learning opportunities.”
But while Farhana and swarms of students in the valley are making an “uneasy peace” with the “dull and demanding” online classes, their counterparts elsewhere are literally thriving on e-learning.
Goutham Ramesh, Coonoor, (Tamil Nadu)
As the online learning became a norm, I enrolled myself in a course with about 24 video lectures. The average time per lecture was 16 minutes. Most lectures had study materials and assignment worksheets as PDF. Once enrolled, we’ve lifetime access. You’ve to take the classes on Udemy. I received a certificate after completing my course.
I enrolled for another course on voice training which I will be starting soon. I also attended college lectures for a few days. I found that to be more effective than regular classes. I’m a fan of online education. It’s a marvelous learning engagement. I find more value in it because it gives me more democracy. In terms of choosing my pace, my comfort setting and the repetition helps me understand better.
For people who can inculcate some discipline, online education is a fortune. They’ll make the most out of it by going for many online courses.
Minu Nair, Ernakulam (Kerala)
Apart from studies, I realized that this online learning process is an opportunity to improve one’s profile. Since I’m drawn into content writing, I decided to upskill my profile—considering the whole job war going on now—especially in the area I’m interested in: Digital Marketing.
You’ve got to be updated about every change on each platform. It’s an industry that’s constantly evolving. I came across LinkedIn Learning a while ago and explored the platform. There were so many courses for so many areas of interest. I decided I had to seize the opportunity now that I’ve all the time in the world to update my resume. I did a few digital marketing courses like Social Media Marketing: Strategy and Optimisation, Google Search Ads or Google Online Fundamentals.
There’s so much to learn from the internet and I’d be stupid to not use this to my advantage. The courses were really good and informative. Some of them even allow practical exercises.
Sachin Tantry, Bengaluru (Karnataka)
Online learning was an interesting experience when everything is happening online. The best part was—there was no attendance problem, and I could watch these sessions whenever I had free time and even watch it repeatedly.
E-learning is good and equally the new normal. And this new normal has already opened so many learning opportunities for me.
Ryan Jena, Rayagada (Odisha)
A world without internet is like a world without meaning. I say this because of the progressively rushing world around me. I’ve been taking up workshops online, ever since the lockdown has commenced.
The pandemic gave us all enough time to retrospect and I’ve been working on myself — as a budding writer, photographer and a self-taught musician.
Monisha Phukan, Jonai (Assam)
I’ve been highly inclined towards art and music ever since I remember. I guess I get this from my mother. She’s a professional Bihu dancer in Assam. It’s really difficult to get any online classes or courses which teach you art, painting, doodling.
But fortunately, I came across an Instagram Live session by Shikha Karn, founder of Artistick. She drew like magic and I couldn’t resist but joined.
I learnt to doodle and paint in those online sessions by her. It was a great experience. I’m very happy that I took it. Now, my house looks more ‘Artistick’ than ever.
Prithviraj Kulkarni, Ranebennur (Karnataka)
With the digital platform paving the avenue in the structural educational sector, seldom did any of us harbour a thought of whether or not we would be able to make full use of the resources this platform would offer.
As a student, I was exposed to the idea of online educational programs. Sure enough there were enticing courses and materials that one, sitting in any corner of the world, could benefit from with a mere click of a button. But that is more of an idealistic vision. There wasn’t a concrete effort to harness this vision with real-time resources, but that was only until Covid-19 bulldozed its way into this paradigm.
What transpired next was the obvious paradigm shift, as everything that was jotted on a piece of paper was now being pitched as the central idea.
At the outset, I found online learning to be intimidating, but it wasn’t too late that I found comfort in the supposed pedagogical revolution that was taking place.
The routes I have established through online sessions have done wonders and helped me learn more finely. Internet coupled with traditional pedagogy is helping students like me tap into the recesses we always aspired to work with.
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