Can online learning replace classroom learning?

This is an undoubted fact that the digital learning platform has come up as a great ray of hope in the hard times of COVID-19. While all the schools, colleges, and other educational institutions are closed it is the learning management system that has immensely helped in imparting education to the students. 

While sitting home a teacher can connect to hundreds of students using the school management software.  Now the students do not have to carry their ponderous bags with bulky textbooks, instead learn everything on a single click at the comfort of their homes. Moreover, the teachers don’t have to write the notes again and again on the blackboard for each different class she takes but can share them in a ppt. 

Someone has very rightly said “Each soul is potentially great” This line sums up that each student in a classroom is blessed differently by the omnipresent. Hence the speed at which he learns and grasps is different and we often find that a student somewhere feels awkward to ask any doubt to the teacher or revise the concept which she just taught. Though the teacher is ready to revise it even a hundred times until it becomes clear to the student, the child somewhere feels that asking again may make fun of him in front of his friends. However, the child can easily encounter this problem on the digital platform. It is his wish to rewind the lectures as many times as he wants and there is no discomfort or peer pressure at all. 

Oh! so many advantages of online learning and there are hundreds of more left. Hence we can say that the learning management system has smoothened the path of giving and getting knowledge for the teachers and the students respectively. 

Keeping in view these many advantages of online learning there has emerged a new topic of debate and that is- Can online learning replace classroom learning?

Can anyone remember the experience when you were in school? Can you recall the atmosphere of your classroom? It was so strange that we all experienced a magnetic field in the classroom. No, not the magnetic field where our pens or any other metal object was attracting some force. It was the aura, the magnetic field of our teacher that was there and we were attracted to her. We could openly speak, ask, and express. However, the teachers are the same. The students are unfortunately not able to connect to them as they used to in the classrooms. 

Do you remember some questions asked in the classroom whose answer no one knew but just you? You proudly raised your hand and answered. The teacher then used to come and give a pat on your back and appreciate you in front of the entire class. You felt to be at the top of the world. However can the same happen in online learning? Never.  

This is just the relationship between the teachers and the students. Aren’t we forgetting something? While a child is in a school he just doesn’t go to read, study, and come back. He interacts with his friends and peers. He learns the way of living a social life. He learns the way to talk to others. A child just doesn’t have his maths and science classes in school but also the classes of sports, theatre, and performing arts which eventually lead to the holistic development of the child. Unfortunately, all these aspects are missing in online classes. 

Thus we can say that while classroom learning and online learning can go hand in hand but the latter can never replace the other. 
After all even today when we are receiving our lectures with the help of school management software it is the teachers who have created them. While all our tests and assignments are uploaded online it is the teachers who have prepared them. 

A small example of this astounding combination of classroom and school management software is the smart boards that were introduced in the classrooms a few years back. Smartboards enabled the learners to learn more interactively and interestingly and also made the task of imparting knowledge easier for the teachers.  However, it is undoubtedly true that none could replace the other. 

Thus we must stop fighting about which one is better. Let’s carve out the best from both the worlds. After all  “Technology will not replace great teachers but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational.”

Let there be education!!!

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